ericksonian conscious unconscious

Ericksonian Exercise: Conscious/Unconscious Distinctions


Here’s a quick exercise to increase your flexibility with a particular ericksonian technique. Erickson used to make distinctions between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Then he might frame a problem as being in the conscious mind and the solution in the unconscious.

Then he’d help them elicit an unconscious resource to help them solve the problem. But before we get there, it’s good to gain skill at making the distinction in their minds between conscious and unconscious.

Step 1: Make distinctions between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Simply take the first of the word or phrase pairings and attribute it to the conscious mind. Then take the second word or phrase of the pairing and attribute it to the unconscious mind.

Conscious/Unconscious Distinction

may or may not understand/responds
may or may not be aware of…/learns

Example: “The conscious mind hears and the unconscious mind understands.”

Come up with your own word or phrase pairing that make sense to you. Get to where you can go with these distinctions for a couple of minutes without thinking about it. Have fun!


About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. This is a sneaky and wonderful way to occupy the conscious mind and get the unconscious to pay attention. It’ll make trance happen all by itself. Very, very cool.

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