This is the first book dedicated to Ernest L. Rossi’s Mirroring Hands therapeutic process. Mirroring Hands is a technique that emerged from Ernest L. Rossi’s studies and experiences with Milton H. Erickson. It has its origins in hypnosis, but Mirroring Hands is an effective process for a wide range of mental health professionals who may not include or intend to include hypnosis in their practice. This book will appeal both to established therapists and to those new to psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and is intended to establish the Mirroring Hands process as a therapy for all practitioners. Rossi himself has described the technique as ‘hypnosis without the hypnosis’.
The central focus of the book is the technique: it is a practitioner’s guide. Mirroring Hands seeks to connect the client and the therapist to the natural flow, cycles and self-organising emergence that shift the client toward beneficial change. The authors show how the technique enables clients to unlock their problem solving and mind–body healing capacities and arrive at resolution in ways that many other therapies might not. The overall effect is to create an engaged connection and integration with the client’s natural, best self.
The process begins with a state of focused attention, which is established by the client keenly observing their hands. The client is invited to look at their hands as though they had never seen them before. This is not to produce a deep hypnotic trance, but to create a mental state that is very different from just engaged conversation. Milton H. Erickson described it as a General Waking Trance. This form of focus and attention is similar to the state created during meditation and mindfulness.
Those who practice mindfulness and meditation will find it easy and comfortable to enter this preparatory, beginning stage of Mirroring Hands. The steps that follow take the client beyond the calm, comfort and stabilising effects of mindfulness and activate curiosity and self-organising processes. The client is able to access their growing edge where they can find their own resolution, change and growth. So, once attention to the hands has been achieved, the client is invited to explore their issue in a number of ways. For example, one hand may be asked to hold the problem, difficulty or disturbance, then the other hand becomes the natural container for the opposite reflections – resolution, ease and comfort. The client opens connections within that engage their natural problem solving and mind–body healing processes to their deeper therapeutic self, thereby facilitating his or her shift into a therapeutic consciousness.