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Mind Your Head Brain Training Book by Sue Stebbins and Carla Clark
by Sue Stebbins &
Carla Clark

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Ego Strengthening Tool


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The Hartland Ego-Strengthening Technique

John Hartland was a psychiatrist, member of the British Society for Medical & Dental Hypnosis (BSMDH), and edited the Journal of Medical Hypnosis. He became an important figure in the history of hypnotherapy with the publication of his influential article on the ‘ego-strengthening technique’ in 1960.

John Harland's status was subsequently confirmed with the publication of a comprehensive textbook on clinical hypnotherapy, Medical & Dental Hypnosis (1966).

Another famous authority on hypnosis, Ernest Hilgard, singles out this technique in his foreword to the third edition of Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis (Waxman, 1989).

Perhaps some mention should be made of one of the initiatives made early by Dr Hartland that has been very influential upon the practices of other hypnotherapists: what he called the ego-strengthening technique, as contrasting with or supplementing symptom removal. He claimed that he had a 70% success rate with patients in brief hypnotherapy (less than 20 sessions), using ego-strengthening alone, that is, without any attention to symptom removal.

The technique is very straightforward, and employs direct suggestions of a highly general nature, aimed at increasing confidence in the subject. Because of its simplicity this script is well suited to general purpose use among novice therapists. It can also be easily adapted for general use in self-hypnosis practice.

Ego-Strengthening Script

Adapted from Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis

Preparation of Subject for Post-Hypnotic Suggestion

You have now become so deeply relaxed… so deeply asleep… that your mind has become so sensitive… so receptive to what I say… that everything that I put into your mind… will sink so deeply into the unconscious part of your mind… and will cause so deep and lasting an impression there… that nothing will eradicate it.

Consequently… these things that I put into your unconscious mind… will begin to exercise a greater and greater influence over the way you think… over the way you feel… over the way you behave.

And… because these things will remain… firmly imbedded in the unconscious part of your mind… after you have left here… when you are no longer with me… they will continue to exercise the same great influence… over your thoughts… your feelings… and your actions… just as strongly… just as surely… just as powerfully… when you are back home… or at work… as when you are with me in this room.

You are now so very deeply asleep… that everything that I tell you that is going to happen to you… for your own good… will happen… exactly as I tell you. And every feeling… that I tell you that you will experience… you will experience… exactly as I tell you. And these same things will continue to happen to you… every day… just as strongly… just as surely… just as powerfully… when you are back home… or at work… as when you are with me in this room.

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