This video focuses on Milton Erickson’s approaches to dealing with pain, specifically cancer pain.
Milton Erickson was primarily a conceptual communicator. Occasionally, he would impart facts, but most of the time he would communicate a concept by using experiential methods. He would also frequently use multilevel communication: on a social level casually talking about something, but on a psychological level, implying meaning that was palliative.
This video features three separate cases, but all demonstrate Erickson’s fundamental method of utilization. Utilization is the foundation of solutions to all problems, and it is a philosophy of living which was central Erickson’s life and work as a therapist. He demonstrated that whatever existed in the situation, whatever the patient presented, could be utilized to advance the therapy.
Another one of Erickson’s fundamental approaches seen in the video is strategic communication. Strategic communication is a method of using a series of steps in the therapeutic process. A therapist should first have an outcome in mind. What do you want to accomplish? Then, decide on a therapeutic initiative. And finally: How can you accomplish what you want to achieve?
Erickson extensively wrote about using hypnosis for pain control. Perhaps because he had chronic pain and was familiar with devising methods to control his own pain. The methods Erickson used to help others, were experimented with by him. He was truly a physician who sought to not only heal himself, but to heal others.
1. Identify three techniques that can be used to relieve/treat pain.
2. Identify how you can use strategic communication in your practice.
3. Devise an experiential treatment plan for a patient experiencing pain.