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Notes on Steps for Change Work

Notes on Steps for Change Work
Step 1. Does your Unconscious Mind know what to do to solve the
problem? Does it know how to assist the client in having the
problem disappear? About three-quarters of the time, the
Unconscious Mind will answer “Yes.” This answer is a sign to both
you and the client that the client is establishing rapport with their
If the Unconscious Mind says it does not know how to solve the
problem, you need to get the client in touch with additional
resources. One of the main tenets of Ericksonian hypnosis is, “Our
clients have all the resources they need to solve whatever prob-
lems they bring to us.” In this case, the added resource may be the
Higher Self. You can ask,
“Can your Unconscious Min .get in touch with the blueprint of
perfect health and healing that exists in the Higher Self and
transfer it to the blueprint that the Unconscious Mind uses to
create the body? ” Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide
Whether or not you believe that there is a Higher Self (and
whether or not the client believes it), the client’s Unconscious
Mind will usually respond positively to this question and find that
it then knows how to solve the problem!
If the Unconscious Mind does not respond to this appeal to the
Higher Self, 1 usually move to Time-Line Therapy@, which can
readily be introduced while the client is in trance. If you need
information on Time-Line Therapy@, you will find a full descrip-
tion of methods in my book Time-Line Therapy and the Basis of
Step 2. Is it possible for your Unconscious Mind to heal the con-
dition? As before, if the answer is “No,” ask the Unconscious
Mind to get in touch with the blueprint of perfect health and
healing that exists in the Higher Self. Assume that it is possible for
the Unconscious Mind to heal virtually anything that the client has
brought to you as a presenting problem. My personal experience-
and countless experiments in hypnosis documented since the
1860s-show that once we enlist the aid of the Unconscious Mind,
miraculous things can be done.
If you have unlimited beliefs about what your client can do and
you describe your beliefs in terms that the client can relate to, you
can play a powerful role in facilitating the client’s changes. Of
course, the ultimate responsibility for changes rests with the client.
The changes they accomplish will result from their own commu-
nication with their Unconscious Mind. I regularly tell my clients,
“You can do anything, but whether or not you actually do, depends
on your ability to communicate with your Unconscious Mind. I’m
here to help you develop that ability.”
Step 3. Is it all right to heal this now or to organize the steps now
for healing? Sometimes the Unconscious Mind will know what to
do and will acknowledge that the desired change is possible, but
will feel that it is not alright to go ahead and make the change.
If we accept the paradigm that the Unconscious Mind has the well-
being of the body as a prime concern, this seems contradictory.
There are several reasons that the Unconscious might not consid-
er it all right to solve the problem. The Unconscious Mind can get
Ericksonian Interventions
into a mode where it is mistaken about what it is supposed to do,
as the result of a stream of misleading messages filtering in
through the Conscious Mind: “Do this. Feel this.”
In processing continuous input from the media, the Conscious
Mind can get fixated on disease. Every day TV news programmes
feature stories about diseases, giving the Conscious Mind far more
information about disease than about health. Advertising for Cold
Capsules announces that “Cold and flu season is here.” People
comply by catching the flu. The media’s focus on disease can
convince an Unconscious Mind that it is not its job to be well. But
typically when reminded that its highest job is to preserve the
body, the Unconscious Mind will come around to acknowledging
and doing that job. My recommendation is that you work with the
Unconscious Mind and remind it of its magnificent purpose.
In other situations, the client’s Unconscious Mind may think that
they are guilty of something and need to be punished. You will
need to lead the client in working through the guilt, using Time-
Line Therapy@ or reframing the incident to which the client
attaches guilt.
In getting the client’s Unconscious Mind to acknowledge that it is
all right to solve a problem, skill in reframing is very useful.
Reframing consists of leading the client to see a different context
or a different meaning for a behavior+ither their own or some-
one else’s. This is a key skill in hypnotherapy and NLP.
My NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner training includes
step-by-step information on how to do reframing. I recommend
Erickson and Rossi’s book Life Reframing in Hypnosis. Leslie
LeCron’s book Self Hypnot ism will a informa-
tion about reframing and the
Step 4. Are there any other
would like to work on? The Unconscious Mind may have its own
agenda of things it needs to work on. If it responds “Yes ” to this
question, you need to find out what else it wants to work on and
loop back up to Step 1. Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide
Step 4 is an optional question. I skip this question if I am working
on a life-threatening disease with a client. On the other hand, if the
client has come to me for help in losing weight, I would certainly
ask their Unconscious Mind, “Are there any other problems you
would like to work on?”
Step 5. Unconscious Mind, go ahead and heal (client’s name).
Sometimes the Unconscious Mind knows what to do and
acknowledges that it is possible and all right for it to do it, but feels
it does not have permission from the Conscious Mind.
Most people give their Unconscious Minds conflicting information
on a regular basis. Examples might be that one day a certain per-
son is wonderful and the next day they are no good; one day you
like someone and the next day you don’t. The Unconscious Mind
gets confused about this because it takes literally everything that
you tell it and think about. You give the Unconscious Mind clear
permission in Step 5, so that it knows to go ahead and heal the
Step 6. How quickly will the Unconscious Mind start the healing?
How quickly will it finish? Typically you need to give the
Unconscious Mind some parameters right away. If you are work-
ing on a physiological condition, such as a bleeding ulcer, you
need to say to the Unconscious, “How quickly will you start to
heal this condition? Sometimes Unconscious Minds like to begin
healing things like ulcers right away; and sometimes they like to
take a long, long time to start the process, maybe as long as 24
hours. Which would you prefer?” The Unconscious Mind will
then give you a start time.
Then say to the Unconscious Mind, “How long will it take you to
finish the healing process? Sometimes Unconscious Minds like
to finish the healing process in a relatively short time, like as
little as.. . .” Now your knowledge of the body comes into play.
If you are going to do physiological work, you ought to read
Deepak Chopra’s Quantum Healing. It has a number of metaphors
about how quickly the Mind/Body unit can heal itself. In the
case of a bleeding ulcer, we have a brand new stomach lining
every five days. Therefore, a bleeding ulcer can totally disappear
in five days.
Ericksonian Interventions
If the Unconscious Mind does not want to start healing right away,
do you encourage it to, or do you give it as much time as it needs?
I prefer giving the Unconscious Mind reasonable parameters and
then let it choose the time it wants to take to start. The way I see it,
sometimes an Unconscious Mind may have a list of things on its
agenda already and may need to finish those. So it may say, “Well,
my dance card is full today, but I can certainly start tomorrow at

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