Home PageBlogErickson Biography Excerpt: Herbert Mann’s Thoughtful Reflections

By Herbert Mann

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 27 seconds

The following is taken from Herbert Mann’s contribution to the Erickson biography:

“Nobody had the dynamic personality that Erickson had. When Erickson got on the stage, you could hear a pin drop. There was an air of expectancy. His manner of speech, the way he looked at an audience with piercing eyes, and then,  of course, there was his knowledge…There was something about the way he looked at the audience and concentrated on each individual…his demonstrations seemed almost magical.

For example, he would get up on a platform [stage], start talking to a couple of hundred professional people, and after about 10 minutes, some individual near the back would get up from his seat and start walking toward the platform…You would recognize that he was a somnambulist. And everybody was very much impressed with how Erickson hypnotized this individual while he was talking to the group. But they did not realize that the foundation was laid the night before. That Erickson had met this individual in the corridor or some place, and recognized him as a good subject…and gave him post-hypnotic suggestions…He would not just say, ‘You will go into a deep trance.’ He would add so much to it: ‘You will go into a deep trance which will be so enjoyable. It will be long-lasting. You will feel it throughout your whole body. Now when you see me raise my hand or nod toward you, you will go into that same deep trance and feel that you would like very much to come up to the platform and join me and really enjoy the audience.’ So when this man would get up, everybody was so impressed…they did not realize the groundwork Erickson had laid…”

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