Stephen Gilligan, First Trance

Stephen Gilligan, First Trance

Stephen Gilligan is my last first trance subject. I’m not sure why I waited to “do him last”, so to speak. He is doing things that the rest of us will take years to learn and longer to employ. My interests in Stephen Gilligan are two-fold. Obviously, I want to get the mindset of how he facilitates trance, even in waking states, but also how he got to his Generative Trance breakthrough.

How do you do something completely new? All of the subjects I have chosen have this one aspect; they were the first, in each of their industry. My goal from the onset was to discover something within myself and bring it forward in a way that has yet to be seen on this planet. Lofty? Perhaps, but worth the effort.


stephen gilligan

Stephen Gillian Bio

Stephen Gilligan Ph.D. is a Psychologist in Encinitas, CA. He was one of the original NLP students at UC Santa Cruz; Milton Erickson and Gregory Bateson were his mentors. After receiving his psychology doctorate from Stanford University, he became one of the premier teachers and practitioners of Ericksonian hypnotherapy. This work unfolded into his original approaches of Self-Relations and Generative Self, and then further (in collaboration with Robert Dilts) into Generative Coaching. These different traditions have all been updated and integrated into the present Generative Change Work, which includes the applications of Generative Coaching, Generative Psychotherapy, Generative Trance, Hero’s Journey, and Systemic Change work.

He has taught in many different cultures and countries over the past 30 years and has published extensively. His numerous books include The Hero’s Journey: A Voyage of Self Discovery (co-authored with Robert Dilts), the classic Therapeutic TrancesThe Courage to LoveThe legacy of EricksonWalking in Two Worlds (with D. Simon), and Generative Trance: The Experience of Creative Flow. His forthcoming book is Generative Coaching (co-authored with Robert Dilts). (source:

stephen gilligan

Frist Trance

The first thing you will notice about doing a trance identification with Stephen Gilligan is how steady his energy is. Whether it’s the 30 plus years of doing trancework or the 30 plus years of doing aikido or both, is noticeable.

The deeper aspects of his personality and archetype will have to come later while doing the actual identification but I’m liking what I see so far. He is brilliant and seems totally focused on whatever is happening in the present moment without a lot of meandering back and forth between past and future.

Stephen Gilligan is also diabetic so I’m wondering what that might feel like as well. Doing a deep trance identification with Milton Erickson wasn’t much fun from a physiological standpoint, in fact, it was kind of alarming. I will just have to wait and see how severe his diabetes is and respond accordingly.

stephen gilliganFinal Thoughts

I keep reminding myself this guy is human, imperfect and similar to all the rest of us. I keep going into “Wow” mode. There is a profound genius in his work and to me, it’s daunting. Maybe after this trance, I’ll get over this and back to the plan. Learn as much as possible from each subject and then… do your own creating.

Second Trance

Master Shifu, Stephen Gilligan

Master Shifu. If there was a someone who personifies this character or archetype, it would be Stephen Gilligan. He is humble, highly skilled and earnest in his desire to help people heal. He has written tons of books (this one’s my favorite) travels around the world teaching seminars and still remains… grounded in himself. We all could learn from this example of humility. His energy feels like mastery to me, but there is that feeling that he isn’t permitted to surpass his teacher and mentor, Milton Erickson. (Maybe I watched too much Kung Fu Panda?)read more

stephen gilliganNeed Some Help?

Need some help in this project? Maybe you just have a few questions about hypnosis.
Feel free to contact me anytime via phone 214-702-3774 or by email.

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