Almost exactly 50 years ago, shortly after I moved out and was living at college, I successfully played a practical joke on my dad. However, in a way the joke is on me because I learned a great deal about my father during the course of this practical joke.
I had a kind of contest with my older sister, Betty Alice. We would carefully go through whatever was published about or published by my father to see if either of our names were mentioned. Of course, if we saw our name in an article or book we would “hold” it over the other until the facts changed and the next article was published. → Read more
Vladimir Zelinka: Could you please talk about the role creativity plays in your therapy?
Jeff Zeig: I am creative in my therapy because I want my patients to be creatively empowered. If you are living creatively, then you are leading a fulfilling life with meaning.
The therapist can be in a creative state to mirror, model, and demonstrate that therapy becomes a reference experience for creative living. A medicalized procedure follows an algorithmic path to achieve a stated goal. But therapy is a heuristic process, a creative innovation for being a better person. → Read more
For two years, teachers from the Milton H. Erickson Institute of the San Francisco Bay Area have conducted masters degree classes in strategic family therapy and Ericksonian hypnosis at Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno (UAGRM), the largest Bolivian university. Recently, it was my turn to teach.
After the first class I conducted, two women, who were part of a group of six close friends who attended the courses, approached me. One spoke for the other: “She is afraid to drink water, afraid to bathe or shower in water.” I replied, “I have little time to talk. I have a meeting in a few minutes.” I asked the spokeswoman, “What does she drink?” “Tea?” “No!” “Does she drink milk?” “Oh, yes!” I turned to the silent woman, “Here’s what I want you to do: When you go home today, take a bath in milk. → Read more
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The following is taken from Herbert Mann’s contribution to the Erickson biography:
“Nobody had the dynamic personality that Erickson had. When Erickson got on the stage, you could hear a pin drop. There was an air of expectancy. His manner of speech, the way he looked at an audience with piercing eyes, and then, of course, there was his knowledge…There was something about the way he looked at the audience and concentrated on each individual…his demonstrations seemed almost magical. → Read more
Dr. Lentz is the Director of the Ericksonian Institute of Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Pastor of Radcliff Presbyterian Church. He is the retired Chief Chaplain of the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women and Adjunct Professor of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
It has been my experience that Dr. Erickson’s work has helped many people in ministry. While the following are personal experiences and observations, I believe they are representative of how people from a faith perspective are drawn to Erickson’s work. I’m grateful to be sharing these experiences with you to highlight Erickson’s impact on my approach to ministry and counseling. → Read more
This is an excerpt extracted from Volume 3 of The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson and highlights one of the many brilliant conversations Milton Erickson and Ernest Rossi shared together. All the volumes of The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson are available at our online store.
Rossi: So your hypnotherapy is almost the exact opposite of most conventional hypnotic approaches. Other hypnotherapists believe they have to specify exactly what the patient is supposed to do. But you just open a patient up to knowledge that is within, together with new life experiences, rather than trying to program him with your version of how you believe he ought to behave.
Erickson: Too many hypnotherapists take you out to dinner and then tell you what to order. I take a patient out to a psychotherapeutic dinner and I say, “You give your order.” The patient makes his own selection of the food he wants. He is not hindered by my instructions, which would only obstruct and confuse his inner process. → Read more
I recently had a short but effective experience with Dr. Greenleaf that impacted me both personally and professionally.
At the end of a workshop on hypnotherapy, I asked Dr. Greenleaf if he could help relieve my symptoms of allergic rhinitis with hypnotherapy. This condition caused me a lot of discomfort because I could not breathe freely during the workshop exercises. He kindly told me that he did not have enough time for a full session, but he did offer some suggestions. → Read more
This is an excerpt from the Milton Erickson Biography and taken from the contribution by Philip and Norma Barretta.
On one occasion when Norma and Philip were meeting with Erickson, someone in the group asked Erickson a question about smoking. According to Norma, at that moment, Erickson coughed – and he continued coughing for the next half hour — in between words, phrases, and sentences. → Read more
The following is an excerpt from the biography on Milton Erickson and was taken from an interview with Paul Lounsbury and Nancy Winston in May 1993.
Paul C. Lounsbury and Nancy Winston were married from 1987 to 2003. They live in New York. Lounsbury is a marriage and family therapist and Winston is a clinical social worker and therapist. → Read more
To be in Milton Erickson’s presence was to invite him to teach. And teach he did! Almost everyone who spent time with him can remember precisely the words he said that changed life forevermore. Even people who read his words often comment that “his voice goes with them.”
I am fortunate that when I think of my father, I vividly remember many times when just a few words changed me instantly. In this case, Dad and a family friend, Margaret Mead, worked in tandem. Although the event and words are crystal clear, I don’t remember who said what-they complimented each other beautifully. → Read more