The Milton model was developed by Richard Bandler et al by observing the language patterns of Milton Erickson, who would help his clients change through conversational hypnotic patterns.  While the meta model is comprised of linguistic patterns to gain specificity in language, the Milton model is comprised of linguistic patterns to produce ambiguity in language.  Some examples of Ericksonian language patterns are listed below:

  1. Mind Reading: I know that you are wondering…
  2. Conversational Postulate:  Do you feel this…is something that you understand?
  3. Simple Conjunction: As you sit in the chair, then you begin to realize how you must feel.
  4. Cause and effect: If you are sitting in my chair, thinking the thoughts that you’re thinking, then you know that you can relax now, isn’t that right?
  5. Selectional Restrictional Violation: Remember how the chair feels and has felt many times before…feeling that the chair feels fine, and wondering what the chair must feel about you and your situation right now.
  6. Lack of Referential Index: One can, you know…
  7. Comparative Deletion:  She wondered if he said more.
  8. Unspecified Predicate: And you can.  Knowing more.  How you wonder.
  9. Ambiguities:
    1. Phonological: Can you stand hear the sound of my voice?
    2. Syntactic: Your job is over managing managers, isn’t it?
    3. Scope: The ugly men and women in the room.
    4. Punctuation: I want you to notice your feet of accomplishment.
    5. Embedded Command: I want you to go to the bus stop what you’re doing now.
    6. Extended Quotes: I had a friend Bill who went to a conference and talked to a colleague, Jane, who recounted a story that she heard from an Uncle who had a garden in Maine.  He said, “Feel free to take a deep breath and put your feet up because you deserve to relax now.”
    7. Tag Question: You know what I am talking about, don’t you?

If you would like to know more about how hypnosis can help you make positive changes in your life, contact William Wood CHt at 385-432-0729 or [email protected].  Visit me at

I wrote this article for a continuing education class at