By Malcolm Nicholson (United Kingdom)

Having studied Ericksonian hypnosis under Stephen Brooks of British Hypnosis Research, I occasionally use this approach for helping clients in their change process.

I recently worked with a Sales Director who had been promoted to Managing Director of his business. He came along to our meeting, was tall, well built, immaculately dressed and charismatic. My immediate reaction was why is he here, and where am I going to add value?

Information gathering questions lead him to unburden. He had not wanted the MDs job, and felt out of his depth. To use his metaphor he said he felt that he was sitting at the table with his father’s friends. He was tense, resistant to change and feeling despondent.

Having met him previously, rapport building was straight forward. We went to an indirect command induction, involving imagining walking through a series of scenarios in different seasons. Normally it is easy to tell when a person is in a trance (See Trance-Formations, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Structure of Hypnosis; Grinder J & Bandler R, Real People Press, 1981. Take note – if you have a copy, look after it; it could be worth hundreds of dollars!) as their breathing changes and becomes deeper, their muscle tension diminishes and skin tone changes. In this case, the person started snoring as well! I was a little perplexed as to what to do, then thought that if the connection with the subconscious had been made, then we should continue.

Source: iCN Issue 4 (NLP in Coaching); page 48