Ericksonian Psychotherapy

Ericksonian Psychotherapy, among other therapies is one that I favor more.

I think it all starts with the person that initiated it, Dr. Milton Erickson.

An amazing person with an even more amazing personality.

To understand my infatuation with Milton Erickson you must read the book about him.

“My voice will go with you”, The teaching tales of Milton H. Erickson M.D, written by Sidney Rosen.

It talks about Milton as a child, fighting the awful sickness of polio, his success in that fight and much about his eighty years on earth. His decision to learn medicine, his progress in the field of psychiatrics and many of his cases.

In a sense this is a salute to that extraordinary man.

Milton was anything but ordinary. If the wheel would not have been invented I believe he would have invented it.

The Ericksonian approach to psychotherapy has split into two distinct schools.

The Interactional approach, which deals with family and couple therapy and the Intrapersonal approach which focuses on the individual.

The Interactional approach was developed by researchers Haley, Bateson and Weakland who visited Erickson in the early fifties and together with Watzlawick formed the Palo Alto group.

The Palo Alto group developed a set of approaches to family therapy and is known today as “The Systems therapy”.

The Intrapersonal approach was developed by Dr. Ernest Rossi from Erickson’s work in the seventies.

Originally Milton believed that his therapeutic work would be constructed from those two main parts.

One would be Tasking and the other Hypnosis.

Gathering the information about the patient and then formulizing a strategy that would be composed of either one or sometimes both for therapy.

One of the beautiful things Milton did was to invent and teach what today is called “Indirect Hypnosis”. The classic Hypnosis is thought of as authoritarian, while Milton’s hypnosis is more liberal.

While authoritarian hypnosis called for the patient to do what he was told, because he had to listen to the voice of authority. Milton’s style of hypnosis, can work without the patient even realizing that he was put under hypnosis.

This of course gives  practitioners a whole new set of understandings and space to maneuver in.

To conclude, it is my intention in future articles to see, if we can, what is the difference between NLP and Ericksonian therapy. If there is any.

Who knows? Time will tell.

Emil Capone

Certified Trainer of NLP, CCHT and Advanced practitioner of EFT.

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