The Ericksonian approach to Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy - though originated over
90 years ago - still proves entirely consistent with discoveries in modern neuroscience.
Like Freud before him, Erickson went beyond earlier thinkers in recognising the prodigious
energy and unconscious activity of the mind. But Freud abandoned his early experiments
in hypnosis because of the unexpected emotional reactions he triggered.
Had Freud been as adept as Erickson at deducing the properties of these processes,
he would likely have used hypnosis in a deliberate way - rather than discarding it
as a tool which, to him, seemed both too powerful and too unpredictable in its effects.
Erickson however, was far more systematic in his approach. Being paralysed for years
due to polio, he became an intense observer of human behaviour - beginning with his
own. In the first instance he was able to use his original insights into spontaneous
bodily response to re-mobilise his body and rehabilitate his paralysed condition
twice in his life.
Erickson quite early deduced that behaviours are combinations of both conscious and
unconscious processes. These he observed to be powerfully linked with underlying
physical dynamics and language patterns that form the basis of our thinking and acting;
these develop naturally through our experience and form our habits - which are different
for every individual.
These habitual patterns are very stable and efficient. They are not easily changed.
Because people’s systems tend to resist change - people often find it hard to do
so - even when they want to. Indeed, Erickson realised in his medical and psychiatric
work that people fail to change very frequently through trying too hard - and in
the wrong way.
Erickson also saw that both these tendencies were often unconscious - and not how
individuals would have described their intentions at all.
Effective change requires a proper understanding and use of these underlying properties.
Rather than going at problems directly - and provoking natural resistance - underlying
programs would be better invoked indirectly - without conscious involvement.
The individual can then be induced to approach the difficulty free from the previous
self-defeating intentions. Combining strategies in the right way, the patient then
can then be released from unwanted experiences, attitudes and behaviours - and proceed
to problem solution and new behaviours without any over-awareness of how that happened.
Since our systems are tuned to recognise and adopt easier ways, the maladaptive pattern
could fall into disuse and the new - more effective and easier one be adopted easily.
He incorporated these fundamental discoveries - which became known as indirect method
- into formal and informal techniques of hypnosis and patterns of suggestion which
he used often in his medical and psychiatric practice to great effect.
Much of what Erickson achieved both confounded and astounded medical and psychiatric
opinion. Even today, few medical practitioners receive any instruction in or understand
the extraordinary principles that Erickson demonstrated in numerous examples of successful
therapy with very difficult cases.
In practice, every moment of a therapeutic encounter may provide opportunities to
access and enlist powerful unconscious processes in deliberate and beneficial ways
- mostly while the client’s eyes are open.
Ericksonian psychotherapy combined with other counselling or hypnotherapy treatments
will likely use some formal and deliberate treatment strategies; most of this is
constructed to work with spontaneously arising states.
Erickson demonstrated in many ways how the human mind not only floats in a sea of
much deeper awareness but - with respectful and creative engagement - can set sail
in new and profoundly liberating directions - to the immense benefit of our mental
and physical well-being.
The whole character of the work might be summarised as :-
Getting to ‘ Easy '
The approach aims to unlock your unconscious resourcefulness and re-connect it in
new ways. You may not realise it - but work begins from the very first contact -
perhaps even as you read this !
No matter how the problem is labelled, each client brings new experience. The initial
aim is simple - to learn what is the case and to discover how it happens.
Because of the constructive mode of enquiry, the very way we uncover the difficulty
begins to reveal your own unique qualities and capacities. Things often begin to
shift and change straightaway - even before we attempt anything more deliberate.
You can be amazed - how readily movement happens - what you can do - and how easily
it happens !!
In these Web pages :-
There are Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Services for individual adults, children and
Couple & Relationship Counselling ( not gendered ) is offered for all stages of
relationship. People often wait until a crisis develops. Often they wish they had
In general, people could save difficulty and pain in their lives by learning about
themselves and their patterns of relating before making or breaking commitments -
serious or otherwise.
Either partner may avoid or ‘learn to ignore’ a host of seemingly insignificant
annoyances, expecting them to magically change or ‘go away’. Their cumulative effect
can seriously erode or destroy the quality of the relationship. Often people are
puzzled as to how things have got so bad or what could be done to put things right.
Men in particular - willing to ‘do anything to save my marriage’ - often phone in
the midst of complete crisis. Freely admitting they have ignored a partner’s willingness
to talk about things over a long period, they are particularly devastated to discover
the option closed because they have been already supplanted by ‘ someone who listens
to me ’.
There are also other particular services :-
Coaching & Personal Development for Business & Professional Persons
Help for Children & Young Persons
Under each heading you may find some quite detailed material - some can only be in
outline - how it actually will happen is unique to you.
The intention in all this work is to be .......
Fast, Thorough & Effective
I hope you that you find these pages encouraging and that they leave you curious