Posts Tagged ‘case study’
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
In December of 1973, when I was 26 years old and had recently earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology, I met Milton Erickson. I was working in the San Francisco Bay Area as a couples and family counselor and serendipitously the opportunity to visit Dr. Erickson presented itself. (The transcript of this initial meeting is in my book, Experiencing Erickson, Zeig, 1985.) → Read more
Recently, I began experiencing stabbing ear pain, shortness of breath, a dry cough, unremitting headaches, and signs of high blood pressure. The online doctor told me I needed to go to the ER right away.
At the ER, tears welled in my eyes and I was anxious. I had taken a COVID-19 nasal swab test and spent six hours in the ER waiting and wondering. I tried to reach a calm state, but I was scared. → Read more
Derald Wing Sue was born in Portland, Oregon and is Chinese American. He grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and remembers being teased due to his ethnicity. Although the prejudice and discrimination negatively affected Sue, it prompted him to study multiculturalism and later, cross-cultural counseling.
Sue is a certified hypnotherapist in Portland. He has authored 23 books and has written on various topics including multicultural counseling and psychotherapy, psychology of racism and antiracism, cultural diversity, cultural competence, and multicultural organizational development. His most recent book co-authored with Lisa Spanierman, the revised edition of Microaggressions in Everyday Life (2020), is on multicultural competencies and the concept of microaggression. Sue has also co-authored with David Sue Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice (2015) which was controversial due to the authors’ philosophy on multicultural counseling. → Read more
Milton Erickson was undoubtedly a master technician, but the humanistic element he added to his therapy made it even more powerful.
When I first visited Erickson in 1973, he was working with a patient I will call John, who probably had been diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic when he was hospitalized. *Erickson used brief therapy with John, in that it was strategically targeted, although the therapy took place over the span of several decades. → Read more
Edgar, a child of five, is the oldest son of a marriage that has lived with great economic and family pressures. The mother began going to therapy two years ago for her distress because of her pregnancy. She left treatment. A short while later, she asked for an emergency appointment. She told me by phone that she had just gotten Edgar out of the hospital, and he did not want to return home because he was afraid of his father who, in an attack of fury and impatience, had hit him against the wall, fracturing his cranium.
I met with the whole family in therapy because that permitted me to understand the family situation, to perceive their emotions, and to explore their resources. Once I have an idea of the family structure and the context in which the problem occurred, I can tell a story (or build a story together with the children) that represents the problem and different solutions. In an abuse situation, it is necessary to censure actions, not the persons implicated, trying to see them as parents who make mistakes. In this case, I constructed the story because the child was immobile in a chair, not wanting to look at anyone, much less participate. → Read more
The voice of the man on the phone was cracked and old. He and his wife were in their seventies and for 20 years the family had not been able to have a Christmas, a birthday, or any celebration together. There were four children and it was the enmity and resentment from Melissa, now 40- years old, to Michael, now 45, that precluded any type of family gathering. Melissa had announced, at age 20, that Michael had sexually molested her from the time she was ten until she was fourteen. Ever since then the family had been torn apart.
Melissa led an isolated life. She had never been in a relationship with a man and she had never even had a roommate. She was a lawyer but had never practiced and worked sporadically at jobs that were beneath her education. She attributed all this to her abuse by Michael. → Read more
Edited by Richard Landis, Ph.D.
Discussion by Betty Alice Erickson, M.S.; Carol Lankton, M.S.W.; Eric Greenleaf, Ph.D.; Goran Carlsson, Psych.; and Steve Lankton, M.S.W.
Editor’s Note: Steve and Carol Lankton, Eric Greenleaf, Goran Carlsson, and Betty Alice Erickson were asked to discuss one of Erickson’s classic cases, “Case of Airplane Phobia.” The following is an excerpt from that discussion.
Steve Lankton (SL): The “Case of Airplane Phobia” or “Two Phobias” is explained at varying lengths in the different literature references (Experiencing Erickson, pp. 122-125; Hypnotherapy Casebook, pp. 314-347; Teaching Seminar, pp. 64-70). This is a case of a woman having anxiety that is related to an earlier mild air travel trauma that was beginning to generalize to situations where she is destined to experience disruptive air turbulence. The first intervention is preceded with a demand that she agrees to a “total commitment” of anything Erickson might ask. → Read more
Since I was a doctoral student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, I have been interested in clinical hypnosis and the power of the mind. I studied hypnosis independently with a professor who recommended that I attend the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis seminar held in Phoenix. At the seminar, I met Kay Thompson, Bob Pearson, Marion Moore, and Joe Barber. At lunch, Thompson and Pearson were discussing their demonstration of deep trance phenomena and demonstration hypnoanesthesia which they were teaching that afternoon. I asked whether or not I could volunteer for the demonstration, but Kay Thompson firmly replied ¨No!” explaining that “Dr. Erickson will be there and we want to make sure that all will go well, so we will have a member of the faculty help us.” → Read more
Recently, I was in Gent, Belgium talking about my father’s early career work. I was shocked by the myths and misconceptions that seem to have been perpetuated about my father. I was stunned to discover that my father is often viewed as physically feeble by a large percentage of his followers. From the perceptions expressed, it seems that most of the people who are writing books and giving talks about my father met him in the 1970s when he was confined to a wheelchair and had changed his practice to align with his physical limitations. This perspective has clouded the true picture of how my father was when he was younger. I remember my father quite differently; he was a vigorous man. The following story sheds light on my view. → Read more