The Use of a Skill-Based Activity in Therapeutic Induction

  • Winter W
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This paper describes a hypnotherapeutic intervention for a brain damaged
36-year-old male who has suffered from asthma since infancy and seizure
disorder from the age of eight, In early sessions it was discovered that
conventional ``passive-relaxation{''} induction techniques seemed to
exacerbate certain disturbing somatic experiences, which he refers to as
scary feelings. It was found that his performance of a previously
learned skilled activity (the playing of the computer game Tetris)
permitted the experience of a highly focused but relaxed state that was
conducive to therapeutic interaction. This approach to induction bears
similarity to ``active-alert{''} procedures but may be more importantly
related to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's principle of flow, in that it
involves engagement in a subjectively meaningful, skill-based activity.

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  • W. E. Winter

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