* Enneagram Intro
* What People Say
NLP + Enneagram
Milton Erickson
Famous Examples
Style Specific Quotes
Tom Condon Interview
* Enneagram Exercises

* Bill Clinton's E-Style
* Death of Catastrophe

 Personality Trances:

 Hypnosis and the Enneagram

   When people are hypnotized, they demonstrate capacities called hypnotic phenomena. For instance, trance subjects will frequently forget the experience they had while hypnotized much like the rest of us forget our dreams when we awaken in the morning. This is the hypnotic phenomenon of amnesia.
    While there are about twenty “official” hypnotic phenomena agreed upon by researchers, all of them are intensified versions of natural behavior. In everyday life we have little bouts of amnesia when we forget facts, or names that we usually know, lose track of our car keys and so on.
    Within certain Enneagram styles, however, amnesia is a general tendency. Nines, for instance, practice an ongoing daily defensive amnesia; in their waking trance Nines forget their personal priorities, needs and goals. Other Enneagram styles are also prone to amnesia but Nines practice it as a central defense. All of us forget names but Nines forget their selves.
    Each Enneagram style uses specific hypnotic phenomena to support its open-eyed trance. Learning how to identify our hypnotic phenomenon is valuable because different kinds of trances require different approaches to awakening. The hypnotic phenomena for each Enneagram style are explained in-depth in the chapters on the styles. These are the most important:
    Hypermnesia. The opposite of amnesia. Instead of forgetting things, hypnotic subjects can experience vivid lifelike memories and relive past experiences in especially intense detail, as if the past is present again.
    In waking life we experience hypermnesia when we hear music that takes us back to another era of our life. Couples will sometimes share vivid memories when they hear music they associate with meeting (“They’re playing our song.”) Sometimes strong memories will be triggered by smells, like the smell of your grandmother’s cooking. Hypermnesia is a key ingredient to what’s called “living in the past“ as well as when we get momentarily lost in reminiscence and nostalgia.
    Within certain Enneagram trances, hypermnesia is a habitual tendency. Fours often practice it when they shy away from present reality and live in beautiful memories. Sixes often have hypermnesia for what was frightening in the past, using their vivid memories to justify their present fears and scare themselves about the future.
     Trance Identification refers to our unconscious capacity to partly or completely assume the identity of another person. Hypnotic subjects are sometimes encouraged to use their depth of imagination to pretend they are someone else. This is used therapeutically to help the client imagine what it would be like to be someone without his or her problem or someone else who has abilities that the client lacks.
    We practice trance identification in everyday life when we have a heroine, hero or someone who has skills or capacities that we admire. We identify with that person, and try to follow their example, imagining what it would be like to be them. All children trance identify with their parents, for instance, and it is intrinsic to how they learn.
    Twos, Threes and Fours are especially prone to trance identification. When they are confused about the difference between who they are and the roles that they play, they often pretend to be someone they are not. This can be an outside person or an idealized version of themselves but in either case they identify with someone who they don’t truly feel themselves to be.
    Positive Hallucination. We habitually pay attention to only a fraction of our awareness, invariably perceiving only some of what’s in front of us, deleting the rest and filling in the gaps with our imaginations. Positive hallucination means seeing, hearing or feeling things that aren’t physically present.
    Hypnotic subjects are capable of unusually vivid perceptions of people and things that are not there. Someone in a trance could open her eyes and see her long-dead grandmother in a nearby chair, as real as life. A hypnotherapist might then use the client’s hallucination to help her resolve an inner difficulty.
    In daily life we practice positive hallucination when we use our imagination to see things that aren’t present. Some people decide where to go to dinner by visualizing imaginary dishes of food and then tasting them. Architects are paid to see buildings that don’t yet exist. Someone redecorating their living room may see imaginary furniture and color schemes.
    In a broad way, all Enneagram styles positively hallucinate but Fives, Sixes and Sevens are especially prone to it when they project their fear and power. Fives hallucinate social expectations while fearful Sixes have vivid imaginations for negative possibility – paranoia, for instance, is based on positive hallucination. Sevens hallucinate options, plans and possibilities and live in imaginary futures to escape the present.
    Negative hallucination. Hypnotic subjects can also practice negative hallucination – not seeing what’s there. Under hypnosis people can open their eyes and be unable to see someone who is physically present. This is used therapeutically to desensitize clients to uncomfortable stimuli, or to help them get over phobias and obsessive behavior by teaching them to ignore environment al triggers.
    People who wear glasses sometimes forget they are on their nose. Drivers sometimes fail to see plainly visible Stop signs. In everyday life we practice negative hallucination when we look for our car keys and later discover them in plain sight; or when we stand at the open refrigerator and say, ”Where is the juice?” while family members laugh and point at the juice in front of us that we can’t see. 
    All Enneagram styles practice negative hallucination – everyone selectively deletes some part of their awareness in favor of others. But Eights, Nines and Ones are especially prone to it; all three styles tend to overlook the obvious and negatively hallucinate their own priorities, needs and selves.
    Age Regression. Another common hypnotic phenomenon practiced in waking life is age regression – the experience of subjectively becoming younger than your years. Milton Erickson defined age regression as “the tendency on the part of the personality to revert to some method or form of expression belonging to an earlier period of personality development.” That describes what we do whenever we have a psychological problem: a part of us is trapped in the past, coping in the best way he or she knows how.
    When hypnotic subjects remember and relive memories (hypermnesia) they often begin to act as though they are the age they were at the time of the remembered incident. A hypnotherapist might use age regression to take a client into the past and help them resolve an old difficulty by reliving it. Or create new memories that change the client’s experience of her history. Age regression is used in many different psychotherapies under different names.
    In real life we age regress when we react to someone in the present as we once responded to our parents or childhood teachers. When we find something extremely funny the child in us also comes out. If you have ever spent long periods of time around small children, you probably began to think and even talk like a child. When you next encountered an adult there could have been a moment of adjustment as you returned to grown up thinking and talking.
    All Enneagram styles are capable of age regression and most psychological difficulties have a frozen-in-time component to them. However, age regression is especially relevant to specific personality trances. Twos, Fours, Sixes and Sevens are generally more liable to feel childlike, victimized, helpless or enthusiastic in an immature way.
    Age progression. The opposite of age regression is age progression – feeling and acting older than your years. Therapists use age progression to help clients imagine a new level of maturity within themselves or to “time travel” into a future in which they have grown beyond their present limits.
    All Enneagram styles are capable of age progression but Eights, Threes and Ones are especially prone to it. People with these styles often come from families where there are power or competence vacuums that a child is invited to step into. The child becomes a little adult, taking on the manner and responsibilities of someone older. Later, as adults, they may remember their childhoods as short or even nonexistent.
    Generally, if you are prone to habitual age regression then you need to learn to age progress, at least up to your actual age. Age regressed people do not, for instance, need to get in touch with their “inner child” but rather their “inner adult.” Age progressed people, by contrast, usually need to get in touch with a young self that they have psychologically hidden away.


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