Milton H. Erickson has been called the “Father of modern hypnotherapy”, and his contribution can be compared with Freud. He has authored over 1,000 professional hypnosis articles and teaches and practices hypnosis techniques. In this field, he explored and demonstrated the enormous potential that hypnosis brings to human beings, and his achievements have so far been unparalleled. Erickson evolved hypnotism into modern psychotherapy, which has been widely used around the world and is recognized as having a major impact on many psychotherapies, including: medical hypnosis, family therapy, short-term psychotherapy…and many more. Here are some knowledge we learn from Ericksonian hypnosis :
1. Ericksonian hypnosis is used to elicit responses in order to get the patient to cooperate, which is what sets him apart from other hypnotists and psychotherapists. Patients come to psychotherapy because it is difficult for them to achieve their own goals. The therapist’s job is to help them comply with their own maximum desires, and Ericksonian hypnosis is to help them use their potential to achieve their goals.
2. In 1919, at the age of 17, Erickson was struck by polio, a crippling disease that left him completely paralyzed and unable to move any part of his body except his eyes. The whole process of Erickson’s self-rehabilitation is a deep process of self-hypnosis. The process later became an inexhaustible resource for Erickson as he developed his own hypnotic therapy. Erickson was paralyzed by severe polio, and it was inappropriate to say that this was the perfect time to learn hypnosis. He needed to have the mental strength not to be broken by such a terrible force of death. Erickson was able to do this because he knew beforehand not to wrestle with the pain.
3. Erickson understood deeply that there were no answers in consciousness or mind. If he asked the mind, “What shall I do?”, there would be no answers. But every time he asked his deeper subconscious, it would tell him the answer.
4. Every tension in your body is linked to an idea in your mind. When you can really relax your body, you let go of thoughts and consciousness in your head, and your subconscious mind has maximum space to present itself. It’s only when you have the mental space not to be overwhelmed by the terrible power of death that you can talk about transformation.
5. Compared to normal people, many of Erickson’s channels of communication with the world are closed. But he did not complain about fate, did not wrestle with pain, and did the best he could. But instead, he opened up some channels that normal people do not have, and finally made his legendary life.
6. If you have phantom pain, you can also have phantom joy. This is Erickson’s fundamental principle, full of humanistic color. He argues that the mechanism that perpetuates the problem is also the mechanism that produces the solution.
7. Erickson believes that everyone has regenerative resources. Therefore, he never goes against the case, but uses the existing resources of the case to transform them. It is said that there was once a mental patient who claimed to be Jesus. Erickson asked him several times; Are you really Jesus? He answered in the affirmative. Erickson stopped talking and began to bring two large pieces of wood, nails and a clock to the patient’s room. He began to make a cross. The patient looked at it dumbstruck until he understood and said loudly, “I am not Jesus! I am not Jesus!”
8. Work on the solution of the problem rather than the problem itself. Traditional psychotherapy is generally concerned with the problem, to explore the cause of the phenomenon, and then to solve the cause. And Erickson generally doesn’t pay attention to the problem. He often says: life is to live in the present, and lead to the future.
9. Natural hypnosis, indirect communication. Every expression, every action, and every sentence of Erickson is hypnotizing. He is very good at telling stories and puns, making hypnosis invisible, and when hypnosis ends, clients often think that hypnosis has not started.
10. Erickson is good at indirect communication at multiple levels of individualization, coupled with his extraordinary insight and unparalleled love, making the treatment of individual cases “magical”.
END: Hypnosis can be understood as a method of free exploration and learning that will not be limited and hindered by our past experiences, which is what Erickson understands to develop such a unique approach to hypnotic induction and hypnotic training. Just like the pendulum of time will always move forward, our consciousness itself is constantly developing in new ways, and learning hypnosis can help us better mobilize our potential and help others in a better way.