I wasn’t personally involved in this story. A very good friend related it to me one evening and I hope I can do as good a job of telling it here, as my friend did telling it to me.
Please keep in mind this experience didn’t occur within the context of a formal hypnotherapy session–it is more of an example of the use of ‘conversational hypnosis’ and please not that my friend had already created rapport with the ‘client’ through previous work they had done. Also, notice the pattern interrupts, state changes, the pacing and leading.
My friend Clint had someone he had done some work with, who I will call Bill, and out of the work they had done together, a friendship blossomed.
One day, Bill gave Clint a call. He was very excited about a new position he had been offered within his company. He explained that, in many ways, the new offer was overdue recognition for his hard work, his superior abilities and dedication. It would mean significantly more money, more responsibility and a chance to travel. All of these changes were things that Bill desired and had been working very hard to obtain.
When Clint asked when he was going to start, Bill replied that he wasn’t going to take the job. Of course, Clint asked why not. After some hemming and hawing, it finally came down to the fact that taking the new position would require Bill to get his hair cut and he was not going to cut his hair. Clint said that he thought that was fine. After all, it was Bill’s career – he could take that job or not.
But Clint also admitted to being a bit confused by Bill’s answer and he commented that, while he couldn’t help but notice that Bill liked to wear his hair long, he had never heard Bill talk about his hair with the same level of excitement and enthusiasm that he had just used when talking about this new job and he admitted to Bill that he was a bit baffled by that.
Bill told him that he was going to be in Los Angeles the following week and asked if Clint could make some time to see him. Of course, Clint told him to call when he got in.
When they got together, the discussion eventually turned to the conversation they had the previous week. Clint asked Bill for a little more information because he was still confused. After some more hemming and hawing, Bill finally told him that he had to keep his hair long to cover his deformed ears. He said that he had really, really big ears and that he had always worn his hair long to cover them up. They were embarrassing.
After awhile, Clint asked Bill if he would let him see one of his ears and Bill finally agreed. Bill lifted his hair up and Clint immediately exclaimed, “My God”! When Bill thrust around with a shocked look on his face, Clint finished his sentence, “My God! Your ears look just like mine!” Naturally, Bill had a lot invested in this belief of his and was reluctant to just accept that his ears weren’t actually all that grotesque. The two of them ended up in front of a mirror together with a measuring tape and Bill finally had to admit that his ears didn’t really look any different than Clint’s and also that Clint’s ears looks pretty normal.
Conversationally, Clint led Bill to relate some of the things that were going on in his life about the time that he decided he had to grow his hair out in order to cover his ears.
This is what they discovered.
When Bill was around the age of nine, he used to walk home from school every day where he was always greeted by his mother who would immediately scoop him up into a hug and cover him with kisses. After the kisses Bill and his mother would go to the kitchen together for milk and cookies where Bill enjoyed his mother’s complete attention while telling her about his day at school. As you can imagine, this was the high point of the young man’s day.
After this pattern had been established over a period of time, there came a day when Bill came home from school as usual and his mother was preoccupied on the phone and evidently had forgotten about the time. Instead of being there to greet him in the usual way, his mother was startled as Bill burst through the door the way excited nine year old boys do.
Being startled, Bill’s mother had a frightened look on her face when she turned towards the door. She immediately turned back to the phone and said, “I have to go. Billy’s home from school and you know how little boys have big ears.”
Bill got his hair cut and took the job.