Common steps and sub-activities

Distraction

Distraction is constantly getting a person to divert their attention here there and everywhere, it is used in hypnosis and can induce trance conditions fairly quickly in the susceptible so take great care with this.

The seminars, workshops and lectures of Milton H Erickson – edited by Ernest Rossi and Margaret O Ryan

For example, at the present time you are listening to me, you are also aware of the fact that somebody is sitting to the left of you, to the right of you, behind you, and in front of you; you are aware of the fact that I am holding a microphone in my hands, that I'm sitting down, that there are lights in the ceiling, that there is a clock above my head - all of those irrelevant considerations. Why? Because we need to keep consciously in touch with our surroundings.

Our hypnotic thinking, however, is that of the unconscious mind; we give our attention solely to a particular idea, to a particular thought of value or significance in the immediate situation. In that kind of thinking, you pay no attention to irrelevant surroundings, because they aren't a part of the situation. In the hypnotic trance, you would listen to me; and you would merely listen to the ideas that I presented. It wouldn’t be necessary for you to include in your awareness the perceptions that I was sitting down, that I was in front of you, that I was holding a microphone in my hand, that I was sitting next to the table, and so forth. You would give your full, conscious attention solely and simply to the ideas being presented.