Commentary by Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D. This hypnotherapeutic session took place in 1978, and decades later, it’s just as powerful and engaging. Enhancing the viewer’s learning experience is Dr. Zeig’s discussion of the underlying elements of Erickson’s methods: the ARE model of instruction; the art of parallel communication; targeted utilization; and the use of implication. Erickson’s fluid repertoire, drawn from systematic thinking, includes the use of anecdotes, symbolic communication, and strategic seeding. The elicitation of solutions, based on promoting constructive associations and flexible thoughts and feelings, is an area of particular interest and one in which Erickson was especially elegant.
During this seminar, Dr. Erickson describes essential skills for working with resistant patients, the use of permissive language, ordeal therapy, geometric progression, and therapeutic double binds. Erickson conducts a demonstration, answers questions from the audience, and elaborates on his thinking with case illustrations that include: sexual dysfunction, stuttering, bed wetting, childhood eating disorders, compulsive habits, phobias and self-defeating behavior.
In this set, Erickson communicates the timeless principles of hypnosis that he observed, discovered and utilized. He emphasizes the paramount importance of protecting the patient and establishing trust as the very foundation of the cooperative relationship characteristic of hypnosis. He stresses the importance of understanding the meaningful need of the patient and reviews, with many examples, the techniques of rehearsal, uncovering, dissociation, regression, time-distortion, revivification, visualization, orientation to the past and to the future, trusting the unconscious mind, and post-hypnotic suggestion.