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Author: David Kraft


The ACE technique is one which was described by Phyllis Alden and Jacky Owens (2012) and is a helpful tool when treating cancer patients. During hypnosis, the patient goes to a special place where (s)he feels calm and relaxed. In this special place, the therapist asks the patient to imagine the first thing that comes to mind when you say the word ‘ACE’. The above authors gave some examples of words that were brought to the fore during this process, and these included 1) the ace playing card, 2) an aeroplane, and a 3) racing car. In my own work, patients have come up with the following thoughts and images which they have utilised to help them to gain more confidence in hospital and at home; these included 1) an asteroid, 2) an ace serve in tennis and 3) a strong elephant. The following hypnotic text is an example of what could be said during this work in the consulting room. The text has been modified from the research by Alden and Owens (2012).


As you continue to focus on your chosen object…be aware that this will help you to gain more confidence in the way that you feel, think and behave…be aware that A represents acceptance…C is for confidence…and E is there to remind you that you have the ability to emphasise all the aspects of your life which are healthy and helpful to you…And I wonder how soon it will be before you can change the outline of these letters…making them brighter and richer and more powerful for you…working for you and with you…some people are able to rotate the letters so that they can see them in 3D…perhaps you could spin the ACE even faster so that you can find a channel or a space between it and you…so that you can take on all of these qualities…acceptance…confidence…and emphasis…you can allow, more and more, these feelings of security and acceptance, confidence and emphasis on your healthy mind to spread out into the whole of your body…all the way through spreading into each cell of your body…and every part of your body will feel how it is to feel when you are accepting and when you are confident…and when you are placing an emphasis on what is healthy and helpful to you in your life. These feelings will stay with you as long as you need them…If ever feel low or in need of a boost, you can utilise this ACE in a way that is appropriate to you…And you can use this ACE to replenish and restore your body whenever you need it…And when you are ready to come back to the here and now, open your eyes, feeling relaxed confident and ready to enjoy the rest of the day.


A Little about the Author

David is an experienced psychotherapist and has two practices—one in Harley Street and the other in Enfield town. He employs a multi-modal approach to psychotherapy incorporating aspects of psychodynamic psychotherapy, hypnosis, behaviour therapy, counselling and brief solution focussed therapy.



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