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Hope and Resiliency: Understanding the Psychotherapeutic Strategies of Milton H. Erickson

Hope and Resiliency: Understanding the Psychotherapeutic Strategies of Milton H Erickson


By Dan Short, Betty Alice Erickson, Roxanna Erickson-Klein

Milton H. Erickson is recognized as one of the most innovative clinicians of our time. Erickson is known as the father of modern hypnosis as well as the source for many modern forms of family therapy and brief therapy (including the increasingly popular solution-focused therapy), Erickson's influence goes far beyond the perimeters of any one therapy, country, or culture.

This seminal book examines the major core strategies that are woven throughout Milton H. Erickson's work. Each strategic principle is broken down into several techniques that share a common function. To help bring to life these clinical strategies and to provide the experience of witnessing masterful clinical work, this book contains numerous clinical examples from Erickson (many of these never before published) and others. To make clearer the core function of any given technique, the overarching concepts have been paired with simple analogies, folk wisdom, and illustrations from other schools of psychotherapy. It is not important to know which school of thought the book is describing but instead seek to recognize the timelessness and universal nature of these strategic principles. This scaffold framework not only helps the reader better understand the interventions and strategies employed by Erickson but more importantly points beyond the finite limits of Erickson's achievements to an ever expanding tradition of exploratory and innovative work by which he was characterized.

Because flexibility is an important hallmark of Erickson's approach to healing, it is clinical understanding rather than rigid rules that must drive the decision-making process. The idea that several different techniques can serve the same function, and the belief that every intervention should be carried out with careful intention comes directly from the teaching of Milton Erickson. After reading Part I, Foundations of Healing and Health, the reader will be able to recognize fundamental dynamics of healing and of the clinical relationship. Part II, Clinical Strategies, provides a description of each strategy. These are introduced in a broad and simplistic manner, followed by a more elaborate and complex examination of the clinical techniques derived from a given strategy.

Erickson's life was characterized by determination, resiliency, and hope. The ideas that he advocated within his therapy are the same ideas exemplified by how he lived his life. By seeking to learn something from his physical disabilities, Erickson understood how to provide hope to those who no longer felt they could help themselves. He fostered resiliency in his patients through the strategic activation of latent abilities. He believed that all people have within them the answer to whatever challenges they face. Erickson knew how to accomplish the "impossible" by finding some small thing that can be done. Building on a framework of small successes, he reinforced resiliency within the individual by engaging immediate successes that reach into the future.

Milton H. Erickson will continue to be remembered for his determination, patient perseverance, humanity, and unending love of learning. From these he benefited personally while at the same time creating a broader spectrum for the field of psychotherapy and benefiting people around the world, decades after his death. This book will help others follow in his footsteps.

Hope & Resiliency is a delightful and deeply moving reading experience that facilitated peace and well-being within my own heart and mind. I will keep it by my bedside as a daily refresher in the healing legacy Milton H. Erickson has passed on to all of us. --Ernest Rossi

It is a pleasure to see Erickson's cases including some I have never heard of before...a well done manuscript that has the quality of an archive for the reader. --Jay Haley

About the Authors: Dan Short, PhD is the former Associate Director and Chief Archivist for the Milton H. Erickson Foundation in the US. Betty Alice Erickson, MS is a licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist and an international teacher of Ericksonian psychotherapy and hypnosis, Roxanna Erickson Klein RN, PhD, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation.

Hardcover 212 pages ISBN:1904424937 Bk#4937 $39.95 (p)

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1904424937
Published: October, 2005
212 pages