Hypnotic induction and ulterior transactions

Petruska Clarkson proposes that ulterior transactions are at least some times hypnotic inductions. That hypnotic inductions are a normal part of human communication.

Hypnosis in Transactional Analysis terms is communication without the Adult ego state being involved. The adult is decathected. This of course is what an ulterior transaction is. Communication does not occur between the A2 ego states but the A1 ego states.

Hypnotic inductions transactions Jpeg

This could explain the frequency and accuracy of game pairing. Humans are remarkably good at finding others to play psychological games with. Which when you think about it is no easy task. It is all unconscious so you can’t advertise for someone to play with. How do they find each other with such accuracy and regularity. One explanation would be that there is hypnotic induction involved by both parties

This would change the concept of life script a bit. Berne proposed that a child will define its life script in considerable detail identifying the scenes, players, outcomes and so forth. 

The hypnotic induction theory of life script formation would propose that the child develops only a generalised plan for their life script. Then in adulthood when she meets a person with a similar generalised plan they engage in hypnotic inductions with each other so as to get each other to think, feel and behave in the right way for the games to occur and the life script to be played out.

This also provides an interesting insight into the therapeutic process. Perhaps the effective therapist is one who can use ulterior transactions with the client as effective hypnotic inductions. It has long been noted that the cathartic expression of emotions by the client plays a significant role in positive psychological change or life script change.

One sure fire way to invite a client to decathect their Adult ego state is for them to start expressing feelings. They become regressed, the Adult is decathected and thus communication with the client’s Adult ego state will be less. The scene for hypnotic inductions is set. The hard part is how does the therapist structure their transactions with the client when they are regressed so as to make for effective hypnotic inductions. 

Regression ego states Jpeg

The importance of emotional catharsis in psychotherapy has been known since the time of Freud. Maybe there are two factors involved in this observation. Yes the expression of feelings can be psychologically beneficial for the client but also the client picks up hypnotic inductions at the same time.

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One Response to “Hypnotic induction and ulterior transactions”

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  1. maria bran says:

    Wonderful article!! Thank you! Can you give an example of how therapist might structure his/her transactions??

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