Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Stress andHealing
Interview with German publicationEsotera:Neues Denken und Handlen, Feb. 1995, p. 18-25Updated on December 28, 1999Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D.
1. What is the difference between traditional and Ericksonian Hypnosis?Rossi: Milton H. Erickson, MD was a remarkably creative individual and animportant transition figure in the history of hypnosis. Traditional hypnosis isusually understood to mean that a hypnotherapist helps a person achieve a state of deep rapport within themselves as well as the doctor so that more effectivecommunication can take place between them. The doctor then uses directsuggestions to heal the patient or facilitate problem solving. While Ericksoncertainly used this direct authoritative approach he was also a genius in what wecalled “The Naturalistic or Utilization Approach” wherein there is a greater focuson helping each individual patient find their own talents for problem solving andhealing in their own unique manner. Ericksonian hypnotherapy emphasizes andfacilitates the patient’s own creative processes.2. Is it possible to make someone do something in trance that they would not dowhile normally awake?Rossi: While there is still controversy on this question, many years ago in 1932,Erickson published his first scientific paper on hypnosis dealing with this issue. Hefound that it is not really possible to consistently manipulate another person’sbehavior against their will. However, I believe there are evil geniuses who at sometime and some place could probably manipulate some types of people against theirwill at least for a short while. Thus we must be ever vigilant against the use of hypnosis by the wrong people who are not trained ethically and professionally.3. What are the advantages of hypnotherapy in comparison with other kinds of psychotherapy?