Most people walk through the world in a trance of disempowerment.
Our work is to transform that into a trance of empowerment.
– Milton Erickson
The Healing Power of the Unconscious Mind
My practice of hypnotherapy rests on the work of Milton Erickson MD (d.1980), the great exponent of creative trance in psychotherapy. The son of a farming family, Erickson introduced revolutionary changes in the practice of clinical hypnosis. He suffered all his life from the severe neurological pain that resulted from a nearly fatal polio infection as a teenager. Despite grave physical disability, he became an eminent psychiatrist & father of a large family. In the process, he developed extraordinary personal skills in the realm of trance, together with the ability to introduce all kinds of people to the healing power of their own unconscious minds. He was a classic “wounded healer” & an exceptionally effective physician.
Erickson’s many patients recovered from all kinds of problems, physical & psychological, because he was able to lead them to direct experience of the unconscious mind – with which he was deeply familiar. He developed powerful language-patterns that could generate creative trance through natural conversation. A man of great integrity with a truly non-authoritarian attitude towards his clients, he brought about a fundamental breakthrough in the clinical use of hypnosis. His his powerful form of hypnotherapy is a natural, cooperative human adventure.
Erickson transformed psychotherapy itself, in 3 revolutionary ways:
1. From looking backwards for cause-effect explanations, to looking forwards to positive future choices.
2. From relying on academic theories & diagnostic labels, to exploring his clients’ unconscious resources.
3. From ‘fixing defects’ in his clients, to utilizing their unique abilities.