General and Historical Surveys of Hypnosis

Volume 8: Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson, MD

Ernest L. Rossi, PhD, Roxanna Erickson-Klein, PhD and Kathryn Rossi, PhD, Editors

This book is available through The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Press.

In these papers, written over a period of more than four decades, we see a renaissance of the 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 as efforts to break out of the limiting assumptions that underlie many “schools” of psychotherapy.

Fragments of three or four incomplete manuscripts initiated by Erickson during the 1950s and 1960s are stitched together by the editor for this general introduction so we can gain an appreciation of his views in the following areas:

  1. The Limiting Preconceptions of Most “Schools” of Psychotherapy
  2. The Importance of Current Realities in Psychotherapy
  3. Limitations of Hypnotherapy
  4. The Current Relevance of Milton H. Erickson

A quick scan of the table of contents of this volume reveals topics of intense current interest ranging from introductory surveys of therapeutic hypnosis that are appropriate for the beginner as well as the experienced clinician seeking for the fundamentals in our rapidly changing professional field. Erikson’s general definitions of hypnosis and his concerns about the possible dangers of hypnosis by nonprofessionals are just as relevant for us today as when some of them were written more than 50 years ago. They have all stood the test of time!

The simplicity of Erickson’s approaches to validating the constructive utilization of therapeutic hypnosis in psychology and medicine today has a most appealing self-evident quality. The clarity of his work is a model for yet another generation to light the lamps of human consciousness for the future.