Book Review: A Guide To Trance Land – Bill O’Hanlon
For many people in the world of hypnotherapy, there are few that could compare with the magic and wisdom of Milton Erickson. Easily up there with the likes of Dave Elman, what Erickson did for the world of hypnotherapy could not be measured. For that reason, many of the people who had the good fortune to study under Milton Erickson are often equally revered and, fortunately, many of them are still very vocal about sharing the wisdom and experience that they acquired with Erickson.
In Australia, we are fortunate to have the wonderful Rob McNeilly, who’s book ‘Learning Hypnosis – A Common Everyday Approach After Erickson‘ I reviewed in February this year. Given that Erickson was based in Pheonix, Arizona, many of his students were from the US, including the wonderful Bill O’Hanlon.
It should be noted that O’Hanlon has written many, many books over the years and continues to also provide online course options too, all of which are well worth exploring.
‘A Guide To Trance Land’ is subtitled ‘A Practical Handbook Of Ericksonian and Solution-Oriented Hypnosis’. It isn’t very big; in fact, it is a little over 100 pages however O’Hanlon does manage to pack a lot into it, giving bite-sized explanations on various concepts and then following it up with a ‘quote example’ on how it can be used.
The book itself is separated into 13 sections covering permission, presupposition, splitting, linking, interspersal, introduction to other elements (such as truisms and confusion), the language of trance, the nature of hypnosis, what to do once the person is in trance to get the clinical results, inclusion as intervention and the process of Ericksonian hypnothearpy. As I said before, for a book that is a little over 100 pages, O’Hanlon manages to pack a lot in.
I loved his description of utilization which has says is ‘that the hypnotherapist should accept and use whatever the person presents as part and parcel of the trance and the treatment. If people pace back and forth in the office, the hypnotherapist does not insist that they sit down, uncross their arms and legs, or relax and close their eyes before beginning the trance. No, the pacing will be accepted and used as a way a person will start the trance.”
This is a really easy read but so informative on many levels – a great one to have beside the bed if you want to read a page or two before going to sleep. For those exploring Ericksonian language patterns, this book will help to embed these along with coming up with a few ideas as you go. Most of all, it highlights even the importance of some of the smaller details and how they all, collectively, produce the experience for our clients.
Why not also watch Bill talking about Solution-Oriented Hypnosis here:
You can also watch an excellent interview with Bill O’Hanlon with Rob McNeilly here: