Posts Tagged ‘therapy’
This past year has been full of political uncertainty as many have anxiety and stress over the political environment, the transition of power, and the future of our nation.
American Psychology Association conducted a Stress in America™ survey that revealed 77% of Americans say the future of our nation is a significant source of stress and 68% of people say that they are stressed by the current political climate. → Read more
I have published many stories of my time with Dr. Milton Erickson, many of which appear in the book Experiencing Erickson (1985, Taylor & Francis Group). These stories can help therapists take some of Erickson’s innovations and bring them into their clinical practice. → Read more
It was Monday, August 10, 2020. The weather began to worsen. It was nearly 2 p.m. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when strong winds began to bend trees dramatically and the noise got louder and louder.
It was time to go downstairs to the basement – a safer place – to wait out the storm. → Read more
I remember Dr. Erickson telling me that it was both important to trust the unconscious and at the same time to make sure that the unconscious was regularly fed with new and interesting learnings so it had even more with which to work. This became evident to me while I was showing some students how to use hypnosis to potentiate EMDR’s effectiveness. I had been demonstrating a metaphor of physical healing to stimulate emotional healing when a student interrupted asking how I got my ideas for my metaphors. Since I naturally go into my own trance while I am doing metaphor work, his question inadvertently triggered a deep search within me. Instantly, I was transported to Dr. Erickson’s kitchen where we were discussing one of our favorite topics: What does it mean to be human? → Read more
From the Erickson ArchivesEstimated Reading Time: 7 minutes, 42 seconds
I have been asked to make a recording of an induction technique. After much thought on this matter, I believe I can be of much more service in another way. My own induction techniques are expressive to me, of my timing, of my rhythm, my personality, my emotional feeling, my attitude toward my patient. So it is with anybody else, and so it should be with anybody else. An induction technique is not a series of words, phrases, or sentences. Nor is it just a matter of suggestions, intentions, inflections, pauses, and hesitations. An induction technique is both simply and complexly a matter of communication of ideas and understandings and attitudes by the doctor to his patient. → Read more
Estelle is a friend who at age 75 was diagnosed with breast cancer. She knew that I had done volunteer work with people who have life threatening diseases. The first session was devoted to going over the kinds of things I do to help people. For instance, teaching them how to relax and meditate, guided imagery for healing, and asking direct questions about living wills and medical treatment. Considering the information Estelle provided, I prepared two 15-minute guided imagery tapes for her.
I used the first session to elicit information about past surgical experiences and any fears Estelle had about the upcoming surgery. I told her about research which indicated that while under anesthesia patients can hear what is said in the operating room. Using the information she gave to me I led her through a hypnotic session centered on preparation for surgery. → Read more
After reading “The Indigo Children” (Carroll and Tober, 1999) I realized these children would be helped by utilizing Ericksonian Psychotherapy. Utilization is a fundamental premise of this therapy. It is important for anyone, and certainly for children, that attributes and qualities be used instead of productively being labeled “faults.” Additionally, as Haley says in “Jay Haley on Milton H. Erickson,” (pp. 39, 1993. Brunner/Mazel, N.Y.) Erickson often used metaphors to help people of diverse views. In this way, they could more easily discover their own ideas. This concept led me to think about ways for helping the “Indigo Children.” → Read more
The following is an excerpt from the Erickson biography. It was taken from a document Ron Alexander, Ph.D., sent to Jeff Zeig in 2015.
In 1976, Alexander phoned Erickson at the beginning of the week, asking him if he would consult on a personal medical problem. The holistic treatments Alexander tried had not been successful. During that phone call, Erickson asked Alexander to call him back the next day, sharply at 9 a.m. The following days, Erickson asked Alexander to do the same thing: Call him the following day promptly at 9 a.m. Alexander was perplexed, but each day that week he did as Erickson asked. And after each request, Erickson said, “And don’t be late.” On Friday, Erickson finally invited Alexander to Phoenix for the consultation. → Read more
As part of their therapy, my father would often give his patients “jobs” to do. The jobs were highly varied. Often one could easily see how the assigned job was a necessary first step for a patient to take in order to heal his or her problem. For example, over the years, my father had several women patients who believed they were so homely no man would ever want to marry them. My father had one woman go to the bus station (at the time, the major port of entry into Phoenix) and for three days meet all the arriving buses. She was instructed to watch for people more homely than herself and observe if they had a husband either greeting them or traveling with them. Of course, she found many and was very happy at her next appointment. → Read more
When I was a child, my father was attending graduate school at USC, working toward his doctorate in educational psychology. Each time he would learn a new theory, he’d enthusiastically come home and try to apply it with my younger brother and me. It was kind of hit-and-miss in terms of efficacy, but we seemed to have turned out okay.
One of the things I notice in retrospect is how, as he grew in experience, his understanding of these theories, and application of that understanding, became more fluid, more nuanced as he shifted from learning to knowing. When he first started studying under Erickson, it felt (from my admittedly limited perspective) that Dad’s focus was on acquiring techniques: How do you tell a story? What tone and cadence of voice and choice of words do you use to help the client slide into a trance state to best facilitate an induction? → Read more