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Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.

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This book provides a comprehensive look at Dr. Erickson's theories in practice, through a series of case studies covering the kinds of problems that are likely to occur at various stages of the human life cycle. The results Dr. Erickson achieves sometimes seem to border on the miraculous, but they are brought about by a finely honed technique used by a wise, intuitive, hig This book provides a comprehensive look at Dr. Erickson's theories in practice, through a series of case studies covering the kinds of problems that are likely to occur at various stages of the human life cycle. The results Dr. Erickson achieves sometimes seem to border on the miraculous, but they are brought about by a finely honed technique used by a wise, intuitive, highly trained psychiatrist-hypnotist whose work is recognized as a major contribution to the field.


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This book provides a comprehensive look at Dr. Erickson's theories in practice, through a series of case studies covering the kinds of problems that are likely to occur at various stages of the human life cycle. The results Dr. Erickson achieves sometimes seem to border on the miraculous, but they are brought about by a finely honed technique used by a wise, intuitive, hig This book provides a comprehensive look at Dr. Erickson's theories in practice, through a series of case studies covering the kinds of problems that are likely to occur at various stages of the human life cycle. The results Dr. Erickson achieves sometimes seem to border on the miraculous, but they are brought about by a finely honed technique used by a wise, intuitive, highly trained psychiatrist-hypnotist whose work is recognized as a major contribution to the field.

30 review for Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frrobins

    As a therapist who utilizes brief therapeutic techniques, I'd been encouraged to look up the works of Milton Erickson for some history on the field. While reading this book, I struggled between the viewing this as a history versus a viable method of doing therapy. And as a method of performing therapy, I can't say I recommend this. In addition to the use of therapies that have proved to be harmful, such as age-regression hypnosis, some of the solutions Erickson prescribed, such as a mother sittin As a therapist who utilizes brief therapeutic techniques, I'd been encouraged to look up the works of Milton Erickson for some history on the field. While reading this book, I struggled between the viewing this as a history versus a viable method of doing therapy. And as a method of performing therapy, I can't say I recommend this. In addition to the use of therapies that have proved to be harmful, such as age-regression hypnosis, some of the solutions Erickson prescribed, such as a mother sitting on her defiant son all day, were rather abusive. Further, this book is really showing it's age, conceptualizing problems as moving from one stage of development to the other. Problems tend to be resolved by moving into the next stage of development, moving out of the home, getting married, having kids, letting go of the kids, dying. While lip service is paid to the idea that not everyone needs to get married and have kids, pretty much every successful outcome in the book IS getting married and having kids, so... Erickson also tended to minimize the biological origins of diseases such as schizophrenia and autism, implying that parents needed to either be stricter with their kids or do a better job of letting them go. Other things have held up better, such as his emphasis on finding individual solutions for different people, and his focus on the family as a system and not just the individual in his office. He was also of the of few people practicing brief therapy in the heydey of long term psychoanalysis. His focus was on effecting change, not finding the reason why the problem was happening in the first place, and idea with merit. One thing in particular that disturbed me was the assertion at the beginning of the book that therapeutic techniques such as hypnosis did not need to undergo testing into their validity. This is a wrong and dangerous assertion. And while Erickson claimed to have great success with his techniques, it is important to keep in mind that this book consists primarily of anecdotal evidence and there is no research into the long term functioning of his clients as compared to others who received no intervention. Therefore, I would caution to take what is presented here with a grain of salt. That said, as a work of therapeutic history, this was interesting and the case studies were intriguing. Once I got through the introductory chapters, which were incredibly boring, this book was a fun read and I feel I have broadened my knowledge of the history of therapy. However, I do think it is very important for the modern therapist to not use this as a manual for therapy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    This book changed my view of what is possible and made me laugh out loud repeatedly. I finished it with a profound awe and fondness for Dr Erickson.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt Smith

    ... is worth the read for it's reviewal of "paradoxical assignments" therapists can suggest for patients. Nothing groundbreaking unless of course one subscribes intensely to such modalities. Interesting though in that Haley insists "going with/encouraging patient's resistance is a good way to reinforce the therapeutic alliance." He goes on to describe how this plays out and it's actually pretty convincing -- just depends on the tonality & context of rapport. Not bad. ... is worth the read for it's reviewal of "paradoxical assignments" therapists can suggest for patients. Nothing groundbreaking unless of course one subscribes intensely to such modalities. Interesting though in that Haley insists "going with/encouraging patient's resistance is a good way to reinforce the therapeutic alliance." He goes on to describe how this plays out and it's actually pretty convincing -- just depends on the tonality & context of rapport. Not bad.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melvin Marsh, M.S.

    I think much of the book is solid, but, of course, dated. I cannot imagine being allowed to do some of this nowadays, however it is hard to argue with Dr. Erickson's results and for that aspect I enjoyed the book. I think one of my favourites were either his transcripts or anything that was in his own words. He was a fascinating guy. I also had to laugh at how much his son Robert was mentioned (I had the pleasure of meeting Robert just a few weeks ago). I think much of the book is solid, but, of course, dated. I cannot imagine being allowed to do some of this nowadays, however it is hard to argue with Dr. Erickson's results and for that aspect I enjoyed the book. I think one of my favourites were either his transcripts or anything that was in his own words. He was a fascinating guy. I also had to laugh at how much his son Robert was mentioned (I had the pleasure of meeting Robert just a few weeks ago).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thom XRobson

    As a MH professional I think everyone in my field would find the techniques of Erickson shocking today though I would say there is still something to be learnt from this remarkable and oftentimes bizarre character. His treatment techniques are fun to hear (I used audible) about and the anecdotes themselves demonstrate how they work in practice. Creative and thought-provoking Ericksons use of therapeutic rapport, strategic intervention, language patterns and pursuasive techniques are seminal to t As a MH professional I think everyone in my field would find the techniques of Erickson shocking today though I would say there is still something to be learnt from this remarkable and oftentimes bizarre character. His treatment techniques are fun to hear (I used audible) about and the anecdotes themselves demonstrate how they work in practice. Creative and thought-provoking Ericksons use of therapeutic rapport, strategic intervention, language patterns and pursuasive techniques are seminal to the work of many others and thus he remains a founding father of modern psychotherapeutic practice.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Oralia

    Un viaje de estudios reflejado en cada página donde aprendemos el enfoque y visión de quien sin duda representa una base en el tratamiento psicológico, nos devuelve la comprensión en el paciente y la importancia de estar a la altura del supuesto saber que nos trae la profesión. Una eminencia en su campo sin lugar a dudas.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sylvester

    The book is predominantly focused on family cycle and hynotism, along with some more novel techniques used in brief therapy. Kinda tedious to read since half of it consisted of Erickson's interview with the patients, but it did contain some interesting cases. The book is predominantly focused on family cycle and hynotism, along with some more novel techniques used in brief therapy. Kinda tedious to read since half of it consisted of Erickson's interview with the patients, but it did contain some interesting cases.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jehree Anderson

    Novel techniques in Brief Therapy. Really enjoyed reading more in depth on Erikson’s methods

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cesar Chejin Rodriguez

    Como psicoterapeuta Gestaltico, el libro proporciona casos prácticos los cuales podrías aplicar en terapia. Me ha sido muy útil.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catalina González

    Great book ! Great selection of cases of Dr Erickson incredible practice! Highly recommend for therapists looking for inspiration.

  11. 5 out of 5

    DANIEL GHANIME

    After my “and my voice will go with you” just keep going and grab this book if you want to know more about Milton Erickson’s techniques and ways

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A book that reviews the therapeutic philosophy of Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist known for his use of hypnosis to achieve therapeutic goals -- Only having a cursory knowledge of hypnosis gained from a 1 hour seminar during my last year of medical school, I was actually very intrigued by the beginning of the book in which it gave a fundamental overview of the principle of hypnosis used by Erickson. I was skeptical, but the basis of the principle is that the therapist directs the patients conscio A book that reviews the therapeutic philosophy of Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist known for his use of hypnosis to achieve therapeutic goals -- Only having a cursory knowledge of hypnosis gained from a 1 hour seminar during my last year of medical school, I was actually very intrigued by the beginning of the book in which it gave a fundamental overview of the principle of hypnosis used by Erickson. I was skeptical, but the basis of the principle is that the therapist directs the patients conscious thoughts in one direction and at the same time works to mold the patients behavior toward the direction of productive change by working with their unconscious thoughts. It reminded me of a technique we docs often use in the office when testing reflexes - often times people will tense their muscles while we are trying to test reflexes, thus dampening any reflexive response. To counteract this, we'll first act the patient to interlace their fingers and pull outwards against their own resistance. While the patient is consciously doing this, we'll go ahead and test their reflexes because their attention has been diverted to another task, and thus will not complicate the actual main goal. - This is all to say that I can at least somewhat understand the principle behind the therapy of hypnosis, but that's about it. The first chapter was then interesting as it went through different techniques of diverting the conscious thoughts of the patient in order to have unconscious reactions, a section of about 20-pages that I think would be worthwhile for any person involved with working to changes behaviors. The rest of the book goes into Erickson's views of the family lifecycle and how to effective do therapy within it. -- I didn't read most of this. I soon realized that Erickson held a presupposition, that humans are simply further-developed animals and thus should be evaluated as such. As a Christian who believes that we as human beings, created in the image of God, are inherently different from the rest of creation, a therapeutic framework based an entirely different view of humanity would likely be useless. This is not to say that their may be some principles that I might find helpful, but as life is short and I have things to do, I didn't feel that I could give the book any more time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David

    My favorite book. Explains life from start to end. Each chapter is dedicated to a different phase of life with the case studies of individuals that sought Erickson's hypnotherapy and how he also helped the individuals through the situation they had. This is a great book for anyone that enjoys psychology and all its wonders. Also, Erickson was and is still a major factor in the study of hypnotherapy. My favorite book. Explains life from start to end. Each chapter is dedicated to a different phase of life with the case studies of individuals that sought Erickson's hypnotherapy and how he also helped the individuals through the situation they had. This is a great book for anyone that enjoys psychology and all its wonders. Also, Erickson was and is still a major factor in the study of hypnotherapy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    This is a pretty interesting book for anyone who is intrigued with Milton Erickson or hypnosis. I learnt a lot about hypnosis reading it. And quite frankly, most of Erickson's case studies are just beautiful. Particularly, in the last chapter, the Prussian German man he helps with a stroke by offending him/pissing him off and using the Prussian willpower to drive himself to health. It's kind of amazing the way Erickson can find things like that with everyone he interacts with. This is a pretty interesting book for anyone who is intrigued with Milton Erickson or hypnosis. I learnt a lot about hypnosis reading it. And quite frankly, most of Erickson's case studies are just beautiful. Particularly, in the last chapter, the Prussian German man he helps with a stroke by offending him/pissing him off and using the Prussian willpower to drive himself to health. It's kind of amazing the way Erickson can find things like that with everyone he interacts with.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I enjoyed reading the case studies in this book. I also admired Dr. Erickson's technique in dealing with patients. His techniques gave me a lot of food for thought in how I deal with others and with my own issues. Dr. Erickson has inspired me to think more of the outcome in changing my behavior and less about why I'm behaving in a certain way. I enjoyed reading the case studies in this book. I also admired Dr. Erickson's technique in dealing with patients. His techniques gave me a lot of food for thought in how I deal with others and with my own issues. Dr. Erickson has inspired me to think more of the outcome in changing my behavior and less about why I'm behaving in a certain way.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charles Frode

    Wonderful practical compendium of master therapist, Milton Ericson's techniques. Anyone who is a healer, communicator, teacher, or human being needs to learn his stuff. It is so practical, powerful, and useful. Get this Ericson book first, then the other more focused ones. Wonderful practical compendium of master therapist, Milton Ericson's techniques. Anyone who is a healer, communicator, teacher, or human being needs to learn his stuff. It is so practical, powerful, and useful. Get this Ericson book first, then the other more focused ones.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamey

    This is an anecdotal book about the rather miraculous short-term therapies conducted by the legendary hypnotist Milton Erickson. It all seems too good to be true. Still, the stories are oddly inspiring.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Great information on a great therapist. Milton Erickson and his techniques can be a mystery, but this book makes his work more understandable and functional. Some of the work is dated, but much of the work is very useful to many therapy situations.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bill Powers

    A fascinating (from my perspective as a non-psychologist) look at non-traditional indirect/conversational hypnosis. Yes, I am going to use it in a story!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Manderson

    Erickson is basically the father of hypnosis. This book covers example after example of how he'd put people in a Trance and get to solution quickly. Great info. Erickson is basically the father of hypnosis. This book covers example after example of how he'd put people in a Trance and get to solution quickly. Great info.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Freya Magnusson

    Milton Erickson,M.D. founder of modern hypnosis - using that for therapy was an interesting read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex Giurgea

    O carte care mai aseaza o caramida in intelegerea succesului terapeutic. Are un continut dificil, este plina de studii de caz, insa ideile principale se sedimenteaza.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Amusing and inspiring!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shalu

  25. 4 out of 5

    Boris

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bob Porter

  28. 4 out of 5

    Asli

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sparrowgem

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

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