Taoism and Buddhism began as non-theistic "philosophies" that were later codified into religions. With codification and dogma, myopic rigidities can develop. Santanyana once quipped that when someone comes up with a good idea, someone else is sure to over-extend it.
Erickson had neither an explicit theory of personality nor a system of intervention. Certainly, he had implicit heuristics that made intervention possible. I will be speaking about these heuristics at the Brief Therapy Conference in August in NY.
Erickson had a few teachers but no mentor. He was versed in psychoanalytic theory and published in their journals. He corresponded and collaborated on articles with noted analysts. He was not analyzed. He did not build on exisiting theories; his methods are not an extension of exisiting theories. Erickson seemed to invent himself and his methods de novo, based on his experiential and empirical studies. Erickson's methods are not based on, nor are they extensions of the personality theories of others. Yes, he responded to the limitations of psychoanalysis. Yes, he built on the writings of hypnotic theorist who preceeded him. Yes, he invented his own approach, independently.
Thanks for your inquiry, Larry.
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