This book describes an entirely new way of conducting hypnotherapeutic interventions - Stephen Gilligan's generative trance. The first generation of trance work, the traditional hypnosis that still holds sway in most places, considers that both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind of the client are, to put it bluntly, idiots. So trance work involves first 'knocking out' the conscious mind and then talking to the unconscious mind like a 2-year old that needs to be told how to behave. Milton Erickson created the second generation of trance work. He approached the unconscious as having creative wisdom and each person as extraordinarily unique. Thus, rather than trying to programme the unconscious with new instructions, Erickson saw trance as an experiential learning state where a person's own creative unconscious could generate healing and transformation. At the same time Erickson, for the most part, carried the same low opinion of the conscious mind. Thus, Ericksonian hypnosis looks to bypass the conscious mind with indirect suggestions and dissociation and depotentiate it with confusion techniques.Stephen Gilligan's third generation of trance work sees this negative attitude toward the conscious mind as unnecessary and ultimately unhelpful.
Creative action requires a skilful conscious mind to realize the potential of the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is needed to set and maintain intention, to sense and evaluate multiple pathways of possibility, to properly name and represent experience, and to organize actions in a sequential and linear way. William James used to say that the unconscious mind is the horse and the conscious mind is the rider: it's the relationship between the two that is most important. This book shows you how to harness that relationship for a much more powerful and effective therapeutic intervention.