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, his 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 Hypnotherapist: 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.


Ego-Strengthening Suggestions

During this deep sleep… you are going to feel physically stronger and fitter in every way. You will feel more alert… more wide awake… more energetic. You will become much less easily tired… much less easily fatigued… much less easily discouraged… much less easily depressed. Every day… you will become so deeply interested in whatever you are doing… in whatever is going on around you… that your mind will become completely distracted away from yourself. You will no longer think nearly so much about yourself… you will no longer dwell nearly so much upon yourself and your difficulties… and you will become much less conscious of yourself… much less preoccupied with yourself… and with your own feelings. Every day… your nerves will become stronger and steadier… your mind calmer and clearer… more composed… more placid… more tranquil. You will become much less easily worried… much less easily agitated… much less easily fearful and apprehensive… much less easily upset.

You will be able to think more clearly… you will be able to concentrate more easily. You will be able to give up your whole undivided attention to whatever you are doing… to the complete exclusion of everything else. Consequently… your memory will rapidly improve… and you will be able to see things in their true perspective… without magnifying your difficulties… without ever allowing them to get out of proportion. Every day… you will become emotionally much calmer… much more settled… much less easily disturbed. Every day… you will become… and you will remain… more and more completely relaxed… and less tense each day… both mentally and physically… even when you are no longer attending here. And as you become… and as you remain… more relaxed… and less tense each day… so… you will develop much more confidence in yourself… more confidence in your ability to do… not only what you have… to do each day… but more confidence in your ability to do whatever you ought to be able to do… without fear of failure… without fear of consequences…. Without unnecessary anxiety… without uneasiness. Because of this… every day… you will feel more and more independent… more able to ‘stick up for yourself’… to stand upon your own feet… to hold your own… no matter how difficult or trying things may be.

Every day… you will feel a greater feeling of personal well-being… A greater feeling of personal safety… and security… than you have felt for a long, long time. And because all these things will begin to happen… exactly as I tell you they will happen… more and more rapidly… powerfully… and completely… with every treatment I give you… you will feel much happier… much more contented… much more optimistic in every way. You will consequently become much more able to rely upon… to depend upon… yourself… your own efforts… your own judgment… your own opinions. You will feel much less need… to have to rely upon… or to depend upon… other people.

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Disclaimer: This script was not written by Career Accelerators. All scripts in this collection have been sourced from various free sites on the Internet, and reprinted here for your convenience. Every effort has been made to ensure that all scripts in this archive belong to the Public Domain. You are free to read, download and use these scripts with your clients. If you wish to print them you must be sure to include their copyright notices. No copyright infringement is intended. If you believe that a script has been published here in error, or if you are the author of a script and would like it removed, please contact us.

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