The Ericksonian Approach to Hypnosis
Hypnosis suggests many things: power, magical cures, mystery, loss of control, and so forth. Unfortunately, many of these pervasive notions are misleading. This chapter distinguishes the Ericksonian approach from some of these popular misunderstandings. The first section overviews different conceptualizations of the hypnotic relationship: the authoritarian approach emphasizing the hypnotist; the standardized approach emphasizing the subject; and the cooperation approach emphasizing the relationship between hypnotist and subject. The second section outlines eight further ideas underlying the Ericksonian approach: (1) Each person is unique; (2) hypnosis is a process of communicating ideas; (3) each person has generative resources; (4) trance potentiates resources; (5) trance is naturalistic; (6) transformational change is course-corrective rather than error-corrective; (7) a person's uniqueness can be appreciated on many levels; and (8) the unconscious can operate autonomously and generatively.