(717)737-9068 Free Consultation * 24 Hour Services Available 

"For appointments in Pennsylvania please click here"
 Table of Contents
 Emotional Problems
  Lack of Confidence
 Eating Disorders
  Binge Eating
  Eating and Weight
  Emotional Eating

  Excess Weight

  Weight Control

  Loved Ones
  Separation / Divorce
  Drug and Alcohol
  Sex / Pornography
  Spending / Shopping
Behavioral Problems
  Adjustment Disorder
  Conduct Disorders
  Explosive Disorder
  Multiple Personality
  Sleep Disorders
 Phobias and Fears
  Fears and Phobias
  Panic Attacks
  Social Phobia
  Performance Anxiety
  List Of Phobias
 Sexual Concerns
  Sexual Concerns (M)
  Sexual Concerns (F)
  Gay and Lesbian
  Gender Identity Issues
  Sexual Orientation
  List of Paraphilias
Helpful Information
  Communication Skills
  Non-Verbal Comm...
  Personal Growth
  Skill Enhancement
Adoption / Infertility
  For Adoptees
  For Adopting Persons
  For Birth Parents
Famous Psychologists - Milton Erickson

Famous Psychologist: Milton Erickson

Famous Psychologists - Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson is considered the father of modern hypnotherapy. The therapy he engendered, Ericksonian hypnotherapy, is one of the fastest growing and influential branches of hypnotherapy today.

Milton Erickson

Milton Hyland Erickson, MD (December 5, 1901 - March 25, 1980) was an American psychiatrist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis.

Milton Erickson was born into a poor farming community.  Erickson didn't speak until he was four and was later found to have severe dyslexia, to be tone deaf and colour blind. At the age of seventeen he was stricken with his first attack of Polio (his second would come at the age of fifty-one). It was an extremely severe infection. He was not expected to survive, and his parents were told that he would be dead by the following morning. He lapsed into a coma. When he awoke three days later he found himself completely paralyzed, unable to move except for his eyes, and barely able to speak.

Over the next two years, Milton taught himself to walk again (aided in the task by closely watching his baby sister who was only then learning to walk), and closely observed how human beings communicate and how the unconscious mind works. Thus one of the hallmarks of hypnotherapy was born: indirect suggestion.

Despite his handicaps (or perhaps because of), Milton Erickson went on to qualify as a medical doctor and psychiatrist. Erickson was an avid medical student, and was so curious about and engaged with psychiatry that he got a psychology degree while he was still studying medicine.

Much later in life, in his fifties, he contracted polio for a second time developed post-polio syndrome, characterized by pain and muscle weakness caused by the chronic over-use of partially-paralyzed muscles. The condition left him even more severely paralysed, but having been through the experience once before, he now had a strategy for recovering some use of his muscles, which he employed again. After this second recovery, he was obliged to use a wheelchair, and suffered chronic pain, which he controlled with self-hypnosis.  Even this he was able to turn into a learning opportunity as he became highly effective at treating other people's pain with hypnosis.

Despite severe illness in his old age, Milton Erickson continued to teach, demonstrate and practice his remarkable skills as a therapist, even when eventually confined to a wheelchair. Milton H. Erickson died in March 1980, aged 78, leaving four sons, four daughters, and a lasting legacy to the worlds of psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, pedagogics and communications.

Things Milton Erickson is Noted

Wikipedia summarizes several of the things Milton erickson is noted for including his:

often unconventional approach to psychotherapy, such as described in the book Uncommon Therapy by Jay Haley and the book Hypnotherapy: An Exploratory Casebook by Milton H. Erickson and Ernest L. Rossi;

extensive use of therapeutic metaphor and story as well as hypnosis
coining the term Brief Therapy for his approach of addressing therapeutic changes in relatively few sessions;

use of interventions that influenced the strategic therapy and family systems therapy practitioners beginning in the 1950s including Virginia Satir and Gregory Bateson;

conceptualization of the unconscious as highly separate from the conscious mind, with its own awareness, interests, responses, and learnings. For Erickson, the unconscious mind was creative, solution-generating, and often positive;

ability to "utilize" anything about a patient to help them change, including their beliefs, favorite words, cultural background, personal history, or even their neurotic habits; and

influence on Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), which was in part based upon his working methods.

Some Important Erickson Concepts:

Trance and The Unconscious Mind

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. You can be aware of this, or you can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Now, 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.

Indirect Techniques

Where 'classical' hypnosis is authoritative and direct, and often encounters resistance in the subject, Erickson's approach is accommodating and indirect. For example, where a classical hypnotist might say "you are going into a trance", an Ericksonian hypnotist would be more likely to say "you can comfortably learn how to go into a trance". In this way, he provides an opportunity for the subject to accept the suggestions they are most comfortable with, at their own pace, and with an awareness of the benefits. The subject knows they are not being hustled, and takes full ownership of, and participation in their transformation.


Erickson recognised that many people were intimidated by hypnosis and the therapeutic process, and took care to respect the special resistances of the individual patient. In the therapeutic process he said that "you always give the patient every opportunity to resist".

Ericksonian Therapy

Erickson is most famous as a hypnotherapist, but his extensive research into and experience with hypnosis led him to develop an effective therapeutic technique. Many of these techniques are not explicitly hypnotic, but they are extensions of hypnotic strategies and language patterns. Erickson recognised that resistance to trance resembles resistance to change, and developed his therapeutic approach with that awareness.

Shocks and Ordeals

Erickson is famous for pioneering indirect techniques, but his shock therapy tends to get less attention, perhaps because it is uncomfortable for us to hear such uncharacteristic stories about an inspirational and gentle healer. Nonetheless, Erickson was prepared to use psychological shocks and ordeals in order to achieve given results:

Thanks largely to Erickson the subject of hypnosis has shed its shackles of superstition and is now widely recognised as one of the most powerful tools for change.

Additional Information

For more information about Milton Erickson, hypnotherapy, and other types of mental health treatment, please click on the websites listed below.

The Milton H. Erickson Foundation
Uncommon-knowledge: Milton Erickson

Would You Like Personal Assistance?

If you really want help dealing with your feelings and emotions, changing your behavior, and improving your life and the approach and office hours of typical therapists and counselors do not fit your life style or personal needs, I may have a solution.

By using very flexible office appointments, telephone consultations, email, teleconferences, and the willingness to travel and meet with you personally in your home, office, or other location,  I can be available to help you anytime and anywhere.

Feel free to contact me now for your free initial consultation. Once you become an existing client, you will be given a  pager  number where you can reach me whenever you need.

  Contact Dr. Berger
Help is Available
  Who I Can Help
  How I Can Help
  What You Can Do
  About Dr Berger
What Is a
  Clinical Psychologist
  Educational Psych...
  Forensic Psychologist
  School Psychologist
  Social Worker
  Life Coach
  Personal Coach
  Executive Coach
  Mental Health Prof...
  Pastoral Counselor
Types of Treatment
  Behavioral Therapy
  Cognitive Behavioral
  Gestalt Therapy
  Rational Emotive
  Reality Therapy
  Family Therapy
  Group Therapy
  Intelligence (IQ)
  Rorschach (inkblot)
 Famous Psychologists
  Allport, Gordon
  Beck, Aaron
  Binet, Alfred
  Chomsky, Noam
  Ellis, Albert
  Erikson, Erik
  Erickson, Milton
  Freud, Sigmund
  Fromm, Erich
  Glasser, William
  Harlow, Harry
  Jung, Carl
  Kinsey, Alfred
  Laing, R.D.
  Leary, Timothy
  Lewin, Kurt
  Perls, Fritz
  Maslow, Abraham
  May, Rollo
  Piaget, Jean
  Pavlov, Ivan
  Rogers, Carl
  Satir, Virginia
  Skinner, B. F.
  Wolpe, Joseph
  Psych Associations
Anywhere Anytime
                                    Copyright 2005 Dr Vincent Berger                                     


Psychologists and Psychologist
Psychologists Psychologist
 Psychologists Allentown Pennsylvania Psychologists Hermitage Pennsylvania Psychologists Penn Hills Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Altoona Pennsylvania Psychologists Highspire Pennsylvania Psychologists Philadelphia Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Baldwin Pennsylvania Psychologists Johnstown Pennsylvania Psychologists Phoenixville Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethel Park Pennsylvania Psychologists King of Prussia Pennsylvania Psychologists Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Bethlehem Pennsylvania Psychologists Lancaster Pennsylvania Psychologists Plum Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Black Mountain Pennsylvania Psychologists Lansdale Pennsylvania Psychologists Pottstown Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Camp Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists Lebanon Pennsylvania  Psychologists Progress Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Carlisle Pennsylvania Psychologists Lemoyne Pennsylvania Psychologists Radnor Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chambersburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Levittown Pennsylvania Psychologists Reading Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Marysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Ross Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Colonial Park Pennsylvania  Psychologists McCandless Pennsylvania Psychologists Rutherford Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Drexel Hill Pennsylvania Psychologists McKeesport Pennsylvania Psychologists Scott Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Easton Pennsylvania Psychologists Monroeville Pennsylvania Psychologists Scranton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Enola Pennsylvania Psychologists Mount Lebanon Pennsylvania Psychologists Shaler Township Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Erie Pennsylvania Psychologists Mountain Top Pennsylvania Psychologists Sharon Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Greensburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Murrysville Pennsylvania Psychologists Springfield Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hampton Pennsylvania Psychologists New Castle Pennsylvania Psychologists State College Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hanover Pennsylvania Psychologists Norristown Pennsylvania Psychologists Steelton Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Hazleton Pennsylvania Psychologists Penbrook Pennsylvania Psychologists Upper St Clair Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Chester Pennsylvania Psychologists Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania Psychologists Willow Grove Pennsylvania
 Psychologists West Mifflin Pennsylvania Psychologists Williamsport Pennsylvania Psychologists York Pennsylvania
 Psychologists Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania  
Psychologists PA
Psychologists Pennsylvania