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Stephen Gilligan Generative Trance

Stephen Gilligan, Ph.d., is a Certified Psychologist from Encinitas, CA. Stephen was among the atudents that accumulated around the creators of NLP amid its arrangement at U.C. Santa Cruz from 1974-1977.

His teachers were Milton Erickson and Gregory Bateson. In the wake of getting his doctorate in Psychology from Stanford University, Stephen turned into one of the top educators and experts of Ericksonian hypnotherapy.

Generative Trance work is a third generation trance work that has moved past the constraints of the earlier methods of hypnosis.

Trance is seen as a naturally occuring process independant of hypnosis, and the center is on the most proficient method to use trance for transformational change.

The two personalities, the conscious and creative conscious, are similarly regarded and included, with consideration paid to when and how one or the other is best utilized as a lead framework, and how a concordant relationship between them delivers the “higher consciousness” of a generative self.

In this way, the conscious mind is not “put to sleep” or “sent away”, and the unconscious is not viewed as a child to be modified. The intimate association between them permits every individual to “turn into their own particular Milton Erickson.”




I have had the privilege of attending a week of Steve’s annual Trance Camp, and many of the concepts and exercises in this book were familiar.

Having this text helped deepen my understanding of and connection with these experiences, and added a conceptual framework that wasn’t as clear in the moment.

For anyone who has not been exposed to Steve’s approach to therapy and trance, this is a deceptively simple and lucid introduction to his core ideas and techniques.

It offers a powerful approach not only to helping others, but to living a more creative, mindful, and generative life.

I highly recommend it to all students and practitioners.