Vol. 32 – August 14, 2005

Ericksonian Hypnotic Language Patterns

Reverse Meta Model
In NLP the “meta model” is Bandler and Grinder’s name for the wellformedness conditions of the surface structure of the English language*. (*See their book “The Structure of Magic.”) In Hypnosis we sometimes chose to deliberately violate these wellformedness conditions (“reversing the meta model”) in order to be purposefully and artfully vague.

Pattern 32. Universal Quantifiers
Universal generalizations with no referential index.

Examples: All, Every, Never.

“Everyone knows you are a wonderful dancer.”

Of course, if a client said something like that to us we’d immediately employ the Meta Model to elicit more specific information. Or we wouldn’t. Sometimes we’d hear the client’s generalizations and decide to leave them alone. Just because you have a tool doesn’t mean you have to use it. If the generalization works for them and is ecological, you might choose to leave it as it lays.

However, we’re talking more about how we can use these patterns for therapeutic purposes.

“With every breath you’ll go deeper into trance.”
All cigarettes taste the same… horrible.”
“You never need be concerned, using this process to go into trance.”

It’s the very nature of a post-hypnotic suggestion, is it not? “Every time you see the color red you’ll know you are a non-smoker.”

If you practice and have fun, you’ll always get better and better.
So have fun practicing!

See you next week.