One of the best ways to get someone to bring up a memory, or to go into a mental or emotional state is simply to talk about situations or states that are similar to the ones that you wish to evoke. If you want to know about someone else’s family history, for example, simply talk about your own family for a while. It is likely that they will start telling you about their family.
Hypnotherapists find it useful for their their clients to start feeling and remembering times in which they were happy, curious, confident and so on, because anchoring those feelings into the problem situations can be part of the solution for the client. For example, wouldn’t it be more useful to get curious and creative rather than angry or resentful when a problem crops up at work?
Uncle Jesse was not deliberately using hypnosis when he started telling us about a fond childhood memory. Something in the conversation started him thinking about the first time he had iced tea with lemon. It was so incredibly good! And, the more enthusiastically he described the pleasures, the flavors, his amazement over how powerful his experience was, the more I felt tempted to try some iced tea with lemon.
So how would that be considered hypnosis? I had tried iced tea with lemon before, and did not care for it at all. But, the more Uncle Jessie went on about his iced tea with lemon peak experience, the more attracted I was to trying it again. I even argued with the idea in my mind. I knew that I did not like iced tea with lemon, but the longer Uncle Jessie spoke about it, the more attractive it became. Uncle Jesse had really gotten me curious about whether I would have a similar pleasure from iced tea with lemon as his if I tried it again.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more. I just had to try some iced tea with lemon. I found out that I still did not care for iced tea with lemon. But, I learned something about how one of the principles of hypnosis can be used to influence someone in a simple conversation. I did not recognize what Uncle Jesse did as hypnosis until almost 45 years later, when something sparked my memory of trying iced tea with lemon again.