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Unread October 3rd, 2004, 04:37 AM
John Simon John Simon is offline
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Default Erickson Therapy Without Trance?

Mr. Lankton,

I was wondering if there are any Ericksonian practitioners that use Erickson's philosophy but do not use formal trance on a regular basis? If so, can you give me a list of their names?

It seems to me that Erickson's philosophy of using utilization, storytelling, metaphors, paradox, and the client's language would make a wonderful therapeutic style with or without trance (although trance obviously has the benefit of bypassing the conscious). I read somewhere that Betty Erickson only uses formal trance with about 20% of her patients while she uses naturalistic trance with the rest. What is the breakdown with your clients?

The reason that I am bringing up this subject is that, in my opinion, several of the styles that spawned from Erickson's work seem to be lacking when compared to the original work. For example, the Strategic therapists seem to be willing to say anything to break an impasse with a client. Their paradoxical intervention may work but at what cost? In contrast, it appears to me that Erickson had this uncanny ability to use paradoxical in a way that supported rather than manipulated the client. Unfortunately, if a person where interested in learning paradoxical interventions today, he or she would most likely study strategic therapy, especially if that individual was not interested in the hypnosis aspect of Erickson's work.

Can you provide some advice as to whether or not it is possible to learn the Erickson philosophy without using hypnosis? For instance, what do you do with a client who is not intersted in being hypnotized?
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Unread October 3rd, 2004, 08:10 PM
Stephen Lankton Stephen Lankton is offline
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Default Re: Erickson Therapy Without Trance?

I think most of "us" use trance less than 20%. I know I do.
The books and workshops we do always attempt to emphasize some aspect of our work...and we are "saddled" with that thereafter. But Lankton, Zeig, Yapko, Gilligan, BA Erickson, etc...we don't hypnotize everyone in every session for the entire stretch of time....not at all. Some of my clients don't even know I do hypnotherapy.

Your are EXACTLY right about you observations regarding paradox. It is not about "using" a "technique" it is about what to say that helps the client use themselves better. As an after thought, the process can be labeled as this or that intervention. Some put the cart before the horse.
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