Ego-Strengthening: The Forgotten Swiss Army Knife of Hypnosis [Video]

Like everything else, hypnosis goes through fads and phases. New and exciting techniques replace old, familiar ones, even when the old ones were better.

So the simple, old-fashioned hypnosis of yesteryear yields to fancier methods: guided imagery, indirect suggestion, age regression, and so on. Don’t get me wrong! I use all of these with excellent results, and I use guided imagery in every session. But there’s something primal about the simplicity of old-time direct suggestion: “You are a nonsmoker. You’ve already smoked your last cigarette. Tobacco no longer holds any attraction for you. You are a nonsmoker.” Simple, yet powerful.

Because some consider it old-fashioned, direct suggestion’s more interesting wrinkles are positively forgotten. Decades ago, a British doctor, John Hartland, developed a method he called “ego-strengthening.” This was described in his book, Hartland’s Medical and Dental Hypnosis.In this, he doesn’t mention the client’s specific problems at all during hypnosis, but instead gives general suggestion for physical and emotional well-being. Since hypnosis works on broad issues as well as on narrow ones, ego strengthening tends to lift clients’ spirits, energy, and outlook. This makes everything easier.

Hartland soemtimes used ego-strengthening as the only intervention, especially with clients who were resistant about examining their specific problems. Their problems often went away anyway!

I rarely use it this way. Instead, I use ego-strengthening as the initial phase of every session, after the client enters hypnosis. After that, we shift to guided imagery, which has its own advantages and taps different unconscious resources, then we wrap things up with more direct suggestion just before the end of the session.

I’ve created a video that walks you through a simple session, just a quick induction, a simplified version of my ego-strengthening, and then emergence. Give it a try!

For best results, watch it several times, once or twice a day, for at least five days. You may or many not notice any obvious changes. Your friends, family, and coworkers will often be the first to notice improvements, even if you haven’t mentioned what you’re doing. That’s pretty convincing!

Let me know how this turns out for you, and if you noticed anything good, bad, or otherwise noteworthy in the session.

Happy hypnosis!

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. Robert's publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of reprinted classics, including Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, which covers treating PTSD in veterans. Robert and his wife Karen sell free-range chicken and eggs at the Corvallis farmers' markets. Robert's hypnotherapy office is in downtown Corvallis.

One thought on “Ego-Strengthening: The Forgotten Swiss Army Knife of Hypnosis [Video]

  1. Interesting article Robert. I agree, sometimes the old ways were successful for a reason…they worked!

    We humans do love to reinvent the wheel though. And, yes of course, I acknowledge that there have been many, many wonderful breakthroughs throughout history too. Nonetheless, I’m still an advocate for using what actually works.

    That was also a beautiful little induction and emerge Robert. Thank you for sharing.

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