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6 Seiten, Note: Pass
The Yes Set
Use of Negatives
Use of Questions
Pattern Breaking Inductions
Conclusion and Summary
The following essay aims to discuss and explore different uses of language and communication in the use of indirect hypnosis. Academic references will be used to support any arguments, which is important in weighing the value of the subject material in an evidence-based manner (Sinclair-Gieben and Chalmers, 1959).
‘Indirect’ hypnosis; sometimes referred to as ‘Ericksonian hypnotherapy’ (Bryant and Mabbutt, 2006; McReight, 2015), can also be described as “permissive” suggestion (Rossi and Rossi, 2007). Fricker and Butler (2001) report that this method of hypnosis can be used in “very creative ways”, for “medical use” and is not restricted to the “authoritarian style” associated with direct suggestion; this approach can “bypass” the conscious mind through minimising the “resistance” of the subject.
According to Battino and South (2005) a truism is a statement of fact regarding the behaviour of a patient, a behaviour which has been repeated so frequently that it cannot be disputed; linked heavily with the ‘Yes Set’ (which will be explored later), truisms are used to build rapport, increase acceptance of suggestion and to “de-potentiate resistance”. Such use of truisms can foster a positive mental state, which can improve the acceptance of suggestion for patients (Bryant and Mabbutt, 2006), but may require varying amounts of time (Erickson and Rossi, 1976). It was later noted that it may be most beneficial to allow the patient to determine the necessary duration required prior to formulating a response (Erickson and Rossi, 1979).
The use of ‘open-ended’ suggestions can overcome the inhibitory aspects of assumption, which is associated more heavily with direct suggestion (Lever, 1998; Battino and South, 2005); this allows a patient to explore a range of response possibilities and can bypass the conscious mind. Erickson felt that open-ended suggestions allowed the unconscious mind to determine the most appropriate means of carrying out a therapeutic response, with the implication being that whatever response given is likely to be beneficial to the patient (Erickson and Rossi, 1979). ‘Compound’ suggestions are comprised of two separate suggestions which when used in conjunction with one another can be used to steer a patient towards the acceptance of a desired suggestion (Battino and South, 2005); the first suggestion is typically a truism, whereas the second suggestion is normally one that the therapist wishes the patient to accept. The belief being that the “grammatical linking” would encourage the acceptance of the second suggestion (Erickson and Rossi, 1976).
The ‘yes set’ are a series of questions, to which the answer will generally be ‘yes’ (Battino and South, 2005); when used appropriately, this series of questions can elicit an increased receptiveness that allows the patient to have a higher propensity for responding in the affirmative (Bandler and Grinder, 1975); it can also enhance the rapport between therapist and patient, whilst also reducing resistance in intellectual patients who may be prone to over-analysing their interactions with the therapist by derailing their application of logic (Battino and South, 2005). #
Some patients develop a resistance to the suggestions they receive and may wish to retain some control; a state referred to as “reactive inhibition” (Erickson and Rossi, 1976; Bryant and Mabbutt, 2006). It was proposed that by the use of negative language the therapist may “discharge” some of the excessive resistance (Battino and South, 2005). Donaldson (1959) found that it is more difficult to comprehend sentences containing a linguistic negative, than it is to understand a positive sentence; it is believed that this is due to the requirement that the suggestion is accepted before the patient is able to negate it.
It can be argued that when questioned, the mind embarks upon a deep unconscious search through its memory in seeking an answer; even when a satisfactory answer has been obtained, this process can continue in the subconscious (Battino and South, 2005). This concept is a bedrock of Ericksonian hypnotherapy, whereby the unconscious potential of a patient can be used to prompt a therapeutic response” (Erickson and Rossi, 1976); Battino and South (2005) indicate that this unconscious problem-solving also appears to take place during sleep, highlighting that within Ericksonian approaches, the use of questions can be used to focus associations as well as to suggest and reinforce new responses.
A metaphor is a phrase which denotes an object or notion which is used in substitution of another object or notion, by means of suggesting a similarity or likeness between them (Battino, 2002); metaphors often hold significance to patients and the therapist implies this significance. With use of the ‘advanced metaphor’, otherwise known as the ‘multiple embedded metaphor’, there are several metaphors interwoven which are then used to make key points about a presenting problem and also to provide a series of solutions to the patient; this can also minimise any confusion-related sabotage (Battino and South, 2005).
Gross (2001) suggest that behaviour patterns have a predetermined process, comprising of a start, middle and end. When greeting a stranger, one may expect to initiate proceedings by the shaking of hands; a familiar behaviour which provokes a programmed response of complying with the known form of greeting (Battino and South, 2005). Pattern breaking inductions are aimed at confusion through the interrupting of expected behavioural patterns (Elman 1964); confusion is brought about when a pattern of expected behaviour is halted or interrupted (Battino and South, 2005).
Confusion techniques involve a series of contradictory suggestions, which cause constant and repetitive fluctuations in the view of the patient with regard to a specific issue; as the patient attempts to orientate themselves in respect of the confusion and contradiction, it is likely that they may welcome any form of familiar suggestion to alleviate the confusion (Gross, 2001; Battino and South, 2005).
According to Erickson and Rossi (1979) the mind is continually developing and changes in behaviour are an ongoing byproduct of this development. The ‘interspersal’ method provides a means of allowing the unconscious mind of the patient to use presented suggestions in the way in which it finds most easy (Battino and South. 2005); this approach can facilitate the communication of ideas on many levels, in essence, bypassing the conscious mind and resistance (Erickson and Rossi, 1980). This technique can be used during a trance or even to enhance rapport (Battino and South. 2005).
In a study by Riegel (2012) it was found that indirect approaches did not yield a statistical difference to other approaches to hypnotherapy in the process of smoking cessation; this view is echoed by Matthews (2000) who reports that some researchers “failed to find any superiority of indirect suggestion over direct suggestion”. However, in the management of pain as an alternative to analgesia both Fricton and Roth (1985) and Lever (1998) report that the indirect technique is found to be more effective than the direct technique in improving pain thresholds; additionally Erickson and Rossi (1980) state that indirect suggestion has greater success in assisting the patient to explore their inner potentials.
In summary, it is clear that there is a large evidence-base for the use of indirect hypnotherapy for a range of applications, with a wealth of differing studies examining the roles of each approach (Fricker and Butler, 2001).
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