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This book is a continuation of our earlier work in Hypnotic Realities (Erickson, Rossi, &Rossi, 1976) and Hypnotherapy: An Exploratory Casebook (Erickson & Rossi, 1979),whereby the senior author, Milton H. Erickson, trains the junior author, Ernest L. Rossi, inclinical hypnosis. Taken together, these three volumes present a deepening view of whathypnosis is and the ways in which a creative process of hypnotherapy can be achieved. Thematerial in these volumes touches ultimately on the nature of human consciousness andsuggests a variety of open-ended approaches to facilitate its exploration in hypnotherapy aswell as in more formal research situations.Indirect communication is the overall concept we use to cover what we have variouslydescribed as two-level communication, the naturalistic approach, and the utilizationapproach. The common denominator of all these approaches is that hypnotherapy involvessomething more than simple talk on a single, objective level. The readily apparent, overtcontent of a message is like the tip of an iceberg. The recipient of indirect communication isusually not aware of the extent to which his or her associative processes have been set inmotion automatically in many directions. Hypnotic suggestion received in this manner resultsin the automatic evocation and utilization of the patient's own unique repertory of responsepotentials to achieve therapeutic goals that might have been otherwise beyond reach. In ourprevious volumes we outlined the operation of this process as the microdynamics of tranceinduction and suggestion. Although this is the essence of the senior author's originalcontribution to modern suggestion theory, we will review in this volume some of the manymeans and meanings that other authors have used as they struggled to reach anunderstanding of indirect communication in the long history of hypnosis.The first section of this volume presents an historically important lecture on clinicalhypnosis by the senior author wherein we witness his transition from the older authoritarianapproach to hypnosis to the new permissive approaches, which he pioneered. Due to theunique nature of this presentation, an audio cassette of it accompanies this volume. Westrongly recommend that our professional readers listen to this cassette and savor it a bitbefore dealing with the lecture as presented in the text.

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