I've been discussing the similarities and differences between Ericksonian hypnosis and psychoanalysis with a therapist who is strongly psychoanalytic in orientation. He has said that he thinks that Erickson went through analysis with French and Alexander (who were among the first analysts to try to do brief therapy) and or someone from the Sulivanian interpersonal school. This sounds plausible because "brief" and "interpersonal" are two major characteristics of Erickson's work. I think that if this is true, then it raises some interesting questions.
Could it be that Erickson was not truely atheoretical but actually based his work on (or was strongly influenced by) the unacknowledged contributions psychoanalytic theorists?
If so, to what extent is it necessary to study and master psychoanalytic theory in order to extend and expand Erickson's legacy?
If Erickson was actually atheoretical (not influenced by psychoanalysis or analytic theory), can Erickson's methods then be utilized by therapists who hold to any theory -- or no theory?
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