Ericksonian Hypnosis and Integrative® Hypnosis*. A comparison

Ericksonian Hypnosis replaced the traditional hypnosis in the second half of the twentieth century, while the last one was considerably losing its influence. It is the hypnotic method the most well known and the most widespread in the West today, mainly due to the glory of its founder. Some gaps of this method and a narrow interpretation of the therapeutic legacy of Erickson by some practitioners have encouraged the emergence of Integrative® Hypnosis which competes with Ericksonian Hypnosis more and more.

Ericksonian Hypnosis as it was used by Milton Erickson was a series of original masterpieces of an artist. Milton Erickson was this artist who improvised with each patient. It is true that his method was innovative for his time compared to conventional hypnosis. However, this does not mean that the approach of Erickson was always permissive and he never used in his practice some directive or provocative elements of hypnosis. On the contrary, he was free and open in his choice of tools that he adapted to the problem and the character of each person. Erickson in his lifetime did not put his practice into theory.  This was done by his followers. NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis are their products. Moreover, often a contemporary Ericksonian Hypnosis includes protocols or element of NLP protocols.

The question is whether we can extract from a masterpiece (which by definition is an original and unique creation, a product of a free mind) rules, criteria, a creative process which determine this uniqueness, to produce on this basis an infinite series of works having the same effect as the original masterpiece ? How to theorize and to teach genius, freedom of creation, intuition? Thus Erickson's original therapy was categorized, generalized, simplified in the process of theorization to make it accessible to a large number of practitioners.

To be fair we must admit that Ericksonian hypnosis practiced today produces effects that are superior to those of classical hypnosis, and in this it is a step forward in the evolution of this therapy. But is it as effective as the one made by its creator? Could there be a contemporary Ericksonian hypnotist who could dare compare to Erickson? Let's admit that the contemporary Ericksonian hypnosis is only a pale copy of the original. But let's also recognize that without this attempt to theorize the genius of Erickson, his creation would have been only a part of history, and we would not have benefited from the fruits of his labor. For all these reasons Ericksonian hypnosis has its strengths, but it also has its limits.

The recognition of these limitations and a need to fill a therapeutic gap have stimulated the eternal process of evolution and gave rise to Integrative® Hypnosis in France. This new form of hypnosis has an exclusive concept while remaining open to all existing methods as that of Erickson, and owes its success to the transfer of genius from the hypnotherapist to a hypnotized patient. Now it is this one which provides the practitioner with all the necessary elements for his or her personal therapy, in this way Integrative® Hypnosis is customized to each person, and for this reason each session becomes an original creation with a high success rate. The induction varies from very permissive to directive, or even flash. The hypnosis session is presented either as a conventional session with a trance of different depths, or as a conversational hypnosis called also « hypnosis without hypnosis ».

Original does not mean chaotic. All personal and original elements provided by each person are based on a solid and well thought out structure, which is the second key to success of this method. This structure includes seven pillars characterizing the concept of Integrative® Hypnosis : Integrative® Anamnesis (a collection of very specific information provided by the subject), Integrative® resonance (repetition of certain words of the subject in a particular order and with a varying intensity), Integrative® pseudo-regression (meeting with a happy child) Integrative® Fable (therapeutic story built with the material provided by the patient), Integrative® propagation (propagation of a desired state), Integrative® transcendence (confrontation of the person to a frustrating element) and post-hypnotic Integrative® suggestion (suggestion of therapeutic work's continuation beyond the duration of a session).

Logical, simple, well organized, this basic structure requires only to be dressed by personal words provided by the subject that resonate in his unconscious mind transmitting exactly what he wants and needs.

Anna Iourenkova

*The Integrative® Hypnosis mentioned here and in all other articles is the one created by Gérôme Ettzevoglov, the founder of the European Institute of Integrative Hypnosis (IEHI), in France, and should Not be confused with its homonym practiced in the United States

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