Homage to Milton Erickson
Milton Erickson was a giant and acknowledged as the father of modern hypnotherapy. There are so many who will attest to his influence and indeed genius and that definitely includes me.
“Every person’s map of the world is as unique as their thumbprint. There are no two people alike. No two people who understand the same sentence the same way…So in dealing with people, you try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be.”
“People do not come into therapy to change their past but their future.“
“I have no general theory, but a new theory for each patient.”
“Deeds are the offspring of hope and expectancy.”
Trance wisdom from Milton Erickson
- There are multiple levels of awareness, information processing and responding from within a multitude of conceptual conscious and unconscious frameworks or perspectives.
- The hypnotic process consists of fixating a subject’s attention so intensely on internal events that a dissociation is created.
- The conscious frame of reference disappears from awareness, replaced by the perspectives of the unconscious mind.
- From this, revivification, rehearsal and reprogramming is possible.
My Four lessons from Milton Erickson
One, watch and listen to your clients like a hawk, knowing that they will reveal something of themselves that you can make use of. This is utilisation in practice.
Two, know that all that is needed is a small shift and change and from that much more is possible – that by not being ambitious you are in fact being hugely ambitious.
Three, be thrilled to work hard on the language of influence, as this is the essential tool of trance. Use metaphor and stories, allow for ambiguity and be excited by the use of double binds, presuppositions, truisms, embedded suggestions, oxymoron, contradictions and all the rest.
Four, trust your intuition to find the right words and to reveal the appropriate balance (for that client) between authority and humility and be imaginative in the tasks that you may set.
Milton Erickson wrote very little. But he did write this, which I strongly recommend.