• Posted: May 2015
  • By: Michael Carroll

The U in Trance

In this month’s video, Stephen Gilligan refers to the ‘Theory of U’, the work documented Presence (SoL, 2004), Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer and their co authors Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers

In this month’s video, Stephen Gilligan refers to the ‘Theory of U’, the work documented Presence (SoL, 2004), Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer and their co authors Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers. In the monthly video, Stephen describes the theory of U as way of emptying out and letting go of attachments as you go down the U, and when you reach the bottom of the U you have reached a space where you are open to the ‘creative field’. The essence of the U,  is the deepest creative is not within us it’s in a much deeper space found outside of our individual conditioning by opening up to the positive future that wants to create itself. In this article I will explore how the U model can be used to describe change in trance.

Senge, Sharmer and Flowers in their work seek to explain how profound collective change occurs. Ultimately, they tackle universal and persistent questions – What are we here for? How would the world change if we learned to access, individually and collectively, our deepest capacity to sense and shape the future? What do we really care about? How can we serve an emerging future that averts environmental degradation and species destruction – including our own? Stephen Gilligan’s work explores we access the ‘generative field’, a shared space for change?

My early hypnosis trainers, John Overurf and Julie Silverthorn, utilised a U shape model, to explain how people enter trance, experience hypnotic phenomena, change in trance, post hypnotically respond, self-appreciate and reorientate back to the waking state in symmetrical fashion. I found this model particularly effective and in the first instance as a learning tool and then as a teaching methodology. 

Shift attention from external to internal awareness

All trance-work, is shift of attention. Most people experience a trance an increase in sensory awareness with a reduction in the bandwith of what is being consciously experienced. For example he client may be highly aware of the spot he/she is focussing on and visually deleting everything else. Or highly tuned into to the hypnotists voice and hearing nothing else.  In the kinaesthetic system, the client may experience heightened sensations in one part of the body and not the other. A person may also be highly aware of one representational system and a reduction of awareness in others. Trance generally is an increase in internally awareness , so the first part of the U is to use and induction where the client closes their eyes to the outside world and is thus internally focussed.

Utilise hypnotic phenomena

With the client’s attention internally orientated, the next stage of the U is to work with hypnotic phenomena. This can be idiomotor signals, arm catalepsy, or any other phenomena to deepen the experience

Access resources in trance

The client has now journeyed to the bottom part of the U in trance and has access to all their resources.  This is the Generative Trance State where in Gilligan’s work the client has access to the field.  Erickson asserted patients are patients because they are out of rapport with their unconscious mind and thus connecting with their unconscious is the way to resolve problems and issues. Whislt Erickson did not make a correlation between the depth of trance and the level of change, he did mostly use trance and/or shifts in attention to help his clients resolve their issues. Senge et el state that this part of the U is where people open up to the positive future that wants to create itself. In hypnosis, the hypnotherapist, may use metaphor, visualisation, direct or indirect suggestion to he the client acsess their resources to make the change

 

About The Author

Michael Carroll is the founder and course director of the NLP Academy and co-founder with John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair of the International Trainers Academy of NLP. He is the only NLP Master Trainer in the world certified by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair and he works closely with them in developing and delivering high quality NLP training.

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