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on November 28, 2016
My therapeutic toolbox has been greatly enhanced and enriched by the writings of several students of Milton H. Erickson, who was, by general consensus one of the most innovative hypnotherapists the world has known. Sidney Rosen has further enhanced my appreciations and understanding of Erickson’s work.

Rosen was a long-time student and colleague of Erickson, and as such, brings us a wonderful collection of anecdotes, clinical and personal observations of this master of hypnotherapeutic transformations. As with every other book about Erickson, I savored the unusual perspectives, startling interventions, and deep wisdom of this wonderful teacher.

Erickson possessed an extraordinarily sharp gift for what I call pattern recognition. He was able to rapidly grasp, engage and manipulate the conscious and unconscious belief (and disbelief) systems, habit patterns and self-image of a person. He used his own words and behaviors to bring about changes in people that were rapid, deep and enormously therapeutic. Often they involved light hypnotic trance, but many times they were direct suggestions for behaviors that led to changes.

One of his vehicles for these interventions was to tell stories that illustrated his patients’ problems, demonstrated his appreciation of where they were stuck in life, acknowledged their strengths as well as their weaknesses. He then invited them to change some aspect of their perceptions and behaviors that then led to significant improvements in the problems for which they were seeking help.

Some of his interventions were very simple.

A man from Philadelphia, whose headaches I cured, sent his aunt and uncle out to see me. He said, “These two have quarreled every day of their married life. They’ve been married over thirty years.”

They came out to see me. I said, “Haven’t you had enough of quarreling? Why not start enjoying life?” And they had a very pleasant life. And the man’s aunt tried to persuade her sister to come out, because his mother was very unhappy. (p. 55)

So here is a story from Erickson, told to therapists, illustrating his suggestions that brought about rapid and deep changes. Almost certainly there were many more pieces of his interactions with this couple that he did not mention. But the essence of his message about creating change is memorably presented, framed and reinforced by the reports of the observations of various relatives of the patients.

Rosen quotes further notes from Erickson about this intervention:

Too many therapists think that they must direct the change and help the patient to change.
Therapy is like starting a snowball rolling at the top of a mountain. As it rolls down, it grows larger and larger and becomes an avalanche that fits the shape of the mountain.”

Rosen gives the example of Erickson’s prescribing the presenting symptom of a fifteen year-old girl whose parents and school and school bus driver and fellow students were all sick of her loudly slurping as she sucked her thumb. Erickson got her parents to agree they would say nothing more about this behavior. He then prescribed the following behaviors: Her parents agreed to say nothing more about these behaviors. She was to suck her thumb with loud, slurping noises while her father read the newspaper and while her mother did her sewing. She was to suck her thumb selectively at school, particularly in front of other students and teachers whom who disliked. Within a month she had stopped her thumb sucking.

Particularly endearing are stories of how Erickson used these approaches with his own children, and how they learned to use them with others.

For an enjoyable and highly instructive read, this book is highly recommended.
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on January 4, 2018
I always enjoy reading about Milton Erickson's work and find it refreshing. This book brings his methods home in a very immediate way. His approach to therapy is very far from the mainstream today since insurance companies in their quest for "evidence based practices" dictate treatment methods that have little to do with healing. This is a must read for all practicing therapists.
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on November 13, 2012
... Erickson used confusion (as in my review title) to help clients create change. When you read this book, you learn how to help your clients. But you also absorb lessons for your own life, and that's the beauty of these hypnotic stories.

In Erickson's day, there were doctors and therapists who didn't believe Erickson's amazing outcomes. And that's too bad, because they've could have learned from the master. Even today with all of the successful outcomes in the hypnotherapy field, there's still much skepticism about the speed at which change can happen.

But I'll get off my soapbox and back to the review.

His stories range from weight loss to bed wetting to sexual issues to fear to so many other topics. With that said, it's easy to adapt the lessons to issues not discussed, because the exact issue isn't really important.

Rather than try to make your client adapt to your worldview, adapt to the client's worldview. To me, that's one of the biggest lessons Erickson taught people. Another big lesson was that there's no such thing as a resistant client; just inflexible therapists. (Or inflexible hypnotherapists.)

If you're interested in hypnosis or work as a therapist or hypnotherapist, buy and apply.
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on January 27, 2014
I am an addiction counselor. There is a large part of my clientele that is in denial. That means that direcxt approact to a dysfunctional behaviors gets met with resistance. Mr Ericksons approach of metaphors and redirections and third positions allows me to suggest directions with an acceptance of a possibility. Outstanding stories and ideas of how to form a useful tale.
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on June 25, 2016
Absolutely delightful! I remember that I had this volume many years ago, and I'll be darned if I know what happened to it, but now it's back, and I enjoy it all the more.
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on January 23, 2016
Really great examples and stories of actual work with patients using forms of hypnosis/suggestion. Fascinating, easy and fast read. Looking forward to checking out more Milton Erickson!
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on May 27, 2016
Milton Erickson was, by all accounts, a brilliant and unique psychiatrist and medical hypnotist. This book, which provides dozens of stories of his interactions with patients and his family, is a wonderful introduction to his work. And it has all the entertainment value and magic of a fairy tale.
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on August 13, 2007
My Voice Will Go With You is subtitled The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson. The tales do teach, inform, and show how you can change your behavior and those around you for the better. The book contains techniques to help raise children, break old habits, enable you to overcome your limitations, and are thoroughly enjoyable to read. Both individuals and professionals can benefit from reading and re-reading this book.

I bought the book to find out more about Erickson's therapeutic techniques and found that the techniques could be applied in my own life to change my behavior and influence the behavior of others around me.
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on July 23, 2015
in between sumple stories there are very strong nd ever true principles of treating people for example the story of the horse that away from the farm and more / in the book the reader may taste the essence of milton ericksom princuples which for him were only his nature
/ dr yurfest shmuel vascular surgeon and medical hypnotherapist
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on September 18, 2016
Excellent read, it shows the true talent of Milton Erickson.
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