Erickson in his collected papers describes a basic outline of what he did to help them. In all cases he induced a light to somnambulistic trance state. He then told all of his clients in trance and to listen to him carefully that he was to say carefully though it would not be what they wanted to hear and he reminded them that what they were currently do was not working so to do what he suggest. He told them from the outset that the first thing they were all to do was pass their exams but in the way he instructed.
And then he told them all that when they went into take their tests they were to aim for the lowest passing grade. They were to go out of their way to make certain that they passed with the lowest passing grade. He specifically told each and every one of them that they were explicitly not to aim for an A or a B but that they were to go for the lowest possible passing grade.
He then instructed them that once they left his office that they would feel carefree and forget about the examination that they were to take but that they would show up at the right place and time and be present to take the test.
Once they arrived on time and ready to take the examination that they were to read through the entire examination all the questions and then begin once again at the first question re-reading it. They were then to begin to write and they were instructed that their unconscious would release bits and pieces of information and knowledge that they needed in drips to them and that they were to write those drips down as they came and that when they stopped. They were to move on to the next problem and that the process would repeat itself. When they were done they were to turn in their exams feeling calm and at ease with themselves.
The results of this outline as Erickson described turned out to be very favorable he goes on to explain how when he explained this process to others they questioned him on his use of having them go for the lowest passing grade. Especially by the time it was done he had many clients that got A and B’s a few C’s and no D’s or F’s.
The explanation given to those who questioned him was that by telling them to go for the lowest passing grade was that it freed them up from the anxiety of trying to do well or trying to get the highest possible score. He said that through his years of experience he has found ‘wisdom’ in having his clients avoid their ‘perfectionistic drives’.
Personally I have found this true in my experience. When I was writing my book, ‘Experiencing Reality’ it was so important to me that it be perfect from the outset that I never really got started. It was only when I gave myself permission to write something that was less than perfect that I was able to write the manuscript. And then even from the manuscript to publishing the book. It was because I ‘felt’ that everything had to be perfect that I delayed it’s being published for many months because I was afraid that it was not perfect. It was only then that I gave myself permission to put out an imperfect albeit but the best I could do product that I was able to publish it.