A quick review of this groundbreaking book on hypnosis – Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H Erickson MD by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H Erickson MD Vol I is a cornerstone book in the fields of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and of Hypnosis.
It essentially breaks down the techniques of Milton Erickson into sets of patterns of language and behaviour that anyone can learn to become a hypnotist.
Combining linguistic theory and close observation, Patterns 1 describes the linguistic techniques Erickson uses in order to induce a hypnotic trance.
The book then reproduces two different transcripts of session of Erickson with clients. One client has a compelling urge to urinate every half hour. The second client is a cancer patient with only a month to live, who is in terrible pain.
The way that these two different problems are dealt with in the course of the sessions is fascinating, humorous and compelling.
The transcripts are annotated by the authors, and they are well worth reading and re-reading to get a grasp of the concepts the authors are putting forward.
The next section is dedicated to notes that Erickson took in 1950 while doing hypnosis experiments with the famous English author Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, among other books.
This makes fascinating reading, and serves to underline the power of hypnosis to get people into trance and to utilise the imagination. These experiments explore amnesia, anaesthesia, depersonalisation, regression, time distortion and much else – and give a sense of the pallet from which a great hypnotist like Erickson was working.
The final section of this book is dedicated to explicitly revealing the structure of the linguistic patterns Milton uses. This section is really the handbook for the language patterns you need to get people into trance. Of course, it’s not all about language, it’s also about body language, tone and lots more beside – but the language patterns are at the heart of the trance work that Milton does.
By this time, as a reader, you have a pretty solid idea of what the hypnotist is aiming to achieve. A series of linguistic patterns overloads the analytical mind, while suggestions are dropped in indirectly to the client. Weaving these skills together might well take a lifetime – but with this book you have the toolkit to go out and do it.
In all, this is a classic read – one of the really great teaching books on hypnotic language patterns, that has a balance of theory, practical advice and clear examples that make it highly valuable to anyone wishing to study the nature of hypnosis.
A recommended read!