Success is to discover how things may be done easily
Observations of himself & others convinced Erickson that our efforts to change often fail because of the way we try. The very act frequently triggers notions of avoiding failure - accidentally evoking self-limiting beliefs & awareness.
These, together with positive influences, are absorbed unconsciously from infancy onward - forming habitual expressions of how we think we are or should be.
Some crystallise in a set of Self - Limiting Beliefs - unquestioned assumptions and conclusions about ourselves - which can un-necessarily limit our physical, psychological or social functioning. Often these go unrecognised or are denied.
Installed early - before any ability to challenge or question - they became part of core identity - resisting change - even where this would help our well-being.
Erickson realised that something out - of - the - ordinary is required to free up and transform such deep adaptations and pseudo-solutions.
Erickson's genius was to notice people were able to recover from debilitating physical & physical conditions - including various skin conditions, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome - through presenting the condition as something our system probably knows how to cure if we can allow that to happen. He saw how outcomes relate to the use of certain language structures & implied suggestions - whose deep meaning was not evident to their hearers.
With many intractable physical conditions - change & recovery was most likely to occur when people didn’t think he was addressing their problem at all !
Done in the right way, resistance & trying were bypassed - profound & unlikely changes achieved. This was the discovery of his famous Indirect Method….
In his medical and psychiatric work, he developed a wide variety of formal and informal hypnotic strategies & linguistic devices - some extremely complex. Operating at many levels of awareness - these enabled constructive suggestion to bypass critical filtering or resistance - and to engage free unconscious energies.
Thus - temporarily uncoupling conscious effort allowed far more powerful unconscious reorganisation to occur in mental and physical process.
Under the right conditions - easy natural function replaces a limiting pattern - physical or mental - which has resisted previous effort and treatment.
The principle is elegant :-
create unconscious conditions for change… and it evolves .......naturally !
He demonstrated utilisation of these principles in thousands of cases - achieving significant physical and psychological change with great economy of effort.
Publishing many books & papers, his inspiration transformed hypnotic process from a disrespectful form of public entertainment into serious and powerful procedures - offering brief, thorough, effective personal and medical therapies.
( See - ‘My Voice Will Go With You. Teaching tales of Milton H Erickson’. Authors Milton H. Erickson & Sidney Rosen - fascinating insight into Erickson’s extraordinary methods. )