Perhaps you heard one of Erickson's famous one-liners: "And my voice goes everywhere with you..."
Erickson did a kind of "reparenting" when the occasion called for it. He "adopted" many people into his family, including patients and students. Remember that his Phoenix office was in his home. The living room was the waiting room. He brought his children into sessions to demonstrate hypnosis, to demonstrate how a child thinks about the world, etc. One patient even became his son's roommate for a period of time.
Erickson had a novel way of doing family therapy: His family did therapy with the patient.
Therapy is not restricted to the consulting room. Therapy happens in life. Erickson's work was rooted in his philosophy of utilization. Whatever exists in the situation can be harnessed to elicit therapeutic objectives...even one's own family.
Utilization is one of the things that distingushed Erickson. His perceptiveness and humanity also were extraordinary. So was Erickson's congruence.
Erickson was a man who suffered constant pain and the residuals of polio that severely limited his use of his limbs. When patients saw him he spoke from his experience: He demonstrated how to enjoy life, inspite of, because of, limitations.
He harnessed his infirmities: He would reframe his own pain; he would joke about it; he would describe how he dealt with it. Patients knew that Erickson suffered just as much and probably more than they did. And, he was happy.
Robin, I hope you become more interested in the philosophy of Utilization. It is the single most important concept I have learned in almost 25 years of being a therapist. Yes, even more important than empathy!