The man told Erickson that he didn’t think he could be hypnotized but that he still wanted Erickson to give it a shot anyways. Erickson said in the paper that he was able to induce a fairly deep trance during which time he spoke to the man questioning as to what he should do to help him correct his driving. The man told Erickson that there was nothing that Erickson could do and that it would be pointless for him to make suggestions because they man would have to do it in his own way. Erickson continued to question the man as to when he would correct his own driving and the guy said essentially in about a month’s time and then re-iterated to Erickson that there was no point in him suggesting anything to him because he would have to do it in his own way.
Taking a hold of that Erickson began to making several repetitious suggestions to the client slightly different in how they were said but all with pretty much the same mean about how he was going to correct his driving in his own way. The essay goes on to say that the man was one day came in a couple weeks later to tell Erickson that he was still driving like a mad man and that he didn’t know what to do. The man then left disappointedly.
A couple weeks later about the time when the man said he would correct his driving in his own way the man came in telling Erickson that he was working on his car with a friend. The got the car all supped up. And then without taking his friend or his wife with him when out driving like a wild man in the mountains as he normally did. He stated that he was enjoying seeing how fast he could go until he realized he was coming to a turn in the road and that he was losing control of the vehicle. He man before it was too late jumped out of the vehicle to safety the vehicle went off the road.
The man spent the rest of the day walking back home thinking to himself how he was going to have to correct his driving in his own way. Later on the man made it back home explained what happened to his wife and then on purchased a new vehicle. A while later he dropped into see Erickson to say that he was no driving correctly and within legal limits and said that he really learned this lesson the hard and expensive way. He didn’t give much credit to Erickson for what had happened in making his change other than to say that he gave him the little extra push that he needed.
I like this story because it reminds me that sometimes when you work with clients you are going to have some clients that it’s more useful for them to discover for themselves the resources they need in their own way. I would suggest that anyone reading this and that work in Hypnosis share with their clients that they really ought to make the changes that are most appropriate for them in reaching their desired outcomes.
Throughout Erickson’s work if you take a look at his language you will see a recurring pattern emerge.