Individuals experiencing depression express a pervasive sense of hopelessness. The present is seen as negative and joyless and the future is just more of the same. It is important, in order to do any useful work, to attempt to modify this stable negative attribution that characterizes depressed thinking. Ideally the clinician will utilize material from the client to facilitate a trance induction aimed at the modification of hopelessness. Sometimes, in order to access a client's involvement in the process of change, it will be necessary to begin by working with little information other than the client's sense of hopelessness. The following script is one possible approach.
I wonder ... whether you can allow yourself to notice ... the heaviness of the depression ... like a heavy blanket of dark smoke ... Allow yourself... to let go, not struggle ... to simply experience the weight of the depression that ties you down ... And as you look around in your mind's eye, it is as if a fire has been through the landscape and left nothing untouched ... it seems as if the blackness, the barrenness, reaches all the way to the end of your vision ... without change ... and there is no way ... to be less tired ... weighed down ... by the heavy dark cloud of depression ... There is such stillness that... it seems as if... no change is possible ... that there will always be ... the endless wait ... to be ... always tied. And you know ... that this heaviness has been with you for some time ... and you have come to believe ... that this is the pattern of your life ... that the future will be ... more of the same ... and there will be no way out.
And perhaps ... as you notice the heaviness of your body ... I wonder if you can discover ... that some of that heaviness that weighs you down ... is a sense of increasing relaxation ... and your wait ... can feel like an untying. Let yourself ... become aware ... of the point where the wait becomes ... the burden of curiosity ...
to know ... what awaits you. As you allow yourself ... to continue to experience ... the comfortable weight... of a deep, relaxed tiredness. And perhaps now, perhaps in a short time ... it becomes possible ... to discover a part of you that begins to see another way ... to be less tied ... to discover ... that tomorrow is not tied to today. That it is possible ... to allow yourself to discover ... that something else awaits you ... and you can begin to untie this waiting and ... find a way forward.
As you look around ... in what seems like endless blackness ... I wonder if you can look closely enough to see ... the beginnings of new growth ... Because you know ... that Nature will always find a way ... to renew. Even when the landscape ... seems overwhelmingly barren ... it is always possible ... to find signs of change ... Because change can move so gradually ... perhaps you can begin to let yourself notice ... how much the comfortable weight of relaxation can seem lighter ... And the heavy darkness of night... becomes the lightness of day ... because you know ... that there will always be ... a moving forward ... And you can discover yourself less tied to the darkness ... and increasingly aware of signs of the lightness ahead ... More and more, it will be possible to be aware of renewal ... of the growth of new beginnings ... of patterns of light and shade ... and the greater lightness that awaits.
International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis. Edited by G. D. Burrows, R. O. Stanley, R B. Bloom
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISBNs: 0-471-97009-3 (Hardback); 0-470-84640-2 (Electronic)
Was this article helpful?
For anyone concerned that this is a report designed to teach readers how to convince crowds of people to act like chickens or dance to an unheard song just with a carefully placed keyword - relax. While hypnosis is often paraded in that form with large crowds visiting celebrity hypnosis experts to see what wonders they can perform, the majority of hypnosis used is to aid people seeking a solution to a problem they cannot resolve easily with any other method.