It's pleasure to be here with you, Gil.
I met Erickson in December 1973. I recounted the details in Experiencing Erickson so I will only outline them here. I started studying hypnosis in about 1972. One of my early teachers recommended that I read Erickson. The only book at the time was Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis and Therapy edited by Jay Haley. I was hooked the moment I read it. I wrote a frivolous letter to my cousin, Ellen, who was studying nursing in Tucson which is about 100 miles from Phoenix, and told her that if she ever went to Phoenix she should look up Milton Erickson because he was a genius. She wrote back saying, "Remember my old roommate, Roxanna Erickson?"
Ellen met Roxanna, Erickson's second youngest daughter, when they were in Mexico for college courses. I met Roxie in about 1971 when Ellen, a friend, and I went to the Chinese New Year's celebration in San Francisco. (I talked with Roxie recently. She insists that we went to a Joan Baez concert. It shows you the way memories are fallible. In this case I don't know who is right. I will have to ask Ellen. ) I wrote Erickson and asked if I could study with him. Eventually he agreed and the history proceeds from there. It just goes to show you the unpredictable and wide reaching effects of "small" actions.
Incidentally, my second visit to Erickson was at his invitation. I left after
the first visit not knowing if I would see him again. When I returned to the
San Francisco area where I was living at the time, I received an invitation
to the wedding of his youngest daughter, Kristi. It was a small family
wedding. I flew back to Phoenix. I didn't realize at the time how Erickson
invited students and patients into his family for various periods of time.
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