The February Man

Evolving Consciousness and Identity in Hypnotherapy
Volume 9: 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 or The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Press.

This volume is a rare record of Milton H. Erickson’s pioneering genius and facilitating the evolution of new patterns of consciousness and identity in a young woman. It is the only completely documented report of an entire hypnotherapeutic case from the middle phase of Erickson’s career, when his innovative approaches were being developed. This book brilliantly illustrates the actual words and methods used by Erickson that are currently transforming the meaning and essence of the entire field of psychotherapy. Therapists of all persuasions will appreciate the detailed commentaries offered by Erickson himself on the wise, ways, and means of his naturalistic and permissive approaches to healing.

The February Man is a fascinating case study which illustrates the use of multiple levels of consciousness and meaning too access and therapeutically reframed traumatic memories that were the source a very severe phobias and depression. Erikson’s masterful use of minimal cues and indirect suggestion enables him to assume the supportive role of the “February Man” who “visits”” the patient many times during profound states of age regression. During these sessions Erickson evokes and utilizes many classical hypnotic phenomena (such as automatic writing, time distortion, and amnesia) to facilitate that “reassociation and resynthesis” of the inner life which he regards as the essence of the cure. As the February Man, he provides the patient with the seeds for new development in her adult personality and with a more complete view of herself and the world in transition.

The February Man makes available for the first time the complete, verbatim transcripts and commentaries of a life and transformation that is a Rosetta stone for understanding the new hypnosis. This intimate portrait will be treasured by all who seek to grow along with one of the most humane therapists of our time.

Having unearthed a full transcript of Erickson doing therapy in 1945, Rossi embellishes it with a pithy commentary between Erickson and Rossi in 1979 reflecting back on the rich microdynamics of the treatment conducted more than 3 decades earlier. This is not just any therapy. It is the February Man, one of Erickson’s most ingenious cases… Witness the extraordinary precision of one of history’s most inventive therapists and learn new insights into how people associate and react.

—Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD
Director, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation
Phoenix AZ