Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Morality in Using Hypnosis by Miles A. Maxwell

Most people walk through the world in a trance of disempowerment. Our work is to transform that into a trance of empowerment.
-Milton H. Erikson

A lot of mental healing once took place in a little white house in Paradise Valley, east Phoenix, Arizona. People would come from all over the world to be treated by of one of the greatest and most effective hypnotherapists who ever lived, Dr. Milton H. Erickson. Late in life, Erickson had severe ongoing symptoms from the polio he contracted as a youth of seventeen. Wheelchair-bound, he used his mental techniques on himself to manage the pain, which most mornings took a good hour to overcome. Typically, he spent the rest of his day teaching other hypnotherapists, or seeing his patients.

One of his most interesting cases1 was a woman with a severe dieting and binge problem. Her weight fluctuated regularly as she reduced down to 130 pounds, then binged her way back up to 180 — then reduced again. Over and over the cycle would repeat. Reduce — binge — reduce, 130 to 180, back to 130.

When she first came to see Dr. Erickson, he said he could help her, but she wouldn’t like what he told her to do.She said she didn’t care, she’d do anything to keep her weight down to 130 pounds.Erickson insisted she really wouldn’t like what he had in mind. Again, she was adamant. She wanted to get the weight off and keep it off. Three times she agreed she would do whatever he told her, follow his instructions to the letter. He made her promise — twice while she was conscious — and a third time after taking her into a hypnotic trance.When he had her third promise, while she was still in trance, what he told her was simple: He wanted her to eat. And to keep on eating until she passed her 180 pound limit, and ate herself all the way up to 200 pounds.

She was shocked. She didn’t want to do it. She actually got down on her knees and begged Erickson to let her set aside their agreement, to be released from her promise. But he insisted, and required her to use his scale too.So she ate. And she gained. She passed 180 and 185. She passed 190, 195, 197.

At 199 pounds, she said, “That’s close enough. That’s almost 200!” she begged. “Please!”

But no, Erickson insisted on the full 200 pounds.

Finally, she did it. She’d eaten herself all the way up to 200. Now, he said, she could reduce. So with great relief, she began reducing. 190, 180, 160, 135— until she got down to the 130 pounds she’d always wanted. And there she stayed. From that point on, never to binge again. Erickson called this method Breaking The Prohibition. By reversing her reduce-gain-reduce cycle to it’s opposite — gain more, then reduce, by breaking through her old upper limit, she no longer felt comfortable anywhere near 180 pounds. She couldn’t ever stand gaining weight again.

Erickson’s house is now a tourable museum
1401 E. Hayward Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85020

pg. 123-124 My Voice will Go With You, The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson,

Derren Brown, the British stage hypnotist, once did an episode on his television show Fear & Faith where he gave an atheist, a dark-haired, slightly heavy female named Natalie—a scientist in the field of stem-cell research—the experience of an artificial religious conversion.

“Can you ever imagine being a believer?” he asks.

“Never have been,” she says. “Can’t imagine being.”

He performs this miracle in fifteen minutes.

On hidden camera inside a candle-lit church, Brown uses various Empathic and Linguistic Reprogramming techniques to bring forward the young atheist’s past feelings — for her father and other life relationships.

“What’s your relationship been like with your dad?” he asks.

“Brilliant. Put him on a pedestal.” She admits she wished he could have been around home more, but still, “He’s my hero.”

“Is he? That’s such a lovely, lovely thing” Brown agrees with her, establishing rapport.

Brown asks Natalie to imagine what it would have been like when she was little, “If your dad could have been there all the time?” He begins to tap his fingers on the table as he speaks, to anchor her feelings, making them available for instant recall. “How cherished would that ideal father figure make you (tap, tap) feel?”

“Very special. Honored.”

He asks her if she ever had things in her life that didn’t work out. She admits there were. “Relationships . . .” Brown gets her to agree maybe they could have somehow been part of a grand plan just for her. He links this suggestion to her sense of being perfectly cherished by an ideal father figure, again by tapping his fingers on the table.

He asks if she’s ever been to a mountaintop, if she’s ever experienced a sense of awe. “What is awe?” Brown asks.

She answers, “Stars, the night sky . . .” and Brown joins these feelings of awe to her grand plan by tapping his fingers on the table.

“It would be very rare to get all those things, these feelings together,” he says, using his hands to symbolically push her feelings together.

Once he has all the pieces in place and connected — an ideal father figure, awe, a sense of being cherished — Brown asks to be excused, while he “Nips out for a minute.” He suggests, that we can piece “all of these together into new (taps fingers on table) experiences, and “I do think there are so many beliefs and — I said, new experiences (taps forehead) that don’t even quite register that they’re there, that can really hit us in a very real way, really surprise ourselves.”

As he leaves, he holds an open palm, fingers spread, about a foot in front of Natalie’s face and suggests, “This can be right in front of us, until one day we just stand up and feel — that — new — thing . . .” again holding an open hand before her face, “. . . which can be very real and powerful.”

At the cathedral's door he calls out, “You can get up, stretch your legs . . . get up and move around if you like.” Another embedded command. A minute later Natalie does stand up, moving her face through the spot in the air Brown’s hand had been, and experiences a tremendous emotional release,
something she easily confuses — considering the  church surroundings in which it takes place — with a genuine religious conversion.

Though watching Natalie’s emotional outpouring can be beneficial to us all, it’s hard on her. It reminds me of an old Star Trek episode where Spock cries — a forced, cruel emotional crisis, logical Vulcans are unable to endure.

Did Brown respect Natalie’s wishes, her choices? Did Natalie really know what she was getting into before the show? Not really. She makes clear she had no idea what to expect.

When Natalie’s tears have dried, Brown does release her from the effects of her experience by giving her additional contradicting hypnotic suggestions, then explains how he did what he did to her. Finally, he allows her to see the recording the audience watched of her going through it all.

Is this enough compensation for what Natalie endured?

Click here and judge for yourself: Derren Brown- How to Convert an Atheist

The tall, dark-haired minister Franklin Reveal in my State Of Reason Mystery is an accomplished practicer of Linguistic Reprogramming. His great empathy allows him the ability to read people, to feel in sync with those he helps — using techniques modeled partly after Milton Erickson. From helping a woman injured in the nuclear attack on New York City  conquer her pain — to drug use and lack of motivation, to overcoming fear and sadness, Franklin’s able to effect deep and rapid change in the members of his church congregation, solving a wide range of their problems.

Franklin’s senior minister Ralph Maples becomes angry when he finds out Franklin has been using hypnosis instead of prayer and the Bible. When Ralph threatens to have him fired, this doesn’t bother Franklin nearly as much as whether he’s using these techniques morally, whether he has his subject’s
permission first.

With one exception.

Desperate to rescue his sister, Franklin uses therapeutic trance to convince Red Cross Blood Coordinator Chuck Farndike to get military authorization to fly a helicopter into the City. He amplifies Chuck’s natural desire deep down to do what Chuck really wanted to do anyway. To step away from blood donations and get right into the thick of things.

Many people wouldn’t worry about coercing Chuck if their sister’s life were on the line. But Franklin feels guilt and regret over his desperate decision — and has doubts his trance induction of Chuck will actually accomplish anything anyway.

He’s shocked and surprised when, not an hour later, Chuck responds so strongly he — well, I won’t ruin it for you.
LOSS OF REASON is, so you can enjoy the whole tale for yourself.

Milton Erickson’s morality was based on the idea that everybody ought to be happy. Franklin would agree. But whose job is it to define happiness? The hypnotist? Or the one being hypnotized?

Hypnosis is a tremendously powerful tool. With that power ought to come the moral responsibility to respect an individual’s free will, their conscious choices, to make certain the hypnotist has his subject’s agreement before helping make any changes that person may desire to their subconscious mind. It's the most valuable possession anyone ever has.

About Miles
Long before 9/11, Miles used to lie in bed at night in his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side --just across the park from where Cynthia, Steve and Melissa would be living -- and listen to the sirens. Wondering when someone would drop "The Big One" on The City.
. . . Wondering how the millions of survivors -- if there would be any -- could possibly escape . . . the city government itself encouraging twenty-four hour personal survival kits -- food, medicines, other critical essential personal items. 
As time went on, whenever Miles would leave The City for a day or so for one reason or another, he would return with a creeping, growing, building sense of dread. Driving toward that beautiful skyline on I-95 or the 1&9, he would look at the skyscrapers and think, "Is this the day?"
He stuck with The City. It was his home. But to excise the paranoia, he spent his spare time writing the beginnings of this story: Loss Of Reason . . .
Was it truly paranoia? He watched TV that terrible day, like all Americans, with a horror that would have been sheer terror had he stayed, as the Twin Towers rumbled down. Not as a pinnacle of terrorism in The City, but as the beginning of things much worse to come.

Miles A. Maxwell -- out of Cheyenne, Wyoming -- is the author of Loss Of Reason, Search For Reason and the forthcoming Finding Reason of the State Of Reason series.

Connect with Miles 
+Miles A. Maxwell 

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. - Albert Einstein

"I wondered what other obstacles would be thrown at us. I was prepared to fight whatever stood in our way so we could live our lives together. What made me different and why did I have to fight at all just to LIVE? I looked around at all of my classmates drinking, laughing and dancing, which I guess was appropriate because after all it was a party. But I envied their simplicity and wanted more than anything to live their unburdened lives. Most of them coasted on through, living in contentment, nothing especially good happened but nothing terribly bad either. While over here I was on a roller coaster, I had giant triumphs where life was spared and nosedives to hell where I faced death."               - Faye, Questioning the Universe ( My Work in Progress)

It has been a month since I sent QtU off to be edited. I was told not to touch or even look at it until I am ready to make revisions. I don't know if all of you writers out there can relate, but I am having MAJOR separation anxiety. I miss my fictional characters, Matt & Faye! 

Do you want a FREE copy of  INTRODUCING CHARLOTTE?

View Introducing Charlotte on Amazon
View Introducing Charlotte on SmashWords
Charlotte Hains is an amazing author and I will be reviewing this book for my blog next week. She was generous enough to offer my readers a FREE ecopy for your reading pleasure. All we ask in return is an honest review. DM me on Twitter @CherylAMnty23 or Email me and I will provide the code. 
It is a must read! #SEXY

Please check out Kelly Moore's Cover Reveal of Pieced Together .
"For both of them, it's like they were never apart. His body craves her's, and she immediately longs to submit to his magnetism. Brogan is terrified of giving into their passion. Can he be the man she needs him to be?"
Kyren and Brogan's Story Continues... HERE

I am working on a blog that I have titled PARDON MY POETRY. I am a writer but definitely not a poet! So don't be shy...Join me and share your shitty poetry with the world. Send me your bad poems and help me make this post a success.  
Contact Me:
Twitter: @CherylAMnty23

Hope you are having a wonderful week Lovelies! A HUGE thanks to Miles Maxwell for Guest Blogging and to Charlotte Hains & Kelly Moore for sending me copies of their amazing books.
"When Writing the Story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen." Go forth and create something beautiful! XoXo- Cheryl


  1. Wow! So much stuff this week. Loved it. And okay. PARDON MY POETRY 😃. Looks promising & fun. Can't wait 😊

    1. I have been working on this one for a while and had so much I wanted to say. I was afraid of overloading everyone. Glad you liked it! Have a wonderful week! =)

    2. You did right by sharing about it. Yeah. Loved it. Thanks. You too have a great week ahead :)

  2. Thank you so very much Cheryl for having Miles A. Maxwell on your blog, as a new guest writer. I am a voracious reader, and have a varied, but short list of favorite authors currently. He has most recently joined that most valuable list of mine, one reason is that while reading from his very first book (as well as the one that has so far followed it, in his enthralling, nail biting, and sure to be appealing to most anyone new series) the reader can very easily tell how much time, and effort that he just put into the research alone, much less the writing itself. Another reason he has earned my respect as a really great new author to take a chance, and spend some of my precious time reading, is because he is not afraid to push the envelope with what he speaks about in his books. He really makes you think, and want to expand your mind into new, and interesting areas that maybe you really never considered before. I truly think that an either serious reader, or a first timer just starting into the wonderful world of reading some excellent books, they will not be disappointed in this author. I can guarantee that you will come away smarter, after learning at least one interesting thing that you didn't know before reading one of his books, but I bet you that you will end up learning a whole lot more than just one thing. Cheryl, I really hope that you are planning to have Mr. Maxwell back many times again because it was a great, an very informatively written article. I am also glad that I found your wonderful blog, and will now be following it regularly since you've shown that you not only have great taste in writers but are also not afraid to take the high road, or the one less traveled, and give a great new author a chance to share his books with maybe other interested readers too. Keep up the good work, and good luck with your blog Cheryl!

    1. Thank you so much Lisa. I agree that Miles is an extremely talented writer. You will be happy to know that we are already discussing a follow up article. I am so grateful for your support! Hope you have a wonderful week!