Martin Messier

August 8, 2023

“ONE!!!! I said ONE!!!!”

"Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton Erickson" is the quintessential modeling book.

IMHO, Patterns was the first NLP modeling book published by the Bandler & Grinder Brothers band — even though it wasn't their first book.

(The first was Structure of Magic, but it was an amalgam of the Perls modeling, the Satir modeling and transformational grammar. It yielded a useful framework, but it's not a modeling book per se.)

When you look at the full title of Patterns, it explicitly states the two key elements of a solid modeling project.

Here they are...


In this case, Milton Erickson.

It could be Elvis.

It could be LeBron James.

It could be Oprah Winfrey.

It could be Steve Jobs.

It could be anybody, but it has to be one and only one.

Why only one?

Because you know the skill is ecological since a single individual is performing it.

James Taylor has a unique way of playing guitar.

So does Dave Matthews.

Dave Matthews does not play guitar the way James Taylor does, and their styles don't meddle nor match.

So clearly, there's no single way of playing guitar. There's the Dave Matthews way, the James Taylor way, the Jim Croce way, the Cat Stevens way, and so forth.

Whose patterns are you chasing specifically?


In this case, hypnotic techniques.

It could be tasking techniques (David Gordon covers Milton Erickson's therapeutic tasking in the book "Phoenix").

It could be public speaking techniques.

It could be breathing techniques.

It could be stand-up comedy techniques.

It could be copywriting techniques.

It could be any subject, but it has to be one and only one.

Why only one?

To get back to our Dave Matthews example above, it's because you're not interested in Dave's hair-brushing, weed-smoking, drum-playing or parenting techniques.

You're interested in his guitar techniques.


The title "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton Erickson" offers you the blueprint to scope your modeling projects.

Here's the formula:

Patterns of the *SUBJECT* Techniques of *NAME OF YOUR EXEMPLAR*

If your cousin's name is Johnny Appleseed and he's a master gardener, your modeling project might be named:

"Patterns of the Gardening Techniques of Johnny Appleseed"

I'm pretty sure you get the gist.

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