Conversational Hypnosis is having a pretty good buzz these days on the net; it seems to be the next special super Hypnosis technique able to work its magic with everyone and it’s used a lot in NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming. Well, it might be that it’s such a great technique, but I’m not that sure.
Conversational Hypnosis is also publicized as Covert Hypnosis and uses a so called Ericksonian approach to put clients into a trance state. Said differently if you get to know an Hypnotherapist well versed in Conversational Hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming he can hypnotize you in a snap even without your consent or agreement. He talks and you magically enter a trance and are ready to receive suggestions. Or obey his commands. Just like those old style movies.
It’s an approach pretty much used by NLP and while it worked for Erickson I doubt a lot it can work for everyone. Also, and this is really my point of view, I don’t find either effective nor really ethical. Conversational Hypnosis in theory works by talking directly with the client Subconscious without consent or awareness that Hypnosis is taking place, something really similar to Covert Hypnosis. That is you talk and talk trying to get into your client mind and then influencing his behavior whether he wants it or not.
On one side, especially in Neuro Linguistic Programming, this is sold as a great way to influence people and make others do what you wish whatever their ideas, and this is not really ethical. On another how can be effective this influence if the Conscious of the client doesn’t agree? How can it has the long lasting or permanent effects we try to get using Hypnosis if when the Conscious knows what’s going on, and it will, it will probably block everything and erase every suggestion given? Because it doesn’t like being cheated.
The Erickson technique pretty roughly explained was to talk with the client until he was lowering his attention, which usually happens every hour, just like in every classroom at every school, and then Erickson would have begun talking in a hypnotic way using a lot of metaphors and stories to install suggestions in the Subconscious. Clearly the client wanted to be hypnotized and this is how it happened. No one really knows how long these suggestions worked and if results were permanent. I doubt it a lot whatever Neuro Linguistic Programming thinks about it.
As I’ve already said to have fast and permanent results with Hypnosis it’s needed an agreement between the Conscious and the Subconscious otherwise results won’t last for long. “Sorry Conversational Hypnosis but I think you’re not that useful and something slightly more than a mind trick”. Because without consent results last just for a while and it becomes something like Covert Hypnosis which goes against the client will, and I’m not that comfortable with this. If you’ve ever been forced to buy something not needed by a salesman you know what I mean.
Used for therapies also if the client doesn’t want to be so involved in his change toward a better life someone really thinks that, as therapists, we are working in his best interest? If someone doesn’t want to change deep in his heart I think it’s better to wait until he decides that really the right time has come.
Hypnosis is a wonderful tool but it’s not some kind of magic and it should not be used in that way. Neuro Linguistic Programming has some very good features but Conversational Hypnosis with his emphasis on influencing the mind of others whatever they think is not one of them. And Covert Hypnosis, if it works, is not something I would really like to be linked to Hypnotherapy. Plus let’s not forget that all Hypnosis is conversational being based on talking with a slightly lower tone of voice, so there’s nothing new about this. The Hypnotherapist talks and the client enters the trance state.
There are ways to short-circuit the human brain or to enter Hypnosis faster than normal, every Hypnotherapist knows them, but is this an ethical use of Hypnosis? Are they as effective as the usual techniques? While there isn’t an end to studying and becoming a better professional is there really the need to reinvent the wheel? Or is it just business? Are they good for the client? Can someone be really hypnotized against his will with long-lasting (positive) results? Well, just ask to those who took a Stop Smoking Hypnosis treatment against their real will if it worked.
Does Conversational Hypnosis work? It might be, for some people and for some time but after that you get back where you were. Unless someone was just trying to sell you something, in that case you might still ask for a refund.
The more I study Hypnosis, because there isn’t an end to learning, the more I believe that using Self Suggestions as Couè taught is the best way to go to get a desired outcome. If a client doesn’t want to change we should wait until he’s ready for it, no involvement equals no results. In my opinion. And, Conversational Hypnosis is so boring that really there are better uses for your time both as a client or a Hypnotherapist. And better techniques. But there are always those great Jedi’s Mind Tricks.
Now I’d like to know your opinion on Conversational Hypnosis or if you’ve ever had experiences with Neuro Linguistic Programming. Has NLP helped you?