An Epic Life is a biography written by many authors. Throughout his professional life, Milton H Erickson attracted a diversity of critics and supporters, and this book gives all a voice. Erickson was known to work with patients to elicit in them the innate ability to “connect the dots” to discover their adaptive potentials. Readers will delight in being able to connect the dots too, piecing together a portrait of an extraordinary and complex figure, as they look through the eyes of the men and women who met him at important junctures.
An Epic Life draws upon four decades of interviews with professionals who knew Erickson. The incisive perspectives are interlaced with commentary from Jeffrey Zeig to clarify and contextualize. The images of Erickson that emerge are congruent, divergent, myriad. In the end, readers gain unusual access to the man, his commitment, and his work. There is nothing simple in what is conveyed, and yet the impression it makes is coherent — and lasting.
Author, Jeffrey Zeig, prepares us for this stimulating journey by providing an overview of Erickson. He also offers a short history of psychotherapy and hypnosis, placing Erickson in the landscape of his time and all time. The reader gets to enter directly into the dynamic world of Milton Erickson, a one-of-a-kind communicator of unparalleled brilliance. Erickson forged his own path against the prevailing zeitgeist. In doing so, he created a most innovative paradigm.
Known as one of the greatest psychotherapists of the 20th century and the father of modern hypnosis and brief therapy, Erickson’s contributions continue to influence the field and its practitioners. His life, moreover, inspires us to be better people.
As we strive to evolve personally and professionally, despite our limitations, we should leave this world a better place. Milton Erickson certainly did.
Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, is the Founder and Director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation and is president of Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc., publishers in the behavioral sciences. He has edited, co-edited, authored or coauthored more than 20 books on psychotherapy that appear in twelve foreign languages. Dr. Zeig is a psychologist and marriage and family therapist in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona.
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