Screenshot 2014-12-12 13.28.28 Hypnotic Scaling HandoutPaul Koeck MD - SC29 - Hypnotic Scaling - an Ericksonian Solution Focsued Self-Hypnotic Technique- BriefTherapyConference - San Diego 2016 - Summary Hypnotic Scaling an Ericksonian self-hypnotic1 technique that allows you to choose freely where to move on your scale. Developed by Paul Koeck, MD Instruction sheet for the patient after the first session with his therapist to use at home People have a tendency to have either very intense negative feelings, either very intense positive feelings. It seems like they are unable to “choose” something in between. This is very nice of course when you live the peaks, but feels terrible during the downs. The goal of this exercise is to learn to “choose” freely what mental state or emotion you want to feel/develop in a specific moment. Hypnotic Scaling, developed by Paul Koeck, MDHypnotic Scaling, developed by Paul Koeck, MDHypnotic Scaling, developed by Paul Koeck, MD
  1. Choose an emotion or a mental state that you would like to master more gradually and define its opposite (like, depressive – Euphoric, Hate – Love, Fear – Peace, Satisfied about my life, …)
  2. Close your eyes and feel where on this scale (from 0 to 100) you are now. Let just a number pop up in your mind
  3. Look in your mind (your eyes remain closed) at yourself. See your body posture, look at the colors, look at your body posture, look at the position of each part of your body … see the position, tension or relaxation of every muscle
  4. Observe your feelings and also the thoughts, actions and images that connect to those feeling
  5. Observe also what habits (behaviors, actions, patterns) emerge, connected to this feeling
  6. Now keep your eyes closed, eventually you can write your observations down later or record your voice on a tape and describe them with loud voice so that you can type them later)
  7. With your eyes closed, decide to move a VERY small bit on this scale towards the negative feeling. Move 1% to the worse and observe (while asking you the following questions):
    1. “HOW did I do this?” (= the process that helped you moving down)
    2. “What CHANGES did I observe in ….?”
      1. My images
      2. My thoughts
      3. My feelings + where in your body you feel it
      4. My actions
      5. My body posture: tensions, pleasant sensations, respiration rhythm, ….
  8. Then move down 1% more and repeat this several times until the negative feeling hurts you too much. Remember to observe closely HOW you do it to make your feelings (and thoughts, images, body posture, …) worse + WHAT you observe to be different
  9. When it starts to hurt, try to motivate yourself gently to go little bit further2 … so you will learn to observe small changes which will help you later when having a similar negative feeling spontaneously to get rid of it … step by step
  10. When you pushed yourself a little into the suffering (now it might be the first time in your life that you take very deliberately control of your feelings … even if for a while you might feel uncomfortable … you cannot deny that you are in control, not?) … choose to change direction and move 1% up
  11. Observe the same things as mentioned in N°6
  12. Now you are DISCOVERING for the first time in your life HOW to make feelings better …. In small portions (be careful … avoid to make big steps … it would spoil the whole learning experience)
  13. Climb up step by step … even further toward the positive than the starting point till you reach the point that is OK for you today
  14. Focus on your LEARNING of HOW in each stage you improve your feeling step by step (jumping spoils everything!!!!!)
  15. When you reach your desired point for today (do not choose 100% today since you want to learn to trigger intermediate feelings … pastel colors …. Gray between black and white ….) you add some additional exercises to make free choice:
  16. Learn to choose upon command: Choose a % and go to that % with closed eyes, and then choose at random another … so you will train your mind to choose your level of a certain feeling and behavior
  17. Now for the next 30 days …. Insert 1 or 2 “training” moments in your day where during 5 or 10 minutes, you train yourself to choose a level of those feelings at your own choice, every time at the end of your minitraining, you decide at which level you want to stay for the coming minutes or hours
  18. After 30 days you will be an expert in choosing your appropriate feeling in this scale and you will almost do it unconsciously
  19. For the next 30 days you can choose another “couple” of feelings where you want to increase your inner freedom
  20. When you repeat this exercise later with several other “couples” of opposite feelings, you will become almost free to choose the kind of inner feelings you want at any different moment in your life
  21. Then send us an email at coaching @ to tell us your experience so that we know how you feel freely now
More information about this Ericksonian self-hypnosis technique, video’s and downloadable worksheets will be posted at by Paul Koeck, MD, the developer of Hypnotic Scaling.

Workshop at the European Brief Therapy Conference in Sofia 2017

Watch the live demonstration here (for participants of the workshop only): Live demo

Workshop at the Brief Therapy Conference

on Thursday 11 December 2014 at 10:15 – 11:45 in Anaheim, California, USA Room: Royal A&B, Hyatt Regency Orange County

Hypnotic Scaling is a simple Ericksonian & Solution Focused self-hypnosis technique, developed by Paul Koeck, MD to help your client self-control and resolve Anxiety and Depression or symptoms of PTSD. You will be able to teach your client to freely choose where (s)he wants to be at a scale from 0 to 10 at any moment or in any context using (Self) Hypnotic Scaling. This workshop consists of theoretical insights & a life demonstration so that you can see the technique at work, followed by practical exercise. After this workshop you will:
  1. Know how hypnotic scaling can help your clients discover multiple unconscious resources
  2. Know how to do the hypnotic scaling and teach the client self-hypnotic scaling
  3. Be amazed how clients can move themselves on their scales rapidly
After mastering this technique, your client will:
  1. Gain (rational AND emotional) insight in the micro dynamics of his problem pattern AND solution pattern
  2. Be able to choose freely how much (s)he wants to move up or down on the solution scale
  3. Be able to condition himself/herself on specific moments (depressive moods, anxiety, panic, stress, job interview, business meetings, press interviews, dating a (wo)man, …)
  4. Have experienced hypnotically that (s)he can change feelings, thoughts and behaviours within less than 30 minutes the ability of change becomes undeniable after this first session, because it has happened you co-constructed together a new exception!!!
  5. Feel more in charge of his/her life, emotions, thoughts, behaviours or habits: the locus of control is in his hands now
Paul Koeck, MD is director of the Milton H. Erickson Institute of Antwerp, Belgium in Europe ( He studied medicines, philosophy and sports medicines at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Vlerick Business School in Belgium. Paul Koeck, MD became a certified Solution Focused Therapist and also a Master in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy at the Korzibsky Institute in Belgium. Paul is founding partner of the Centre for Stress Management and managing partner and CEO of where he coaches business leaders all over the globe. ( Paul Koeck, MD is the author and CEO of the Solution Focused Ericksonian Self-Help Program and authored several books in Dutch. He taught and trained people all over the globe in over 20 countries on 4 continents in 5 languages: English, Dutch, French, Spanish, German. Connect with Paul Koeck, MD @ More downloads and video’s about Hypnotic Scaling will be published at A full training in Hypnotic Scaling by Paul Koeck, MD can be organised in your institute. Write Paul at coaching (at)
Never do this exercise without initial assistance of a professional trained licensed therapist or physician. Always ask your physician or therapist for permission if and how you are allowed to do this exercise under his/her supervision, instructions and responsibility. 2 When you do the exercise the first time with your therapist or counsellor, he will help you stretch your limits, later when you do it on yourself, you can choose how much you want to stretch yourself, you are the one who knows your limits. Never force yourself!