Recently I watched a demonstration of my good friend James Brown demonstrating his own version of the pattern interrupt induction which I originally delighted at watching him do during a magic demonstration. In that demonstration, he had wowed a group with a magic card trick, then he followed up with a ‘high five’ which he used to induce hypnosis by interrupting the natural movement.

High fives are not that common in the therapy room, agreed. So today I am going to give a full explanation of the notion of pattern interruption and then the classic means of the handshake induction as pioneered by Milton Erickson and Richard Bandler after him which is much more useable and pertinent to the clinical environment. That said, the ethos and underlying theory of it means that it can be applied with many varying automated behaviours that would be appropriate to use in a hypnotherapy session. I’m going to digress slightly to illustrate some points now…

On my hypnotherapy diploma course, I tend to get very fond of my students (though don’t go telling them, eh?). On a recent training, with only a couple of modules remaining (we had been through a great deal together over the previous eight modules) they were asked to do something quite challenging by me. Up to that point, they had been doing some truly inspiring work.

As with any closely knit group of people (i.e. Family members, work colleagues, team members etc.) they also influence each other. And upon being asked to do this thing by me that is totally and completely within their abilities, one or two of them got slightly (and understandably) unsure of themselves, and it spread to a few more… It was like a swathe of worry and uncertainty ran through them hypnotically.

Many of them naturally asked me for assurances, help and support which I usually give in abundance. You’ll note the word ‘usually.’

I did not offer the assurance they sought. Instead, I explained the virtues of self-reliance, self-assurance, and using all the great plethora of things they had learned over the previous 8 modules. I was incredibly provocative and challenging.

You know what happened?

What happened was something I was certain would happen and it delighted me.

They rose to the change in my pattern. They responded with a sense of fight and determination and assertiveness and started committing themselves to the task at hand. I was (and still am) so proud.

In our hypnotherapy rooms, us hypnotherapists and our clients can get stuck in certain states or mindsets. Or we tend to let our states get influenced and then we settle comfortably into it. What do I mean by state? Your state is your way of being at any given moment. It involves what is happening in your brain, what is going on in your body, what you are seeing, doing, feeling and what you are thinking. it is how you are – physically, psychologically, emotionally etc.

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Adam Eason -
About the Author:

Adam Eason is a best selling author, hypnotherapist and trainer. Please visit his website for for your free, instantly downloadable, mind-blowing hypnosis session to use in the comfort of your own home, and get many more resources, articles, audios from the world of hypnosis and self-hypnosis. http://www.adam-eason.com

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