Ericksonian Language

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Ericksonian Language

Ericksonian Language

First published November 22, 2012

As therapists we have a lot of tools at our disposal, one of which is what we call Ericksonian language. I tried to think of the best way to put it and ended up looking how others described it and in the end I cheated and took it off Wikipedia and it sums it up nicely.

According to Wikipedia “Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening, and that, whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. The patient can be aware of this, or can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Erickson would see if the patient would respond to one or another kind of indirect suggestion, and allow the unconscious mind to actively participate in the therapeutic process. In this way, what seemed like a normal conversation might induce a hypnotic trance, or a therapeutic change in the subject.”

So here are some examples of what we can use during a therapy session. I put the examples in some random sentences below.

…and as you _________ you can _________.

….and as you continue to read this blog you can find it increasingly easy to remember.

I don’t know if you’ll discover ___________ .

I don’t know if you’ll discover when you use these patterns you will get a feeling of well-being.

It’s not necessary…

It’s not necessary to have fun finding out how you can use this pattern

You can begin to/continue to ___________ .

You can begin to use Ericksonian Language patterns to help improve your persuasion abilities and improve your communication skills.

You might notice…

You might notice how useful this blog is for you and for others. I wonder if you’ve considered telling all of your friends about this great blog?

Don’t be too surprised to find yourself __________ .

Don’t be too surprised to find yourself fluent in these patterns and enjoying this practice.

 There so much information on Milton and how he worked that I’ve only barely scratched the surface with this short blog.

Go and find thing out for yourself on this wonderful tool the internet!

Regards

Adam


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Body Language

Body Language

First published on October 3, 2012

This is a very important tool that all therapist and business people should be aware of or have some form of understanding of, you’d think!

Body language means communication with the movement or position of the human body. It can be conscious – or unconscious. It is important to   remember that, although body language does give you an additional channel of communication, which sometimes contradicts the spoken word, it should be interpreted with care. For one thing, body language can be affected by particular habits of the speaker. To be able to read body language is very interesting, but it can be complicated, so watch out!

As a therapist I hope I have a general understanding but I know that I don’t know everything and it an area to which I’m looking into getting a higher level of understanding. I pride myself on my ability to be able to calibrate my client’s conscious – or unconscious body language.

The eight primary elements of body language are your face, eyes, posture, gestures, voice, movement, physical appearance and touch.

Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message

Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message

Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

The figure 55% comes from some research that Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971.

The ‘Mehrabian formula’ (7%/38%/55%) was established in situations where there was incongruence between words and expression.

That is, where the words did not match the facial expression: specifically in Mehrabian’s research people tended to believe the expression they saw, not the words spoken.

Mehrabian’s model is a seminal piece of work, and it’s amazingly helpful in explaining the importance of careful and appropriate communications. Like any model, care must be exercised when transferring it to different situations. Use the basic findings and principles as a guide and an example – don’t transfer the percentages, or make direct assumptions about degrees of effectiveness, to each and every communication situation.

Body language is now widely used in the field of selling, where sales personnel are trained to observe and read the body language of their potential customers. Sales personnel trained to read body language can now utilize this skill to read the subliminal cue exhibited by the customers to close a deal. Consequently, many companies such as insurance companies, direct-selling companies and international car-showrooms now engage body language experts.

I help out some workshops and it’s easy to tell who knows about body language and who doesn’t and the difference just pointing out little things to people can make them look at people very differently, often these workshop are not about body language but as therapists it will always be part of what we do so it good to help and pass on the skills we have to others. Some of the people who attend are not therapist so are not used to using these skills but are normally very fast at picking some of the very basic tips they get.

Regards

Adam Cowming

www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk


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Personality Types

Personality Types

When I have clients come to see me they sometimes use phrases such as; “part of me wants X the other part of me wants Y”. This is what we call parts conflict.

So what do they mean and how do I as a therapist explain what is going on in their minds in an easy to understand down to earth format?

I tend to use the Transactional Analysis model created by Canadian-born US psychiatrist, Eric Berne. Berne devised the concept of ego states to help explain how we are made up, and how we relate to others. They categorise the ways we think, feel and behave and are called Parent, Adult, and Child. Each ego state is given a capital letter to denote the difference between actual parents, adults and children.

Parent (“exteropsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent’s actions. For example, a person may shout at someone out of frustration because they learned from an influential figure in childhood the lesson that this seemed to be a way of relating that worked.

Parent has 2 parts to this personality type

Nurturing – Nurturing (positive) and Spoiling (negative).

Critical – Structuring (positive) and Controlling (negative).

Physical – angry or impatient body-language and expressions, finger-pointing, patronising gestures. Sympathetic expressions, hugging, stroking.

Verbal – always, never, for once and for all, judgmental words, critical words, patronising language, posturing language. Soft, supportive voice and wording.

N.B. Beware of cultural differences in body-language that may appear ‘Parental’.

Adult (“neopsyche”): a state of the ego which is most like a computer processing information and making predictions absent of major emotions that could affect its operation. Learning to strengthen the Adult is a goal of TA.

Adult remains as a single entity, representing an ‘accounting’ function or mode, which can draw on the resources of both Parent and Child.

While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.

Physical – attentive, interested, straight-forward, tilted head, non-threatening and non-threatened.

Verbal – why, what, how, who, where and when, how much, in what way, comparative expressions, reasoned statements, true, false, probably, possibly, I think, I realise, I see, I believe, in my opinion.

Child (“archaeopsyche”): a state in which people behave, feel and think similarly to how they did in childhood. For example, a person who receives a poor evaluation at work may respond by looking at the floor, and crying or pouting, as they used to when scolded as a child. Conversely, a person who receives a good evaluation may respond with a broad smile and a joyful gesture of thanks. The Child is the source of emotions, creation, recreation, spontaneity and intimacy.

Child also has 2 parts to this personality type

Adapted – Co-operative (positive) and Compliant/Resistant (negative).

Free – Spontaneous (positive) and Immature (negative).

Physical – emotionally sad expressions, despair, temper tantrums, whining voice, rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders, teasing, delight, laughter, speaking behind hand, raising hand to speak, squirming and giggling.

Verbal – baby talk, I wish, I dunno, I want, I’m gonna, I don’t care, oh no, not again, things never go right for me, worst day of my life, bigger, biggest, best, many superlatives, words to impress.

So here is what I sometimes say to the client that these parts clash for example part of them says go and have fun

(Free Child) and other part of them says they better not do that and stay at home(Critical Parent).

I find that people who tend to listen to their “Critical Parent” too much sometimes have a lot of negative internal dialogue in their mind. Now we all have this critical side and it is an important part of us that can protect us but it can also overwhelm people as well and can be very hard to override for the client. Other people have too much “Free Child” i.e. they go and do things without thinking of the consequences at all and this can also be as bad. It is all about getting the balance right.

People who drink too much or take drugs (addicts and functioning addicts) are doing so to override the critical parent and get into the free child state, they are shutting out that critical voice/memories that may have in the past reminded them of past experiences or overly critical voices they would rather not remember.

I know I have done things many years ago in the past that when I’ve had a beer too many and I was in the free child state. I did things I wouldn’t normally do, like walk home with a traffic cone on my head. In the morning my critical parent kicked in and I have laid there in bed with a bad head slightly embarrassed thinking, why I did I do that? At the time I was having fun with my friends but in the morning I thought I was a bit silly.

If you would like to read more about this subject I would recommend you read Eric Berne’s first book called “Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy”, “I’m OK You’re OK” by Thomas A. Harris and also “Games People Play” again by Eric Berne, they can be hard going for those of you without a background in Psychotherapy but they explain things in much more depth.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Adam Cowming

Website www.blhypnotherapy.co.uk