Depotentiating Conscious Processes: Confusion Techniques
Using just the associational strategies described in the preceding chapter will be insufficient for subjects who are willing to go into trance but are unable to set aside their conscious processes to do so. These willing but unable subjects, who comprise at least half the clinical population, may have incessant internal dialogue, or be constantly oriented to internal imagery, or perhaps be continually distracted with kinesthetic sensations. To depotentiate these trance-interfering processes, the
Eric~sonian hypnotherapist uses various dissociational strategies. One such strategy is boredom - for example, the hypnotist might tell story after story to wear down the person's conscious "resistances." A second dissociational strategy is distraction - for example, the subject might be asked to count backwards from 1000 to 1 by 3's, or verbalize the alphabet forwards while visualizing it backwards (i.e., saying "A" while seeing "Z," saying "B" while seeing "Y," etc.), or simply attend to some attentional stimulus during the induction (preferably one the person is already intrigued with). A third dissociational strategy is to induce dissociation through, say, ideomotor techniques.