Posts Tagged ‘Pain’

By María Pía Allende Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes, 52 seconds

I am from Argentina, and my first encounter with hypnosis was watching Tusam, a stage hypnotist who swallowed glass and put a dog in trance.

I was the executive director of MRI when we added Ericksonian hypnosis to our international externship program. Dr. Eric Greenleaf became our teacher. Later, after leaving MRI, I consulted with his institute. I translated courses and trances, but I had never been in trance. Hypnosis scared me. → Read more

By Susan Reuling Furness, M.Ed., LCPC, LMFT, PTR Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 8 seconds 

Frigid rain peppers hard blackened snow. You continue to season my thoughts.

When I saw her in the waiting room last March I knew the lymphoma had recurred. She’d aged. Her shrunken profile barely stirred the air as she walked into my office. Undaunted, she wanted to write more of her memoir. As a Registered Poetry Therapist, I offer healing trances through spontaneous free writing and bibliotherapy, as well as hypnosis.

I met Abby several years ago in my poetry therapy group. To continue the work she began then, we agreed to meet in my office, unless the chemotherapy was debilitating, in which case we’d met at her home. → Read more

By Teresa Garcia-Sanchez Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 6 seconds

I begin all my treatments with the question: “What would you like to change today — and why?” The client M.T. answered, “I want to quit smoking because it’s bad for me.” (I find this is a staple answer for most people who are asked the same question.) I normally follow my question with a destabilization technique. This is intended to simultaneously create an increase in motivation to the point where the clients are almost demanding to be treated. It also brings about a state of confusion during which, taken aback momentarily, clients will look for coherence anywhere and therefore accept any suggestions they can understand; a little bit like clutching at a straw.

My response to M.T. was spoken quickly so he wouldn’t have a chance to analyze my words. I said, “So what? We’re always doing things that are bad for us! We don’t exercise; we don’t eat enough fiber; we don’t drink enough water; we don’t get enough rest; we load ourselves with stress, and we can change all those things whenever we want to.” → Read more

Milton Erickson’s Teaching Seminar From the Erickson Archives Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds 

Erickson speaking to a group of students:

A patient came to me and said, “I weigh 180 pounds. I’ve dieted a hundred times down to 130 pounds. As soon as the scale reads 130, I celebrate by going to the kitchen and stuffing myself and I gain back to 180 pounds in an awful hurry. And I’ve done that hundreds of times. Can you help with hypnosis?”

“I doubt if she did it hundreds of times. She said, ‘I diet down 130 pounds, then I celebrate by gaining it all back again. I told her, ‘Yes, I can help you by hypnosis, but to do so you’ll have to promise me that you’ll do whatever I tell you to do. No matter what it is you promise me, you’ll do it.’ I made her promise me in a waking state. I got the same promise in a trance state. And I explained to her in the trance state and the waking state, “You have gained your weight to 180 and you diet and lose to 130 pounds, and then you gain it back. Now what you’re going to do this time is you’re going to do your weight gain first and have your reduction second. So, you will now gain from 180 to 200 pounds.’ And with every ounce she gained, she wanted me to let her start reducing. I held out for 200 pounds on my scales and then gave her permission to reduce. She reduced in a hurry to 130 pounds and stayed there. I took her pattern and reversed it.” → Read more

By Maria Escalante Cortina MA. Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 4 seconds 

It was September 2001. Diego, a young boy, told his mom that he was not hungry because his tummy was full. All of a sudden, he doubled over in pain. Upon medical examination, they discovered Diego had a five-pound tumor beside his stomach. The tumor was a Rabdomiosarcoma, an aggressive, fast-growing form of sarcoma.

Diego’s life changed dramatically. No more school, no friends. Lots of new words to learn: cancer, biopsies, chemotherapy, catheters, radiotherapy, metastasis cells, surgery, etc. Diego was confused, angry, sad, worried, and very scared. → Read more

By George W Burns Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 54 seconds

Milton H. Erickson Institute of Western Australia

In Erickson’s work I learned about treating clients as individuals, listening to their metaphors, and utilizing their resources. I also found permission to be bold, take risks, and venture beyond the restrictions of theory. However, as I have discovered many times over, my clients are my best teachers; Pat was one.

Her physician’s referral letter said she suffered severe insomnia following hospital admission for minor surgery twelve months earlier. Pat, a middle-aged ethnic Chinese, said, “I’ve lost my soul.” Previous therapy failed to bring relief. According to her metaphor, a person’s soul leaves the body when asleep and, if not reunited, can cause both physical and emotional distress, including insomnia. → Read more

By Terry Argast, Ph.D. Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 44 seconds 

Juanita was a 31-year-old Marriage and Family Intern who had twice failed the oral examination for her license. She wanted hypnosis to reveal sabotaging herself so she could pass her orals. We would only have time for one session.

Juanita had no prior experience with hypnosis. I asked to get in touch with the body sensations she experiences when she was in the oral exam. She was able to do this easily. I then had her focus all of her attention on this feeling. I had her imagine that she was inside her body, inside that feeling and then I asked her to turn the feeling or sensation into a room so that when she was inside that room, she was inside the feeling.  I  then asked her to imagine a doorway at the end of the room, a doorway to an elevator. I had her get in the elevator and imagine it going down as she went back in time, back to a  time in the past when she had the same feeling. When she got there the elevator door would open and she would share with me the contents of what she became aware of.

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By Betty Alice Erickson, MA, LPC Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds

Note: Joe was not a “usual” client. Highly motivated, in therapy at exactly the right time, he believed life was good, and the therapy fit his paradigm perfectly. Even though it is not common that everything works so well, the concepts and ideas used in this case can be useful in many situations.

Joe walked into the office with a diffident yet paradoxically firm attitude. A handsome 32-year-old, he had never had a long-term relationship. He used to start out just fine, he said, but after having sex a few times, he would lose his erection half-way through. As time went on, he would lose his erection more quickly. Now he couldn’t even get one at the beginning of an encounter. Worse, he was starting to choose people who were not his type, who drank too much or had no ambition. He was sure the two problems were related.

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By Steve Andreas Estimated Running Time: 6 minutes, 21 seconds 

When children paint the sun, they often draw a circle with rays coming out. You’ve all seen that; you probably did it yourself when you were young. A year or so later, a child might paint the sun partly behind clouds. Several years later, they might paint rays coming out from the clouds, but the sun is not visible — what a friend of mine calls a “God sunset.” Even subtler is to paint only the scattered reflection of sunlight on water. An accomplished artist doesn’t paint the sun at all but suggests where the sun is by painting a tree with a little more light on one side than the other, and a subtle shadow to indicate the sun’s location. I think that’s a good metaphor for implication: indicating something without ever explicitly stating it. One of my favorite quotes is: “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” (Ralph W. Sockman) Knowledge and wonder are stated; the ocean of ignorance is implied.

On the first page of the first volume of Conversations with Milton H. Erickson, (in which the word “implication” appears about every third page) Jay Haley says, “I have a whole week, so I suspect I can learn all about psychotherapy in that time. I wouldn’t expect that anywhere else but here.” Erickson laughs and says, “Well, we can have our dreams.” That’s a polite way of implying, “You are wildly optimistic!” → Read more

By Joel Samuels, MD Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 26 seconds 

Stone carving transformed my life of chronic pain, depression, and drug dependency into a life of renewed vitality with the ability to work, dance, and feel whole again.

After 25 years of working as an emergency room physician, I underwent several back surgeries, which resulted in many hours of physical therapy and treatments with never-ending pain and limited mobility; my life was reduced to bed rest and hot baths. So, I pursued several treatment options, including tapping into my creativity as a way of healing chronic pain. → Read more