Milton Erickson  

Milton Erickson

 

 

Born: 5 December 1901
Died: 25 March 1980
Birthplace: Aurum, Nevada USA
Best known as: Ericksonian hypnosis is often known as Covert or Conversational Hypnosis.

 

 Milton Erickson legendary genius in the world of psychotherapy and hypnosis, Milton Erickson had a unique manner and method of treating people which today is widely emulated and developed. He was plagued by ill health for a large part of his child life, having suffered bouts of polio. He was also dyslexic, and colour blind. During the periods of disability it is believed he gained much of his personal knowledge of human nature by observation, and during the second polio attack in his fifties he turned his mind to relief of pain by hypno anaesthesia.

Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening and that whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. The patient can be aware of this, or can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Erickson would see if the patient would respond to one or another kind of indirect suggestion, and allow the unconscious mind to actively participate in the therapeutic process. In this way, what seemed like a normal conversation might induce a hypnotic trance, or a therapeutic change in the subject.  Milton was know best for his handshake by interrupting the pattern of a normal handshake in some way, the hypnotist causes the subject to wonder what is going on. If the handshake continues to develop in a way which is out of keeping with expectations, a simple, non verbal trance is created, which may then be reinforced or utilized by the hypnotist. All these responses happen naturally and automatically without telling the subject to consciously focus on an idea.