Volume One Foreword by Shaun Brookhouse
“In my opinion, Trevor Silvester’s work is the most significant step in the understanding of hypnotic language since Bandler and Grinder’s work in 1975.”
It is a great honour and privilege for me to be writing the foreword to this important new volume by Trevor Silvester. I am often asked “What makes hypnosis more than just talking to someone with their eyes closed?” I have spent much of my professional life looking to answer that seemingly simple question. Opinions are divided as to what makes hypnosis work or not, one thing that remains a constant however, is that great hypnotists and hypnotherapists have a wonderful command of language. It is my assertion that it is this mastery of language that makes hypnosis effective as a therapeutic modality.
With so many new texts on the subject of hypnotherapy it is important, I believe, to put this work into the context of the continuum of hypnotic literature. Many of the original textbooks on the subject were written by British professionals, starting in 1843 Neurypnology by James Braid was the first great book on hypnosis, in fact, it is in this work where hypnosis is reputed to have gotten its name. Shortly thereafter, in 1846, James Esdaile wrote Mesmerism in India which looked at medical possibilities of Mesmerism (Hypnosis) in the treatment of pain and for surgical procedures. In 1903, British Physician Milne Bramwell wrote the historical and theoretical work on hypnosis Hypnotism Its History Practice and Theory. In these early texts, hypnosis was looked at in a fairly procedural manner, without much if any thought regarding how hypnotic language works.
In the early to mid twentieth century, the literature in hypnosis was dominated by American practitioners. The most widely read of these, and arguably the most widely published, was Milton H Erickson, MD. At this point in the history of hypnosis the power of language as the key to its effect first started to be looked at in much greater detail. In his works, Time Distortion in Hypnosis (1954) and Practical Application of Medical and Dental Hypnosis (1961) Erickson began to look at the nuances of language in hypnosis. This trend continued in the 1960’s with the publication of Dave Elman’s Findings in Hypnosis (1964) and in the classic British textbook Medical and Dental Hypnosis and Its Clinical Applications by Dr John Hartland (1966).
In 1975 the proper study of hypnotic language was researched by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the text Patterns of the Hypnotic Language Techniques of Milton H Erickson MD Vol 1 & 2. These researchers codified the linguistic patterns of the late Dr Milton H Erickson. It was a great leap forward, but the problem with this coding is that one needed a working knowledge of general semantics to fully understand it, which most hypnotherapists do not have. This coding is taught on most NLP trainings worldwide as the Milton Model, and from my experiences as a Master Trainer of NLP, very few of my contemporaries fully understood the nuances of hypnotic language patterns.
Trevor Silvester is a trainer who does. His pragmatic approach to hypnotic language is contained in this volume. It is, in my opinion, the first easily explained and complete coding of the phenomena of hypnotic language patterns. When I say easily explained, I would like to emphasise that does not mean simple. Silvester’s theoretical approach to hypnotic language is comprehensive and extensive. Where Silvester has succeeded where others have not is that he has been able to explain these concepts in a way for the reader to easily understand, and also makes it easy to utilise in one’s clinical practice. To my mind there could be no better description of this approach than the one Silvester uses…….. Wordweaving™. In my opinion, Trevor Silvester’s work is the most significant step in the understanding of hypnotic language since Bandler and Grinder’s work in 1975.
Dear reader, please do not only read this book, absorb it, by doing this you will enhance your hypnotic abilities tenfold.
MA(Ed), DCH, PhD, PGDHP, HPD, FNCH
Chairman, National Council for Hypnotherapy
June, 2002, Manchester