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David Xanatos July 18th, 2005 11:12 AM

Thanks and Introduction
It is only appropriate that my first post here should be one of thanks.

Since I first discovered NLP and Ericksonian Techniques in 1989, I have read many excellent books, but have been consistently rewarded in the highest fashion by the books written or edited by Jeff Zeig and Steve Lankton (and Ernest Rossi, but as far as I know, he's not here on this board!). You have all contributed to the most astounding treasure hunt I've ever imagined, and my eyes still light up when I find a new title in the many used book stores I frequent for just such items.

Having just finished "A Teaching Seminar" and "Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy", I know that I will be referring back to these works over and over, as I do with all the other wonderful titles I have collected.

Thank you both, so much, for the time and effort, and attention to the all-important details that you put into these most excellent works. My work, and indeed my whole life, has been greatly enriched as a result, and while I am sure you must have heard similar sentiments many times before, I feel it still necessary to add my thanks to the list.

By way of further introduction, I used to work for a large financially-oriented publishing firm, made good pay, but felt much stress and no reward. I came across NLP and learned of Milton Erickson's techniques, and began studying. I am now gainfully self-employed (, and able to follow up on my passion for using NLP and hypnotic techniques in service to people- something I never had time to do working in corporate America! :)

I hope, some day, to be able to meet you each in person, and shake your hand, knowing that we all know that a handshake can indeed have a middle! :)

Thanks again & best regards,

David Julian Xanatos

Stephen Lankton July 19th, 2005 09:19 PM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
Thanks for the accolades.
I strongly recommend that you work to achieve a Masters degree in social work or psychology to pursue your dreams.

David Xanatos July 20th, 2005 09:37 AM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
Hello Steve,

Thanks for your reply and advice. I am indeed seeking options for a degree, I would like to get a Masters in Counselling Psychology (at least to start with- a Ph.D. is not out of the question). While I am exploring some options for distance learning, I also feel it would be imperative for me to spend time in learning settings where I could receive real-person, real-time feedback and guidance, something not possible by online university. What I am hoping to manage is to take the initial courses via distance learning, from a respected organization such that the credits will transfer to a brick-and-morter university where I may receive more personalized instruction and supervision.

Do you have any particular recommendations or thoughts on what I have outlined above? As I live in the Western Massachusetts area, and relocation for me would not be an option at this time, do you have any information about university programs in my area that might be of use to me in researching and making my decisions?

Again, thanks very much.

Best regards,

Dave Xanatos

Stephen Lankton July 21st, 2005 03:31 AM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
I am not well aware of all "good" off-campus universities. Make sure you choose an accredited university such as USIU, NOVA, or FEILDING. And, there may be others that are also well accepted. I took some Ph.D. courses at USIU, some of my trainees went there and to Fielding, and I know some of the instructors and former instructors from Nova. They are all very fine and accredited - so graduating from any of them, you can get a state license after spending all your time, brain cells, and money.

There are wonderful post grad training workshops that will accept non-masters people, (I think). Gestalt Inst of Cleveland, many Transactional Analysis programs and others. These are often wonderful clinical training programs. Both Jeff Zeig and I feel that our work toward Clinical certification in TA and Gestalt was, hands down, the best training we ever received.

But as you look toward hypnosis all professional trainers insist that you have a Masters degree or be a full time student in such a program to receive training. The exception are the NLP offerings...but keep in mind, that the vast majority of those NLP trainers are not interested in and have not received training and credentialing in psychology - those of us who have such training are pretty much appalled with that situation.

The group norm in our country and all related professionals requires such certification if we want to enjoy the sanctions of roles in these professions. In NLP training, Steve Andreas (previously John Stevens of Gestalt fame) and Bob Dilts are notable exceptions having obtained masters level or higher professional degrees (and there are some others)...yet their training programs are open to all comers and not just professionals.

All in all, you DO need to acquire what they did - a minimum of a Masters in one of the psychology related fields (social work, psychology, counseling, and even theology and psychiatric nursing, etc.) to have doors opened for you in the field. Bottom line: I would not, and none of my colleagues would, ever endorse or refer clients to a person who had not accomplished this minimal standard of education and practice. We would consider it unethical...and so would the state boards who oversee our activities!

I hope that puts into perspective issues that may help guide your career decisions.

David Xanatos July 21st, 2005 11:15 AM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
Thanks Steve, there was much useful information for me there.

I had the pleasure of working with and being trained by Steve Andreas (and Connirae) back in 1993 when I received my first NLP certification from NLP Comprehensive. I have often thought about the oddity of the situation whereby many people with no formal training at all (and no common sense) take an NLP course and instantly think they are ready to go out and save the world. I have met several people with a very negative opinion of NLP due to their very unfortunate interactions with other "certified" practitioners who had, as far as I can determine, no idea of what the material was about. So I do recognize your concerns. What has spurred me on, beyond just the amazement of the accounts of Milton and others in action, was learning what I did from the NLP model, and then seeing that it was just the tiniest tip of the iceberg of what was available to genuinely influence people's lives in healthful and life-affirming ways. Having read some 15 to 20 books (I have a very large library of material- not just on Erickson's work) by or about Erickson's methods (especially the older ones, like Hypnotic realities, Hypnotherapy, Healing in Trance, Collected Papers 1-4, etc), and observing many, many hours of his available video... I find that so much more exists that I have yet to learn- I seek to aspire to that level of artistry. Someday...

Thanks again, I am very grateful for your input here. This after years of reading your books!

Best regards,


PS (added 7:52pm EDT): After viewing USIU (now Aliant), NOVA and Fielding, I sent for more info from Nova. Then, on a hunch, I checked out the colleges in my own back yard- and discovered that Smith College, in Northampton, MA seems to have a very robust psych degree program. My wife and I spend a lot of time in Northampton- mostly at the restaurants- so the location is convenient! Do you know anything about the reputation of the Smith psych programs?

Stephen Lankton July 22nd, 2005 02:17 PM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
That's a very thoughtful answer!
Do add to your reading other valuable sources:
Perls, Hefferline, Goodman - GESTALT THERAPY (book is by all three authors)

And many others by, instance, Finechel, Progoff, Lowen, Minuchin, Lazarus, Beck, Haley, Watzalwick, etc. And there are many many more.

Each of this professionals are uniquely different in there thinking and approach, yet each has done a bang-up job opening our eyes. I am stressing that the best way to learn topic X is to also read topic –X. If you get my meaning.

David Xanatos July 22nd, 2005 03:50 PM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the list- I am indeed adding those titles to my very extensive "to read" list (which gets reshuffled frequently as books get added to the list with greater priorities!). I have a preexisting interest in Gestalt and TA, and all forms of behavior modification.

And yes, learning -X assists to define X more precisely, this has been my experience in other learnings as well. I find it helps to define the "edges", as well as where X and -X share common substance. Hmmm... reminds me of the old "space between the bars that holds the tiger" thing! :)

I have an appointment in Northampton next Thursday to speak with someone from Smith College regarding their psych programs, and how best to begin. A very exciting time... I feel I have finally embarked on a path guided by my True North.

Thanks again,


Stephen Lankton July 23rd, 2005 02:43 AM

Re: Thanks and Introduction
Wow. Bon Voyage!

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