Who is Dr. Milton Erickson
“An Extraordinary Man with Extraordinary Sense of Observation!"
Dr. Milton Erickson was born in 1901 into a farming family with many children. He was an anomaly within his family who as a result of childhood illnesses developed keen observational senses. As a young teenager he succombed to polio which re-occured in his fifties, leaving him with life long challenges with pain and mobility. He became a licensed psychiatrist and had a passion for hypnosis long before hypnosis was deemed safe as a medical treatment. In fact it was through his successes and efforts in 1953, that Hypnosis became an approved appropriate tool for medical and psychological uses. He operated in a very non-traditional manner, believing that treatment through theoretical framworks did not serve the patients best interest. Dr. Erickson believed that each patient should be treated uniquely and that any problem that a human being had that resulted from negative behavior originated with the development of a postive goal. He was adept at uncovering the origination and utilizing the power of the subconscious mind to re-route the neural pathways of repetitive behavior patterns. His results were truly phenomenal and he became known as one of the most accomplished therapists of our time and though he passed in 1980, he is still considered the greatest hypnotherapist and teacher of hypnosis that the world has ever seen.
No one has been able to touch Dr. Erickson's results and accomplishments. He treated more than 30,000 patients in his life time and although he did not begin teaching until he entered his 70's, his teachings and recorded seminars are as useful today as they were back then. After his death there was an explosive growth within the mental health field that continues to grow until this day. Additionally, through the works of Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the developers of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), who studied Dr. Erickson directly and created what is known as the Ericksonian model of hypnosis, there has been an explosive expansion of his techniques into world of hypnosis and the booming coaching field globally. In fact it would be difficult to find a hypnotist today who doesn't utilize some technique that was modelled after Dr. Erickson, whether they are aware of it or not!
Dr. Milton Erickson defined hypnosis as a simple for of communication where you could concentrate on your thoughts and beliefs about life and shift them appropriately. He said that a “trance state is active unconscious learning”. He deviated from the psychiatric community’s definition of Unconsciousness and held the belief that this part of Consciousness possessed many abilities and tapped into the potential and wisdom that every human being has available within them. This position is the reason why it took so long for his work to be embraced and is still to this day an intellectual debate within the field of psychiatry and psychology today.
Dr. Erickson knew what students of The Teachings have known for hundreds and hundreds of years, that our Subconscious mind is a perfect power and that our Superconsciousness, collectively known with Subconsciousness by the therapy community as the unconscious mind, holds access to all the wisdom and potential that an individual may access. He leveraged this understanding while a client was in trance, knowing that while the client was induced with the concrete mind and external awareness held in suspension (so to speak) and the internal awareness of the subconscious mind placed into a state of focused attention, that appropriate suggestions could be introduced to the subconscious mind with the goal of achieving the clients goal.
Additionally, it was Dr. Erickson's belief that no individual should require extensive therapy to resolve the problems brought to the good doctor's office. With the exception of the very severely mentally disabled, most patients who had a sincere desire for their problems to resolve would be assisted in a minimal number of sessions. Erickson was an enigma to his colleagues. Even to this day his work defies scientific explanation, for science still cannot prove what hypnotherapists around the world know, that our consciousness is tied to a higher power, and that through hypnosis, when our subconscious mind and its keen powers of observation is focused in a hypnotic state and the discernment and discrimination of a qualified hypnotherapist directs appropriate suggestions toward that state, will always result in positive change.
Erickson's documented successes far exceeded the successful therapeutic interventions of any other therapist of his time and since. His phenomenal powers of observation and understanding of consciousness, combined with his understanding of human nature and the belief that the ability to heal resides within the power of each individuals consciousness is the reason why his hypnotic methods are being utilized today at Thought Alchemy’s Tranformational Hypnosis Center.