Richard Hill

Richard Hill, MA, MEd, MBMSc, PhD(c), is a practicing therapist, author, educator, and professional supervisor. He is Science Director for CIPPS in Salerno, Italy; Clinical Science Director and Managing Editor for The Science of Psychotherapy; and resident therapist at The Davis Health Centre in Sydney, Australia. He is co-author with Ernest Rossi, PhD, of The Practitioner’s Guide to Mirroring Hands (Crown House, 2017), and with Matthew Dahlitz of The Practitioner’s Guide to the Science of Psychotherapy (Norton, 2022). More information can be found at www.richardhill.com.au and www.thescienceofpsychotherapy.com

What You’ll Learn

Mirroring Hands – a deep dive into the Magic.

Mirroring Hands (MH) emerged out of Ernest Rossi’s work with Milton Erickson. Ernest Rossi asked me to write the definitive book with him and to carry on his legacy after he passes. Ernest Rossi did pass on September 19, 2020, but the work continues. MH is not a scripted protocol, although there are patterns within the process. It is not a medium for suggestion where the therapist leads the client, although suggestions often do emerge – often from the client. It is not a practice that works to create trance or ask people to relax or even to close their eyes, yet people enter into trance, close their eyes, become somnambulistic or perhaps remain energetic, some open up and talk avidly while others remain silent and work privately within. Each therapy is different and each client creates their own experience. This can seem like a massive shift for many hypnotherapists, but once you experience MH you can feel the incredible impact that comes from allowing the therapy to emerge, co-creatively during the MH experience. This workshop will give you the knowledge that underpins MH but mostly, the practical experiences of receiving MH and facilitating MH with others in the group. This workshop will show you an approach that allows EVERY client to engage and deal with EVERY issue that presents – including the ones that rise up unexpectedly in complex clients. Kathryn Rossi describes MH as perfect for when the client doesn’t know what the issue really is or when the therapist doesn’t know and even better when both are just floundering in the difficulty, searching for the “pathway to enlightenment”. At the end of this workshop the world will not be quite the same, and may even be radically transformed. I know it was for me when I sat in a lecture hall with Ernest Rossi in 2005 and he simply asked me to raise my hands. EVERYTHING shifted. It is my joy, now, to share back some of the wonders of the MH world.

What is mirroring hands?

Mirroring Hands is “brilliant in its simplicity… yet complex beyond belief in the results it can engender” (Bill O’Hanlon) – gentle and deeply personal. MH is a hypnotherapy that has emerged from Ernest Rossi’s work with Milton Erickson. Erickson is well known for introducing the nondirective approach which was a radical new direction for hypnosis in the 1950’s. Rossi then began to explore the benefits of cocreating an experience with the client and employing the power of curiosity and wonder. Richard Hill began working with Rossi in 2005. They introduced cocreative client-responsiveness that is now known to activate a client’s natural problem-solving capacities and turn on the mind-body healing processes that exist within us all.

What will I learn in the workshop?

  • Experiencing the process – Mirroring Hands is something you need to feel.
  • The fundamentals of the process that are applied improvisationally.
  • The underlying knowledge and wisdom – from Ericsson to Rossi to now.
  • How to use the unique language principles of client-responsiveness.
  • How to think IN the system.
  • What it means to return to the natural origins of health and healing.
  • How to tune into our natural rhythms, cycles, and natural capacities to heal.

When do I use Mirroring Hands?

MH can be used with every client; in every situation; and for every need because Mirroring Hands is not directed at a target problem or a target client. MH is a key to the wonders within the client and a bridge between the therapist and the client’s capacities. Every session is unique. It is a personal journey for each client. What is really needed emerges during the MH experience, even when there may be a specific request from the client.

How is MH different from the many other forms of hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

There are forms of hypnosis that have elements of MH. Everything has some of these natural elements. MH, however, shifts the energetic potency to the client almost immediately and the therapist rides with the client through the process they create, recognising and attuning to the talents, skills, and natural flow of the client’s system. The hardest thing for many therapists to do is step back when the client is engaged and active in their own resources. The temptation is often to step in and help or give some guidance or suggestion when the client doesn’t need or want it. The second difficulty is knowing when the client needs and wants the therapist to contribute more directly. MH is not about being non-directive – although it largely is – it is about being client-responsive. The therapist needs to know the client and flow with the client, sometimes in silence, sometimes not. The client determines the strategy. 

What are the benefits of using mirroring hands?

Everything is likely to help people. There are so many things about our world and about the struggles of our past that respond positively to any level of release, of calm, of peacefulness, of relaxation, and of positive inspiration. The benefits inherent in a MH experience is that the client has the opportunity and the circumstances to access all those positive things at just the right dosage, at just the right time, and from just the right place because the process generates from them. They hold the energetic potency and determine the directions required for their system.

Most things try to get close to the needs of the client. Many have positive effects. Mirroring Hands, however, is centered in the client. More than close, it is IN the client’s system. It IS the client.