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Systemic hypnotherapy: deconstructing entrenched ambivalent meanings in self-organizing systems.

Systemic hypnosis is often seen as equivalent to an Ericksonian approach even though they reflect different epistemologies. Second-order articulations of systems theory emphasize the self-organization and autonomy of living systems: all systemic actions are aimed at the conservation of the system's autonomy; loss of autonomy means death as a system. In human systems verbal and non-verbal language reflects the meanings central to the system's autonomy and its conservation. Previous work has shown how symptomatic behaviour can be seen as linguistic expressions of the conservation of an ambivalent autonomy (Fourie, 1996a, 2003). Such behaviour therefore implies, expresses and even recursively conserves certain meanings that in time have become entrenched in the system. In this view, psychotherapy is aimed at the co-operative deconstruction of such entrenched meanings, helping them to transform into more functional, less ambivalent, understandings and actions. It is the aim of this paper to show how hypnosis can be employed for this purpose in a way which is coherent with a systemic rather than an Ericksonian epistemology.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2007 Jul;50(1):81-4. Fourie DP. University of South Africa, Unisa.

Posted: 10/22/2007

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