Using Poetry in Trances


Using Poetry in Trances

When I first started to create my own trance inductions for people
I was a bit intimidated by the thought that I didn’t know what to say.
I wanted scripts.
Then something one of my teachers, Dave Dobson, said to me changed everything.
He said to time the rate of the speaking to the client’s breathing.
When I did that, it was easy.
Sometimes it wasn’t great, sometimes it was basically place-holding, but it happened.
And, for the most part, it was surprisingly good and got better.
It occurred to me that at times, it was like poetry.
Especially when employing the ambiguities and plays-on-words that good Ericksonian patter utilized.
This excited me because, since high school, I’d alway felt inept at poetry.
This was working!
So I sometimes actually would quote poems that I knew or sometimes say the whole poem, if appropriate.
Language is a beautiful thing.
Poetry is Language at it’s most beautiful and shares, with hypnosis, that desire to find the exact right word
To find that exactly right thing to say that will, perhaps, change everything.

Here’s one of my favorite – and most oft quoted – poems:

i thank You God for most this amazing day

by e.e.cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

About Doug O'Brien

Doug O’Brien is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, and a Certified Hypnotherapist. In 1988, while assisting at NLP and NAC training seminars with Anthony Robbins, Doug achieved the designation of Master Trainer. He now conducts numerous seminars of his own around the globe (specializing in the “Sleight of Mouth” patterns of Robert Dilts, NLP Certification Courses, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy) and helped found Columbia-Presbyterian’s Department of Complementary Medicine with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

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