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.