The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson

The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson

The Collected Works series represents a major and ongoing commitment to gather and assemble the wealth of material created by Dr. Erickson during five decades of work. Beyond preserving this great pioneer's legacy, the purpose of the series is to make his knowledge, insight, techniques, and discoveries accessible to students, researchers, clinicians and educators in the behavioral and health sciences, including neuroscience.

Though he died in 1980, Dr. Erickson remains a seminal force in hypnosis and psychotherapy. He added more cases to psychiatric literature than any other therapist in history.

This series presents his groundbreaking studies in therapeutic hypnosis, psychotherapy, rehabilitation, and research. Each volume contains new material or updated information created by the editors.


Volume 1: The Nature of Therapeutic Hypnosis

Erickson’s experimental and therapeutic explorations with the hypnotic modality span more than 50 years. His successful rejuvenation of the entire field may be attributed to his development of the nonauthoritarian approaches to suggestion wherein subjects learn how to experience hypnotic phenomena and how to utilize their own potentials to solve problems in their own way. The contents of this volume can be best understood as working papers on a journey of discovery. There is little that is fixed, final, or permanently validated about them. Most of these papers are heuristics that can stimulate the mind of the reader and evoke the awe of discovery, which is unlimited in the realm of human consciousness.

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Table of Contents

  1. Exploring the Nature of Consciousness and Hypnosis
    • The Neuroscience of Therapeutic Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, and Rehabilitation
    • Initial Experiments Investigating the Nature of Hypnosis
    • Further Experimental Investigation of Hypnosis” Hypnotic and Non-Hypnotic Realities
    • A Special Inquiry with Aldous Huxley into the Nature and Character of Various States of Consciousness
    • Autohypnotic Experiences of Milton H. Erickson
  2. Naturalistic and Utilization Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • Historical Note on the Hand Levitation and Other Ideomotor Techniques
    • Deep Hypnosis and Its Induction
    • Naturalistic Techniques of Hypnosis
    • Further Clinical Techniques of Hypnosis: Utilization Techniques
  3. Minimal Cues, Mirror Neurons and Rapport in Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • Respiratory Rhythm in Trance Induction: The Role of Minimal Sensory Cues in Normal and Trance Behavior
    • An Indirect Induction of Trance: Simulation and the Role of Indirect Suggestion and Minimal Cues
    • The “Surprise” and “My-Friend-John” Techniques of Hypnosis: Minimal Cues and Natural Field Experimentation
  4. Observation and Training in Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • Expectancy and Minimal Sensory Cues in Hypnosis
    • Notes on Minimal Cues in Vocal Dynamics and Memory
    • Clinical and Experimental Trance: Hypnotic Training and Time Required for Their Development
    • Laboratory and Clinical Hypnosis: The Same or Different Phenomena?
    • The Experience of Interviewing in the Presence of Observers

Volume 2: Basic Hypnotic Induction and Therapeutic Suggestion

In these papers, written over a period of several decades, we see a renaissance of new approaches to hypnotherapy and a remarkable creativity in facilitating symptom relief, depth psychology, and the actualization of personal potentials. One intuits in Erickson’s innovative approaches an unusual respect and appreciation for the complexity of the human psyche. We see him as an explorer who is constantly mindful of his own limitations, while fully aware of the patient’s own potentials for self-cure and development. We see in these papers his efforts to break out of the limiting assumptions that underlay many “schools” of psychotherapy.

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Table of Contents

  1. An Introduction to Therapeutic Hypnosis and Suggestion
    • The Application of Hypnosis to Psychiatry
    • Hypnosis in Medicine
    • Hypnotic Techniques for the Therapy of Acute Psychiatric Disturbances in War
    • Hypnotic Psychotherapy
    • Hypnosis in General Practice
    • Hypnosis: Its Renascence as a Treatment Modality
    • Hypnotic Approaches to Therapy
  2. Conversational Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis and Suggestion
    • A Transcript of a Trance Induction with Commentary: Milton Erickson, Jay Haley and John Weakland
    • Varieties of Double Bind: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest Rossi
    • The Indirect Forms of Suggestion: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest Rossi
    • Indirect Forms of Suggestion in Hand Levitation: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest Rossi
  3. The Microdynamics of Suggestion and Posthypnotic Trance
    • Two Level Communication and the Microdynamics of Trance and Suggestion” Milton H. Erickson and Ernest Rossi
    • Psychological Shocks and Creative Moments in Psychotherapy: Ernest Rossi
    • Concerning the Nature and Character of Posthypnotic Behavior: Milton H. Erickson and Elizabeth Erickson
  4. Neuroscience Updates of Activity-Dependent Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis and Suggestion
    • The Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy: Ernest Rossi
    • A Conceptual Review of the Psychosocial Genomics of Expectancy and Surprise: Neuroscience Perspectives About the Deep Psychobiology of Therapeutic Hypnosis: Ernest Rossi

Volume 3: Opening the Mind: Innovative Psychotherapy

The collected papers of the first section all demonstrate Erickson's utilization approach to a variety of psychological problems. Utilization theory emphasizes that every individual's abilities and inner resources must be accessed in order to determine how they may be evoked and utilized for therapeutic purposes. The next part illustrates a variety of Erickson's indirect approaches to symptom resolution. This is followed by papers on sexually related problems illustrative of the extremely wide range of approaches the hypnotherapist has available. The last section illustrates the facilitation and utilization of the patient’s own inner resources for solving personal problems. In a number of these illustrations, Erickson did not even know the nature of the problem that the patients solved within the privacy of their own trance experience.

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Table of Contents

  1. Problem Solving with Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • An Introduction to Unorthodox Therapy
    • Special Techniques of Brief Hypnotherapy
    • Pediatric Hypnotherapy
    • The Utilization of Patient Behavior in the Hypnotherapy of Obesity
    • Hypnosis and Examination Panics
    • Experiential Knowledge of Hypnotic Phenomena Employed for Hypnotherapy
    • The Burden of Responsibility in Effective Psychotherapy
    • Hypnosis in Obstetrics: Utilizing Experimental Learnings
    • A Therapeutic Double Bind Utilizing Resistance
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Own Personality and Ideas: “Doing it his own way”
  2. Symptom Resolution with Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • A Clinical Note on Indirect Hypnotic Therapy
    • The Use of Symptoms as an Integral Part of Hypnotherapy
    • The Hypnotic and Hypnotherapeutic Investigation and Determination of Symptom-Function: Milton H. Erickson and Harold Rosen
    • Experimental Hypnotherapy in Tourette’s Disease
    • Hypnotherapy: The Patient’s Right to Both Success and Failure
    • Successful Hypnotherapy That Failed
    • Visual Hallucination as Rehearsal for Symptom Resolution”: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest L. Rossi
  3. Reorientations to Sexual Satisfaction with Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • Posthypnotic Suggestion for Ejaculatio Praecox
    • Psychotherapy Achieved by a Reversal of the Neurotic Processes in a Case of Ejaculatio Praecox
    • Modesty: An Authoritarian Approach Permitting Reconditioning via Fantasy
    • Sterility: A therapeutic Reorientation to Sexual Satisfaction Issue
    • The Abortion Issue: Facilitating Unconscious Permitting Real Choice
    • Impotence: Facilitating Unconscious Reconditioning
    • Latent Homosexuality: Identity Exploration in Hypnosis
    • Vasectomy: A Detailed Illustration of a Therapeutic Reorientation
  4. Self-Exploration in Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • Pseudo-Orientation in Time as a Hypnotherapeutic Procedure
    • Facilitating Objective Thinking and New Frames of Reference with Pseudo-Orientation in Time
    • Self-Exploration in the Hypnotic State
    • Self-Exploration in Trance Following a Surprise Handshake Induction
    • The Reorganization of Unconscious Thinking without Conscious Awareness
    • Novel Activity-Dependent Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy: Ernest L. Rossi and Kathryn L. Rossi

Volume 4: Advanced Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis

This volume contains some of Erickson’s most brilliant yet controversial papers about utilizing the patient’s classical symptoms of anxiety, confusion, and resistance in psychotherapy and therapeutic hypnosis. Even reading the first paper about Erickson’s “confusion technique in hypnosis” tends to make some readers confused about how this pioneering work is supposed to operate. What are the basic principles of working with the patient’s conflicts, confusion and resistance? Like many pioneers, Erickson tried to explain his thinking as he reported his actual experiences with patients, but one looks in vain for a clear protocol that students can follow to repeat his therapeutic success. The patient’s urgent needs and Erickson’s highly original approaches interact to generate complex therapeutic responses that always seem to be one-of-a-kind situations that defy scientific analysis.

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Table of Contents

  1. Advanced Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis
    • The Confusion Technique in Hypnosis
    • The Dynamics of Visualization, Levitation and Confusion in Trance Induction
    • Another Example of Confusion in Trance Induction
    • An Hypnotic Technique for Resistant Patients: The Patient, the Technique, and Its Rationale and Field Experiments
    • Pantomime Techniques in Hypnosis and the Implications
    • The Interspersal Hypnotic Technique for Symptom Correction and Pain Control
  2. Facilitating New Identity Creation
    • Facilitating a New Cosmetic Frame of Reference
    • The Ugly Duckling: Transforming the Self-Image
    • A Shocking Breakout of a Mother Domination
    • Shock and Surprise Facilitating a New Self-Image
    • Correcting an Inferiority Complex
    • The Hypnotherapy of Two Psychosomatic Dental Problems
    • The Identification of a Secure Reality
    • The Hypnotic Corrective Emotional Experience
    • The February Man: Facilitating New Identity in Hypnotherapy: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest L. Rossi
  3. Experimental Neurosis
    • A Clinical Note on a Word Association Test
    • A Study of Hypnotically Induced Complexes by Means of the Luria Technique: P. E. Huston, D. Shakow, Milton H. Erickson
    • A Study of an Experimental Neurosis Hypnotically Induced in a Case of Ejaculatio Praecox
    • The Method Employed to Formulate a Complex Story for the Induction of an Experimental Neurosis in an Hypnotic Subject
  4. Therapeutic Hypnosis with Psychotics
    • Hypnotherapy with a Psychotic: Milton H. Erickson and Ernest L. Rossi
    • Symptom Prescription for Expanding the Psychotic’s World View: Milton H. Erickson and Jeffrey Zeig
  5. Neuroscience Updates
    • The Ideodynamic Action Hypothesis of Therapeutic Suggestion: Creative Replay in the Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis: Ernest L. Rossi
    • Preparing and Motivating Behavior Outside of Awareness: Henk Aarts, Ruud Custers, Hans Marien
    • The Future Orientation of Constructive Memory: An Evolutionary Perspective on Therapeutic Hypnosis and Brief Psychotherapy: Ernest Rossi, Roxanna Erickson-Klein, Kathryn Rossi

Volume 5: Classical Hypnotic Phenomena, Part 1: Psychodynamics

The papers of this volume are illustrations of Erickson's early work on classical hypnotic phenomena such as amnesia, age regression, automatic writing, and literalness as well as the mental mechanisms involved in Freudian “psychopathology and dual personality.” In this clinical research Erickson frequently was responding to the Zeitgeist that surrounded him in his professional appointments in the 1930s and 1940s. While Erickson was able to use hypnosis to validate certain psychoanalytic conceptions of psychodynamics, he never identified himself as a partisan of any psychoanalytic school. Indeed, he often decried what he felt was a premature limitation and rigidification of our understanding of human nature in the belief system of most “true believers” of any “school.”

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Table of Contents

  1. Amnesia
    • The Investigation of a Specific Amnesia
    • Development of Apparent Unconsciousness During Hypnotic Reliving of a Traumatic Experience
    • Clinical and Experimental Observations on Hypnotic Amnesia: Introduction to an Unpublished Paper
    • The Problem of Amnesia in Waking and Hypnotic States
    • Varieties of Hypnotic Amnesia
  2. Literalness
    • Literalness: An Experimental Study
    • Literalness and the Use of Trance in Neurosis
  3. Age Regression Introduction
    • Age Regression: Two Unpublished Fragments of a Student’s Study
    • Past Weekday Determination in Hypnotic and Waking States
    • On the Possible Occurrence of a Dream in an Eight-Month-Old Infant
    • The Successful Treatment of a Case of Acute Hysterical Depression by a Return Under Hypnosis to a Critical Phase of Childhood
  4. Automatic Writing and Drawing
    • The Experimental Demonstration of Unconscious Mentation by Automatic Writing
    • The Use of Automatic Drawing in the Interpretation and Relief of a State of Acute Obsessional Depression
    • The Translation of the Cryptic Automatic Writing of One Hypnotic Subject by Another in a Trancelike Dissociated State
  5. Mental Mechanisms
    • Experimental Demonstrations of the Psychopathology of Everyday Life
    • Demonstration of Mental Mechanisms by Hypnosis
    • Unconscious Mental Activity in Hypnosis: Psychoanalytic Implications
    • Negation or Reversal of Legal Testimony
  6. Dual Personality
    • The Permanent Relief of an Obsessional Phobia by Means of Communication with an Unsuspected Dual Personality
    • The Clinical Discovery of a Dual Personality
    • Findings on the Nature of the Personality Structures in Two Different Dual Personalities by Means of Projective and Psychometric Tests
  7. The Implicit Processing Heuristic Scale
    • The Indirect Trance Assessment Scale (ITAS)
    • Exploratory Association Study between Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) High/Low Enzyme Activity Polymorphism and Hypnotizability: Pesach Lichtenberg, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Inga Gritsenko, and Richard P. Ebstein
    • Hypnotic Susceptibility: Multidimensional Relationships with Cloninger’s Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, COMT Polymorphisms, Absorption, and Attentional Characteristics: Pesach Lichtenberg, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Richard P. Ebstein, and Helen J. Crawford

Volume 6: Classical Hypnotic Phenomena, Part 2: Memory and Hallucination

This volume highlights some of the most significant transitions from his classical papers about hypnotic phenomena written during his early career when he was working in isolation to his eventual co-authorship with a number of his colleagues and students over two generations. The final section of this volume, “Explorations in Hypnosis Research and Practice,” presents an overview of some of these developments from Erickson’s founding of The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis to the present. An interesting example of a practical, teachable, action model of Ericksonian approaches to therapeutic hypnosis and psychotherapy is offered, for example, by the current editor of The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Stephen Lankton, in his chapter: “A Basic Footprint of Erickson’s Process of Change.”

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Table of Contents

  1. Memory and Hallucination
    • Memory and Hallucination Part 1: Ernest Rossi
    • Memory and Hallucination Part 2: Ernest Rossi
  2. Visual Process
    • The Hypnotic Induction of Hallucinatory Color Vision Followed by Psuedonegative Afterimages (written with E. M. Erickson)
    • Discussion: Critical Comments on Hibler’s Presentation of His Work on Negative Afterimages of Hypnotically Induced Hallucinated Colors (written by E. M. Erickson)
    • The Induction of Color Blindness by a Technique of Hypnotic Suggestion
    • An Experimental Investigation of the Hypnotic Subject’s Apparent Ability to Become Unaware of Stimuli
    • The Development of an Acute Limited Obsessional Hysterical State in a Normal Hypnotic Subject
    • Observations Concerning Alterations in Hypnosis of Visual Perceptions (written by E. M. Erickson)
    • Further Observations on Hypnotic Alteration of Visual Perception (written by E. M. Erickson)
    • An Investigation of Optokinetic Nystagmus
    • Acquired Control of Pupillary Responses
  3. Auditory Processes
    • A Study of Clinical and Experimental Findings on Hypnotic Deafness: I. Clinical Experimentation and Findings
    • A Study of Clinical and Experimental Findings on Hypnotic Deafness: II. Experimental Findings with a Conditioned Response Technique
    • Chemo-Anaesthesia in Relation to Hearing and Memory
    • A Field Investigation by Hypnosis of Sound Loci Importance in Human Behavior
  4. Time Distortion
    • Time Distortion in Hypnosis, I (written by L. F. Cooper)
    • Time Distortion in Hypnosis, II (written by L. F. Cooper)
    • The Clinical and Therapeutic Applications of Time Distortion
    • Further Considerations of Time Distortion: Subjective Time Condensation as Distinct from Time Expansion (written by E. M. Erickson)
  5. Explorations in Hypnosis Research
    • Explorations in Hypnosis Research (with a discussion by T. X. Barber, R. Dorcus, H. Guze, T. Sarbin, and A. Weitzenhoffer)
    • Basic Psychological Problems in Hypnotic Research
    • A Basic Footprint of Milton H. Erickson’s Process of Change (by Stephen Lankton, MSW, DAHB)
    • The Creative Psychosocial Genomic Healing Experience: An Ideo-plastic Healing Scale Administration, Rationale and Research - An Open Invitation to Clinical and Experimental Research

Volume 7: Mind-Body Healing and Rehabilitation

This volume illustrates how classical psychosomatic medicine becomes psychosocial genomics just as surely as the 21st century becomes the 22nd. This is an example of how science is self-correcting and continually evolving. Erickson's Collected Works is updated with current concepts of neuroscience, psychosocial genomics, and bioinformatics for students, clinicians, and researchers who wish to extend his innovative therapeutic approaches into the future. Erickson mediated the transition between classical hypnosis as a curious alchemy of abnormal states of mental dissociation and suggestion to a new form of psychotherapy when he began publishing his early studies of psychosomatic phenomena in the 1930s.

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Table of Contents

  1. Erickson’s Pioneering Approaches to Mind-Body Healing
    • Hypnotic Investigation of Psychosomatic Phenomena: Psychosomatic Interrelationships Studied by Experimental Hypnosis
    • Hypnotic Investigation of Psychosomatic Phenomena: The Development of Aphasia-Like Reactions from Hypnotically Induced Amnesias (written with R. M. Brickner)
    • Hypnotic Investigation of Psychosomatic Phenomena: A Controlled Experimental Use of Hypnotic Regression in the Therapy of Acquired Food Intolerance
    • Experimentally Elicited Salivary and Related Responses to Hypnotic Visual Hallucinations Confirmed by Personality Reactions
    • Control of Physiological Functions by Hypnosis
    • The Hypnotic Alteration of Blood Flow: An Experiment Comparing Waking and Hypnotic Responsiveness
    • A Clinical Experimental Approach to Psychogenetic Infertility
    • Breast Development Possibility Influenced by Hypnosis: Two Instances and the Psychotherapeutic Results
    • Psychogenic Alteration of Menstrual Functioning: Three Instances
    • The Appearance in Three Generations of an Atypical Pattern of the Sneezing Reflex
    • An Addendum to a Report of the Appearance in Three Generations of an Atypical Pattern of the Sneezing Reflex
  2. Erickson’s Innovative Approaches to Pain Resolution
    • An Introduction to the Study and Application of Hypnosis for Pain Control
    • The Therapy of a Psychosomatic Headache
    • Migraine Headache in a Resistant Patient
    • Hypnosis in Painful Terminal Illness
    • Hypnotic Training for Transforming the Experience of Chronic Pain
  3. Erickson’s Pioneering Approaches in Rehabilitation
    • Hypnotically Oriented Psychotherapy in Organic Brain Damage
    • Hypnotically Oriented Psychotherapy in Organic Brain Disease: An Addendum
    • An Application of Implications of Lashley’s Researches in a Circumscribed Arteriosclerotic Brain Condition
    • Experimental Hypnotherapy in a Speech Problem
    • Provocation as a Means of Motivating Recovery from a Cerebrovascular Accident
  4. Psychosocial Genomics of Mind-Body Healing for Rehabilitation
    • Psychosocial Genomics: Gene Expression, Neurogenesis, and Human Experience in Mind-Body Medicine (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • Stress-Induced Alternative Gene Splicing in Mind-Body Medicine (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • Gene Expression, Neurogenesis, and Healing: Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • The Bioinformatics of Psychosocial Genomics in Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • A Bioinformatics Approach to the Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • The Memory Trace Reactivation and Reconstruction Theory of Therapeutic Hypnosis: The Creative Replaying of Gene Expression and Brain Plasticity in Stroke Rehabilitation (Ernest L. Rossi)
    • The Bioinformatics of Integrative Medical Insights: Proposals for an International Psychosocial and Cultural Bioinformatics Project (Ernest Rossi, Kathryn Rossi, Garret Yount, Mauro Cozzolino and Salvador Iannotti)
    • A Pilot Study of Positive Expectations and Focused Attention Via a New Protocol for Optimizing Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy Assessed with DNA Microarrays: The Creative Psychosocial Genomic Healing Experience (Ernest Rossi, Salvatore Iannotti, Mauro Cozzolino, Stefano Castiglione, Angela Cicatelli, Kathryn Rossi)
    • A New Bioinformatics Paradigm for the Theory, Research, and Practice of Therapeutic Hypnosis (David Atkinson, Salvatore Iannotti, Mauro Cozzolino, Stefano Castiglione, Angela Cicatelli, Bhaskar Vyas, Jane Mortimer, Richard Hill, Erika Chovanec, Alessia Chiamberlando, Jorge Cuadros, Claude Virot, Michel Kerouac, Theirry Kallfass, Stanley Krippner, Claire Frederick, Bruce Gregory, Michael Shaffran, Margaret Bullock, Ella Soleimany, April Cybil Rossi, Kathryn Rossi, Ernest Rossi)

Volume 8: General and Historical Surveys of Hypnosis

In these papers, written over a period of more than four decades, we see a renaissance of new approaches to hypnotherapy and a remarkable creativity in facilitating symptom relief, depth psychotherapy, and the actualization of personal potentials. One senses in Erickson’s innovative approaches an unusual respect and appreciation for the complexity of the human psyche. We see him as an explorer who is constantly mindful of his own limitations while fully aware of the patient’s own potentials for self-cure and development. We see in these papers his efforts to break out of the limiting assumptions that underlay many “schools” of psychotherapy.

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Table of Contents

  1. General and Historical Surveys of Hypnotism Introduction
    • A Brief Survey of Hypnotism
    • Hypnosis: A General Review
    • Hypnotism
    • Definition of Hypnosis
    • The Basis of Hypnosis: Panel Discussion on Hypnosis
  2. Dangers of Hypnosis by Non-Professionals
    • Possible Detrimental Effects of Experimental Hypnosis
    • An Instance of Potentially Harmful Misinterpretation of Hypnosis
    • Stage Hypnotist Back Syndrome
    • An Experimental Investigation on the Possible Antisocial Use of Hypnosis
    • Editorial: Charlatans, Non-Professional Hypnotists, and Medical Responsibility
    • Editorial: Hypnosis is the Utilization of the Person’s Own Abilities and Learning
    • Editorial: Founding the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
    • Editorial: Professional Certification in Hypnosis
  3. Early Book Reviews
    • A Handbook of Medical Hypnosis
    • Hypnosis in Anesthesiology
    • Teaching Left-Handed Children Mirror Writing
    • Sleep Therapy in the Neuroses
    • Current Psychiatric Therapies, Vol. 1
    • Handbook of Abnormal Psychology
    • Hipnotismo: Seus Aspectos Medico-Legal, Moral e Religiosos (Hypnosis: Its Medico-Legal, Moral and Religious Aspects)
    • Aspectos Atuais de Hipnologia
    • Psychiatry: Descriptive and Dynamic
    • Self-Hypnosis: A Conditioned-Response Technique
    • Psychotherapy in the Soviet Union
    • The Mold of Murder
    • Modern Concepts of Psychoanalysis
    • Day Hospital
    • Planning and Action for Mental Health
    • Hallucinations
    • Criminal Psychology
    • How to Use Self-Hypnosis for Health and Wealth
    • Helping Yourself with Self-Hypnosis
    • Psychosomatic Obstetrics, Gynecology and Endocrinology
    • Current Psychiatric Therapies
    • Clinical Correlations of Experimental Hypnosis
    • Hypnosis in Anesthesiology: An International Symposium
    • Dictionary of Hypnosis
    • Hypnosis Induction Techniques
  4. Early Psychiatric Publications
    • Psychological Significance of Physical Restraint to Mental Patients
    • Concerning Present Inadequacies in the Legal Recognition and Handling of the Mentally Ill
    • A Teaching Program for Commissioned Reserve Medical Officers
    • BRIEF CLINICAL REPORTS
    • The Early Recognition of Mental Disease
    • Criminality in a Group of Male Psychiatric Patients
    • Problem of the Definition and the Dynamic Values of Psychiatric Concepts
    • “Arrested” Mental Development
    • Psychological Factors Involved in the Placement of the Mental Patient on Visit and Family Care
    • Opportunities for Psychological Research in Mental Hospitals
    • Concomitance of Organic and Psychologic Changes During Marked Improvement in Schizophrenia: A Case Analysis
    • Cooperative Research in Schizophrenia
    • Grading of Patients in Mental Hospitals as a Therapeutic Measure
    • Evolutionary Factors in a Psychosis
    • Some Aspects of Abandonment, Feeblemindedness, and Crime
    • An Interpretation of a Case of Biological Deviation
    • Marriage and Propagation Among Criminals
    • A Study of the Relationship Between Intelligence and Crime
    • The Inhumanity of Ordinary People

Volume 9: The February Man

This volume is a rare record of Milton H. Erickson's pioneering genius in facilitating the evolution of new patterns of consciousness and identity in a young woman. It is the only completely documented report of an entire hypnotherapeutic case from the middle phase of Erickson's career, when his innovative approaches were being developed. It brilliantly illustrates the actual words and methods used by Erickson that are currently transforming the meaning and essence of the entire field of psychotherapy. Therapists of all persuasions will appreciate the detailed commentaries offered by Erickson himself on the whys, ways, and means of his naturalistic and permissive approaches to healing. This intimate portrait will be treasured by all who seek to grow along with one of the most humane therapists of our time.

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Table of Contents

  1. Session 1, Part 1: Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis
  2. Session 1, Part 2: Identity Creation of the February Man
  3. Session 2: Multiple Levels of Communication and Being
  4. Session 3: Evoking and Utilizing Psychodynamic Processes
  5. Active Therapeutic Trancework

Volume 10: Hypnotic Realities: The Induction of Clinical Hypnosis and Forms of Indirect Suggestion

Includes the updating essay—“What is a Suggestion? The Neuroscience of Implicit Processing Heuristics in Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy” By Ernest L. Rossi and Kathryn L. Rossi

“For the many who never had the opportunity and never will have the opportunity to attend workshops led by Milton Erickson, this work will serve as an invaluable surrogate. Psychotherapists, in general, as well as hypnotherapists, will find the work rewarding reading and study, for Erickson is above all a psychotherapist, and his modus operandi transcends clinical hypnotism. As for academicians and researchers, I believe they will find enough food for thought and research here to keep them busy for some time to come.” —Andre M. Weitzenhoffer

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Table of Contents

  1. A Conversational Induction: The Early Learning Set
    • Observation and Erickson’s Basic Approach
    • The Conscious and Unconscious in Clinical Hypnosis
    • The Utilization Theory of Hypnotic Suggestion
    • Truisms utilizing Mental Mechanisms
    • Truisms Utilizing Time
    • Not Doing, Not Knowing
  2. Indirect Induction by Recapitulation
    • The “Yes Set”
    • Psychological Implication
      • The Bind and Double Bind Question
      • The Time Bind an Double Bind
      • The Conscious-Unconscious Double Bind
      • The Double-Dissociation Double Bind
      • A General Hypothesis About Evoking Hypnotic Phenomena
      • Reverse Set Double Bind
      • The Non Sequitur Double Bind
      • Contrasting the Therapeutic and Schizogenic Double Bind
      • Unconscious and Metacommunication
      • Open-Ended Suggestion
    • Suggestions Covering All Possibilities of a Class of Responses
    • Ideomotor Signaling
  3. The Handshake Induction
    • Confusion in the Dynamics of Trance Induction
    • Dynamics of the Handshake Induction
      • The Handshake Induction
    • Compound Suggestions
      • The Paradigms of Acceptance Set, Reinforcement, or Symbolic Logic
    • Compound Statements
      • The Paradigms of Shock and Creative Moments
    • Contingent Suggestions and Associational Networks
    • Multiple Tasks and Serial Suggestions
  4. Mutual Trance Induction
    • The Surprise
    • The Confusion-Restructuring Approach
    • Therapeutic Trance as a State of Active Unconscious Learning
  5. Trance Learning By Association
    • The Implied Directive
    • Questions that Focus, Suggest and Reinforce
    • Questions for Indirect Trance Induction
    • The Fragmentary Development of Trance
    • Depotentiating Conscious Mental Sets: Confusion, Mental Flux, and Creativity
  6. Facilitating Hypnotic Learning
    • Displacing and Discharging Resistance
    • Multiple Levels of Communication: Analogy, Puns, Metaphor, Jokes, Folk Language
    • The Microdynamics of Suggestion
  7. Indirectly Conditioned Eye Closure Induction
    • Trance Training and Utilization
    • The Dynamics of Indirect and Direct Suggestion
    • Indirect Conditioning of Trance
    • Voice Dynamics in Trance
    • Intercontextual Cues and Suggestions
    • Right- and Left-Hemispheric Functioning in Trance
  8. Infinite Patterns of Learning: A Two-Year Follow-Up
    • Infinite Possibilities of Creativity, Healing, and Learning
  9. Summary
    • The Nature of Therapeutic Trance
      • Trance Viewed as Inner Directed States
      • Trance Viewed as a Highly Motivated State
      • Trance Viewed as Active Unconscious Learning
      • Trance Viewed as an Altered State of Functioning
      • The Subjective Experience of Trance
    • Clinical Approaches to Hypnotic Induction
      • Orientation to Hypnotic Induction
      • Approaches to Hypnotic Induction
      • Depotentiating Habitual Frames of Reference
      • Indicators of Trance Development
      • Ratifying Trance
    • The Forms of Hypnotic Suggestion
      • The Nature of Hypnotic Suggestion
      • Indirect Approaches to Hypnotic Suggestion
    • Structuring an Acceptance Set
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Associative Structure and Mental Skills
      • The Facilitation of Human Potentials
  10. What is a Suggestion? The Neuroscience of Implicit Processing Heuristics in Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

Volume 11: Hypnotherapy: An Exploratory Casebook

In my original Foreword to this volume I expressed the opinion that, with Milton Erickson, Ernest Rossi “has done the best job to date in clarifying Erickson’s ideas on the nature of hypnosis and hypnotic therapy, on techniques of hypnotic induction, on ways of inducing therapeutic change and of validating this change.” Many books have been written about Erickson’s approaches to therapy in the 33 years that have passed since this book was published, yet I will still stand with that opinion. On reading or re-reading this book and others, edited by or co-written by Ernest Rossi we cannot fail to be impressed by Rossi’s ideas, about the Utilization Approach and the development of new frames of reference, for example. These ideas have become so accepted in different approaches to psychotherapy that they seem to have been obvious and to have existed forever. We are especially struck by Erickson’s incredible, sometimes exquisite use of words. As Paul Watzlawick has noted Erickson “heals with words.” —Sidney Rosen, MD

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Table of Contents

  1. The Utilization Approach to Hypnotherapy
    • Preparation
    • Therapeutic Trance
    • Ratification of Therapeutic Change
    • Summary
    • Exercises
  2. Chapter 2. The Indirect Forms of Suggestion
    • Direct and Indirect Suggestion
    • The Interspersal Approach
      • Indirect Associative Focusing
      • Indirect Ideodynamic Focusing
    • Truisms Utilizing Ideodynamic Processes
      • Ideomotor Processes
      • Ideosensory Processes
      • Ideoaffective Processes
      • Ideocognitive Processes
    • Truisms Utilizing Time
    • Not Knowing, Not Doing
    • Open-Ended Suggestions
    • Covering All Possibilities of a Class of Responses
    • Questions That Facilitate New Response Possibilities
      • Questions to Focus Associations
      • Questions in Trance Induction
      • Questions Facilitating Therapeutic Responsiveness
    • Compound Suggestions
      • The Yes Set and Reinforcement
      • Contingent Suggestions and Associational Networks
      • Apposition of Opposites
      • The Negative
      • Shock, Surprise, and Creative Moments
    • Implication and the Implied Directive
      • The Implied Directive
    • Binds and Double Binds
      • Binds Modeled on Avoidance-Avoidance and Approach-Approach Conflicts
      • The Conscious-Unconscious Double Bind
      • The Double Dissociation Double Bind
    • Multiple Levels of Meaning and Communication: The Evolution of Consciousness in Jokes, Puns, Metaphor, and Symbol
    • Exercises
  3. The Utilization Approach: Trance Induction and Suggestion
    • Accepting and Utilizing the Patient’s Manifest Behavior
    • Utilizing Emergency Situations
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Inner Realities
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Resistances
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Negative Affects and Confusion
    • Utilizing the Patient’s Symptoms
    • Exercises
  4. Posthypnotic Suggestion
    • Associating Posthypnotic Suggestions with Behavioral Inevitabilities
    • Serial Posthypnotic Suggestions
    • Unconscious Conditioning as Posthypnotic Suggestion
    • Initiated Expectations Resolved Posthypnotically
    • Surprise As a Posthypnotic Suggestion
    • Exercises
  5. Altering Sensory-Perceptual Functioning: The Problem of Pain and Comfort
    • Case 1. Conversational Approach to Altering Sensory-Perceptual Functioning: Phantom Limb Pain and Tinnitus
    • Case 2. Shock and Surprise for Altering Sensory-Perceptual Functioning: Intractable Back Pain
    • Case 3. Shifting Frames of Reference for Anesthesia and Analgesia
    • Case 4. Utilizing the Patient’s Own Personality and Abilities for Pain Relief
    • Selected Shorter Cases: Exercises for Analysis
  6. Symptom Resolution
    • Case 5. A General Approach to Symptomatic Behavior
      • Session One:
        • Part One. Preparation and Initial Trance Work
        • Part Two. Therapeutic Trance as Intense Inner Work
        • Part Three. Evaluation and Ratification of Therapeutic Change
      • Session Two:
        • Insight and Working Through Related Problems
    • Case 6. Demonstrating Psychosomatic Asthma with Shock to Facilitate Symptom Resolution and Insight
    • Case 7. Symptom Resolution with Catharsis Facilitating Personality Maturation: An Authoritarian Approach
    • Case 8. Sexual Dysfunction: Somnambulistic Training in a Rapid Hypnotherapeutic Approach
      • Part One. Facilitating Somnambulistic Behavior
      • Part Two. A Rapid Hypnotherapeutic Approach Utilizing Therapeutic Symbolism with Hand Levitation
    • Case 9. Anorexia Nervosa
    • Selected Shorter Cases: Exercises for Analysis
  7. Memory Revivication
    • Case 10. Resolving a Traumatic Experience
      • Part One. Somnambulistic Training, Autohypnosis, and Hypnotic Anesthesia
      • Part Two. Reorganizing Traumatic Life Experience and Memory Revivication
  8. Emotional Coping
    • Case 11. Resolving Affect and Phobia with New Frames of Reference
      • Part One. Displacing a Phobic Symptom
      • Part Two. Resolving an Early-Life Trauma at the Source of a Phobia
      • Part Three. Facilitating Learning: Developing New Frames of Reference
    • Selected Shorter Cases: Exercises for Analysis
  9. Facilitating Potentials: Transforming Identity
    • Case 12. Utilizing Spontaneous Trance: An Exploration Integrating Left and Right Hemispheric Activity
      • Session 1: Spontaneous Trance and its Utilization: Symbolic Healing
      • Session 2:
        • Part One. Facilitating Self-Exploration
        • Part Two. Automatic Handwriting and Dissociation
    • Case 13. Hypnotherapy in Organic Spinal Cord Damage: New Identity Resolving Suicidal Depression
    • Case 14. Psychological Shock and Surprise to Transform Identity
    • Case 15. Experiential Life Review in the Transformation of Identity
  10. Creating Identity: Beyond Utilization Theory?
    • Case 16. The February Man

Volume 12: Experiencing Hypnosis: Therapeutic Approaches to Altered States

Indirect communication is the overall concept we use to cover what we have variously described as two-level communication, the naturalistic approach, and the utilization approach. The common denominator of all these approaches is that hypnotherapy involves something more than simple talk on a single, objective level. The readily apparent, overt content of a message is like the tip of an iceberg. The recipient of indirect communication is usually not aware of the extent to which his or her associative processes have been set in motion automatically in many directions. Hypnotic suggestion received in this manner results in the automatic evocation and utilization of the patient’s own unique repertory of response potentials to achieve therapeutic goals that might have been otherwise beyond reach. In our previous volumes we outlined the operation of this process as the microdynamics of trance induction and suggestion.

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Table of Contents

  1. The Indirect Approaches to Hypnosis
    • Hypnosis in Psychiatry: The Ocean Monarch Lecture
    • Utilization Approaches to Indirect Communication
      • Language and the Art of Suggestion
      • Multiple Levels of Communication in Hypnosis
      • Internal Responses as the Essence of Suggestion
      • Indirect Communication in the Ocean Monarch Lecture
  2. Catalepsy in Hypnotic Induction and Therapy
    • Catalepsy in Historical Perspective
    • Recognizing Spontaneous Catalepsy
    • Facilitating Catalepsy
    • Utilizing Catalepsy
    • Summary
    • Exercises with Catalepsy
    • Demonstration in the Use of Catalepsy in Hypnotic Induction: Hand Levitation in a Blind Subject
  3. Ideomotor Signaling in Hypnotic Induction and Therapy
    • Ideomotor Movements and Signaling in Historical Perspective
    • Recognizing Spontaneous Ideomotor Signaling
    • Facilitating Ideomotor Signaling
    • Facilitating Ideosensory Signaling
    • Utilizing Ideomotor Signaling
    • Summary
    • Exercises in Ideomotor Signaling
    • An Audio-Visual Demonstration of Ideomotor Movements and Catalepsy: The Reverse Set to Facilitate Hypnotic Induction
  4. The Experiential Learning of Trance by the Skeptical Mind
    • Session One: The Experiential Learning of Minimal Manifestations of Trance
    • Session Two: The Experiential Learning of Hypnotic Phenomena
      • Dissociation and the Modern Experiential Approach to Altered States
      • Learning Indirect Communication: Frames of Reference, Metalevels, and Psychotherapy
  5. Electrometric Correlates of the Hypnotic State
    • Electrometric Correlates of the Hypnotic State
    • Standing Potential Correlates of Hypnosis and Narcosis

Volume 13: Healing in Hypnosis: The Seminars, Workshops, and Lectures of Milton H. Erickson, Part 1

This contains a fascinating biographical chapter on Milton Erickson, revealing the many important events of his life that contributed to the development of his ideas. The lectures, seminars and workshops were not scholarly by nature. They were usual spontaneous, with only a very general theme to guide them. The special interests, needs and questions from each group of participants frequently generated ingenious, unpremeditated demonstrations of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. All contributed to a significant shift from the older authoritarian techniques of hypnosis to the more creative approaches pioneered by Erickson.

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Table of Contents

  1. Part I
    • Utilizing Unconscious Processes in Hypnosis
    • Demonstration: Trance in Therapy and Everyday Life
  2. Part II
    • Therapeutic Uses of Altered Orientation in Hypnosis
  3. Part III
    • Experiential Learnings: The Basis for Hypnotic Behavior
  4. Part IV
    • An Introduction to the Study and Application of Hypnosis in Pain Control
  5. Milton H. Erickson: A Photographic Portfolio

Volume 14: Life Reframing in Hypnosis: The Seminars, Workshops and Lectures of Milton H. Erickson, Part 2

This volume is an incredibly rich presentation of his ingenious approaches to hypnosis and psychotherapy. It was during the time period covered by this volume that Erickson wrote some of his most original papers on the naturalistic and utilization techniques which are considered to be the essence of his approach. It was Erickson’s genius to find in the natural patterns of everyday behavior the secrets of each patient’s individuality which he then utilized for therapeutic purposes. The stories and anecdotes he tells about his friends, family, colleagues, and patients in this volume provide a delightful tapestry illustrating just how his creative mind went about the process of scientific discovery and hypnotherapeutic innovation.

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Table of Contents

  1. Utilizing Natural Life Experience for Creative Problem Solving
  2. Reframing Problems into Constructive Activity
  3. New Frames of Reference for Old
  4. Special States of Awareness and Receptivity
  5. Life Reframing: The Hypnotherapeutic Facilitation of Potentials in a Young Photographer
  6. Milton H. Erickson: A Photographic Portfolio: 1910-1980

Volume 15: Mind-Body Communication in Hypnosis: The Seminars, Workshops and Lectures of Milton H. Erickson, Part 3

This volume features much of the source material wherein Erickson first expressed his views on psychosomatic medicine and healing. It will be of vital interest to students, therapists, and practitioners of therapeutic hypnosis who want to integrate Erickson’s approaches with the current breakthroughs that are taking place in psychoneuroimmunology and the new mind-body methods of holistic healing. The issues dealt with in this volume are fundamental. Many laboratory researchers believe we are in the midst of a profound revolution that is resolving the mind-body problem. Cartesian dualism has dissolved. Well-designed research experiments are demonstrating the psychobiological pathways by which mind modulates the biochemistry of the body. We are learning how the languages of mind (thought, imagery, emotion, and sensation) are communicating with the languages of the body (hormones, messenger molecules, information substances).

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Table of Contents

  1. Hypnotic Alterations of Physiological Functioning
  2. Milton H. Erickson: A Photographic Portfolio
  3. Symptom-Based Approaches in Mind-Body Problems
  4. The State-Dependent Memory and Learning Theory of Therapeutic Hypnosis
  5. Mind-Body Communication and Healing: A Pilot Study of the Mind-Body Healing Experience (MHE) Theory, Research and Practice

Volume 16: Creative Choice in Hypnosis: The Seminars, Workshops and Lectures of Milton H. Erickson, Part 4

More than any other individual, Milton Erickson has been responsible for shaping the modern view of hypnosis. This volume explores some important questions through a presentation, never before published, of Erickson’s own hypnotic workshops and demonstrations: is hypnosis a process of manipulation or facilitation? does the hypnotherapist control people? does the hypnotherapist simply give people permission to heal themselves? The authoritarian-permissive paradox of hypnotherapy is most evident in Erickson’s use of the double bind. Volume IV takes the reader on a journey that recaptures his evolution of the therapeutic double bind: from a technique based on an authoritarian concept of ‘illusory choice’, to a modern vision of the double bind as a ‘free choice among comparable alternatives’. This new vision represents a profound shift in attitude: creative choice, not control or manipulation, as the inherent agent of healing in psychotherapy.

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Table of Contents

  1. Creative Choice Versus Manipulation In Hypnosis
  2. Facilitating Inner Work Through “Manipulation”
  3. Hypnotic Induction And Suggestion: Creative Choice In Sensory Experience And Behavior
  4. Choice, Paradox, And Meaning In Hypnotherapy
  5. Creative Choice With Therapeutic Double Binds
  6. Expanding Human Potentials In Illness And Injury
  7. Creative Choice In Therapeutic Hypnosis
  8. An Interview with Ernest Rossi (1989)
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