Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

By Richard Landis, Ph.D. Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 28 seconds 

Sue was a 27-year-old, single woman who was intelligent and valued self-awareness. She came to therapy after her roommate told her that she needed therapy because she was “far too rational to be real.” She was able to see everyone’s perspective and rarely got angry. Sue had recently broken up with Clay, a boyfriend of three years after she had walked in on him having intimate relations with his secretary in his office. Sue admitted being hurt and feeling betrayed. However, she quickly was able to rationalize his infidelity by citing his difficult childhood and that the secretary was pretty. She genuinely felt sad for him because she thought he would never be able to have a monogamous relationship. I was beginning to understand why her roommate was concerned.

Physically, Sue was suffering from several different but related gastrointestinal disorders and severe tension headaches that seemed to “come out of nowhere.” When I asked if she were happy, Sue replied, “I am satisfied, but I couldn’t actually say ‘happy’.” → Read more

Pictured: From L to R Carl Whitaker, John Weakland, Jay Haley and Carlos Sluzki

The following was presented by Jay Haley in December 1980 at the First International Congress on Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy:

I have published my views of Erickson’s therapy extensively, but to me he remains a mysterious person. In hundreds of hours talking together, I explored his life and work; yet I know him less well than other men I have associated with more briefly. Having learned many of his therapy techniques, I applied them in my practice and teaching. Not a day passes that I do not use something that I learned from Erickson in my work.

Erickson was by no means secretive about his work…For many years he gave seminars and workshops to large audiences in this country and abroad. He wrote over one hundred publications. Thousands of visitors came to talk with him, individually and in groups. His lectures, demonstrations, and conversations have been recorded more than those of any other clinician. He gave generously of himself and his knowledge to anyone who was interested. Although Erickson liked to show you that you still had much to learn, he did not attempt to be mysterious or obscure. Often, he was frustrated when his ideas were only partially understood…I don’t know how many times over the years I asked him why he did something in therapy, and he answered, “That’s obvious.” I would say, “Milton, it’s not obvious,” and I pursued him only to find a new and unexpected complexity in his thinking.

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By Norma Barretta, Ph.D.& Philip Barretta, M.A Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes, 57 seconds

Mildred, a fifty-five-year-old woman, was referred for therapy after the death of her husband of 29 years. She finds herself immobilized, unable to make decisions about the slightest facet of her life. Mildred describes herself as depressed about her inability to solve problems. She is unable to leave a job she didn’t feel was challenging; undecided whether to sell her home or keep it, frustrated because she wants to change banks and doesn’t have the energy; bewildered about what to do with her old, but wonderful dog; and concerned because her children want to borrow money for a down-payment on a new home. In as much as she has always been self-sufficient, she finds the inability to make a decision or take any action debilitating to her self-confidence and lifestyle.

Mildred appears confused, lethargic, mildly depressed, and in need of some motivation to move her forward with her life. She describes herself as “helpless” because of her inability to make decisions. → Read more

By Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Ericksonian Integrative Medical Institute of Orange County Orange, California

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 36 seconds 

We are often presented with a patient who complains of what appears to be mild depression or general fatigue. Both of these terms have significant overlap, and in reality they may be difficult to distinguish. Fatigue may actually lead to depression or visa versa. About 25% of the general population will experience a symptom profile consistent with fatigue and/or depression. The symptoms can be insidious. They gradually build up into what feels like concrete blocks, impeding health, or compromising resilience. After a while these symptoms may become familiar to patients and a level of resignation may appear. “Maybe this is just who I am.”

We as healers use our tools to intervene, be it CBT, hypnosis, or other forms of psychotherapy. But try as we may, for a specific patient we may reach a ceiling (and sometimes not a good foundation) with our treatment. We all have had such a patient for which our typical interventions do not appear adequate. We discuss with the patients their motivations, tap into their environmental and social systems, or refer them for medication consultation. And yet it still feels like an uphill battle. → Read more

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