Milton Erickson

Milton H. Erickson invented the ‘my friend John’ induction, he was a master of indirect suggestion. Erickson was a man who seemed gifted in his ability to work almost, invisibly. It is even possible that even he didn’t know why some of his clients got better, he just knew that they would. He used many techniques, but much of his work was based around metaphor and story-telling. He combined these skills with Hypnosis to help his clients. Erickson believed that progress could be made whilst clients were out of trance as the unconscious mind is always listening, which these days could be replicated when we follow a solution focused brief.

He would set tasks for his clients to complete, some were considered abstract, for instance sending a married couple on different journeys over two days to see if they were still compatible, or making a client, who couldn’t sleep, to polish his floors. We may also set tasks, but we do so with indirect suggestion and certainly wouldn’t involve polishing floors, unless of course, the client choose this method !!.

Many of his metaphors are commonly used today

“Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy." Milton Erickson”

“You can teach a child the importance of pain by your behaviour. You can also teach as child the importance of no pain by your behaviour.”
― Milton Erickson

“Life's difficulties are merely necessary roughage.”
― Milton Erickson

“Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never grow bigger, better, or more useful.”
― Milton Erickson & Rossi


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