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IC11 Keynote 03 - A Theory of Utilization: Why and How Negative Experiences Can Be Transformed into Positive Ones - Stephen Gilligan, PhD

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Topic Areas:
Keynotes |  Psychotherapy |  Utilization |  Ericksonian Hypnosis and Therapy Techniques
Erickson Congress |  Erickson Congress 2011
Stephen Gilligan, PhD
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Original Program Date:
Dec 10, 2011
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The most radical and enduring contribution of Milton Erickson to psychotherapy was the principle of utilization, which states that whatever a client presents, including negative experiences, can be positively used for therapeutic change. This presentation offers a theoretical framework for understanding how and why utilization is a generative principle in psychotherapy, emphasizing ideas of archetypal patterns, psychological sponsorship, deep structures vs. surface structures, and the central of role of skillful human presence in creating value in any experience.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Identify three ways to accept and transform a negative experience.
  2. List three techniques for inviting a client to skillfully connect to a symptom.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*



Stephen Gilligan, PhD's Profile

Stephen Gilligan, PhD Related Seminars and Products

Stephen Gilligan Ph.D., is a Psychologist in Encinitas, CA. He was one of the original NLP students at UC Santa Cruz; Milton Erickson and Gregory Bateson were his mentors. After receiving his psychology doctorate from Stanford University, he became one of the premier teachers and practitioners of Ericksonian hypnotherapy. This work unfolded into his original approaches of Self-Relations and Generative Self, and then further (in collaboration with Robert Dilts) into Generative Coaching. These different traditions have all been updated and integrated into the present Generative Change Work, which includes the applications of Generative Coaching, Generative Psychotherapy, Generative Trance, Hero’s Journey, and Systemic Change work.