Understanding Hypnotic Language Patterns - Milton H. Erickson

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Hypnotic Language or Hypnotic Language Patterns were first made popular by the American psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson. Hypnotic language is an indirect or a subtle approach to hypnosis. It involves delivering information in a way which is more acceptable to the subconscious mind. The goal is to smuggle messages directly to the subconscious mind while bypassing the conscious mind completely – which is far more analytical and critical.

Hypnotic language patterns are studied very closely by some of the most important politicians in the world, hoping to influence the electorate with the knowledge. Advertisers, marketers and entrepreneurs also make use of hypnotic language patterns to get more people to buy their products. Even Hollywood and the mainstream media use this technique.

It is important to bear in mind that not everyone who uses hypnotic language patterns targeted at you is harmless or has your best interests at heart. In fact, they possibly mean the worst. So you should always be on your guard. As you learn hypnosis, you will recognise hypnotic language patterns as and when they are used. You will know them for what they are and won’t get too easily influenced by them.

Hypnotic language patterns need not always have a sinister motive behind them. They are used by psychotherapists to help people give up smoking or an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Psychotherapists also use hypnotic language patterns to help people lose weight, to relieve some of the pain in cancer patients or to help children cope with intense headaches.

So, how do hypnotic language patterns work? And why are they more effective than the techniques used in regular hypnosis? For one, most people hate being told what to do directly. So when a hypnotist tells them to certain things, there is initially a strong resistance to doing that.

For instance, a common hypnotic technique used to put a subject into a trance is to use specific suggestions such as you are on a beach in Spain, completely relaxed, and the weather has never been better.

While these statements may work in some cases, in others, the internal reality of the subject may not quite reciprocate, and may even push back.

For instance, the subject may have had a very bad experience when she visited Spain in her college days. She probably got her purse stolen in Spain, and she had a terrible experience at Spanish beaches as it rained every time she went there to relax.

So certainly this particular subject does not associate Spain with “relaxing” because of her bitter real life experiences in that country. But certainly, the hypnotist has no way of knowing all that, so his attempts at hypnotising the subject completely fail.

What someone who uses Hypnotic Language Patterns does in the same situation is slightly different. Hypnotic language may address the same subject this way: Now there will have been a time and a place in your life, where you've felt perfectly relaxed, and perfectly at ease. And I wonder if you're able to get a sense of that right now?

Do note that there are no specifics used here – no Spain, no beach, not even the weather. The statements are such that nobody could have an issue with them. Hypnotic language is more permissive and offers the subject full freedom to make their own interpretations of what is told to them.

Hypnotic Language Patterns use language in such a way that they make the subject focus their attention inwards. Rather than have the hypnotist tell them what to imagine, they use their own imagination and find a hook of their own from their personal experiences, such as, sunset at the Grand Canyon, to connect to suggestions made to them by the Hypnotic Language. This would make them feel instantly relaxed and fall into a trance – which is the primary objective here.

So, hypnotic language is a smarter and subtle way of performing hypnosis. It makes the subconscious mind more easily receptive to new information. It’s not easy to master the technique, though, and it would require a lot of practice.

Hope you have found the information given here both useful and interesting. If you’re looking to learn hypnosis, you’ll find more such interesting stuff on this site, so do have a look around.