Vol. 29 – July 24, 2005

Ericksonian Hypnotic Language Patterns

Reverse Meta Model
In NLP the “meta model” is Richard Bandler’s and John Grinder’s name for the wellformedness conditions of the surface structure of the English language*. (*- for more on this see their book “Structure of Magic.”) It’s based on the recognition that all language has presuppositions, deletions, distortions and generalizations. The meta model was employed to expose those and enable the listener to discover the deeper structure of the sentence. The astute listener would utilize directed questions to derive the more specific meaning the speaker intends.

In Hypnosis we sometimes chose to deliberately violate these wellformedness conditions in order to be purposely and artfully vague. This enables the listener to fill in the blanks themselves and creates a more seamless and deep trance experience. Over the next few weeks we’ll examine how we can employ this “reverse Meta model” to deliver these meaningful sounding and purposely vague statements. Note that in many of the examples it would be easy to also mark out an embedded suggestion or two.

Remember: “The client must always be specific. The Practitioner? Never.”

Pattern 29. Mind Reading
Acting as if you know the internal experience of the other person.
Be nonspecific. For example, say “I know what you’re thinking” rather than “you are thinking about how you lost your father’s car keys when you were in the second grade.” Or “You are feeling some tension” rather than “your lower left abdominal muscles and your right adductor is in spasm.”

“I know you’re curious about hypnosis. At first people always wonder how deeply you will go into a trance now. Then they realize that however it works for you is perfect and you can just relax, and enjoy the process.

“You’ll be delighted to discover you can let that feeling of excitement spread to the far corners of your body and your mind.”

“That’s right, you’re really learning rapidly and well, deep inside.”

I can tell that you are really beginning to have Fun with language, are you not?

See you next week.