Lact - Palo Alto School Representative


Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

      What was a Milton Erickson hypnosis session like? Michele Ritterman recounts her meeting with Milton Erickson.

      Michele Ritterman

      The testimony of Michele Klevens Ritterman

      Michele Klevens Ritterman is a trainer at LACT. She tells us about her meeting with Milton Erickson and how this meeting changed her vision of hypnosis.


      “During the seven years that I studied with Milton Erickson, I was most interested in the principles that guided his work, particularly his philosophy of life. In this chapter, I will highlight what I extracted from these values, sharing with the reader vignettes from my interactions with Dr. Erickson that reveal his assumptions about human nature. My first philosophy lesson was taught by Dr. Erickson when I first met him. Before this visit, I had done my homework. I had read everything my teacher, Jay Haley, had published on Milton's work, studied Herb Lustig's recent video of a Milton session, and adapted his approaches to the clients I had treated as an intern at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Finally, in his small office in Phoenix, in front of him, I was confronted with his first direct question. "I found myself responding: 'What impresses me most about you is your philosophy of life. Whatever situation you are facing, you are so positive! Young girl, replied Milton, taking a deep breath, bringing his face close to mine and penetrating it with his fixed gaze, I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but rather a realist, which means that in every life there must be a little rain. Years later, after Milton's death, Erickson's younger daughter, Kristina, shared with me a variation on this theme. I was then working with torture survivors, people whose bodies and personalities had been broken. She said to me, "I think my father would like you to know something he understood after suffering two bouts of near-total paralysis from polio. He used to say to me, 'Kristina, I find that doing anything is enjoyable." Putting these two paragraphs together, I began to recognize the foundations of all of Milton's work. Starting with any ray of light, shred of hope, or crumb of real positivity and help the client take a realistic step that will allow him to create other openings from his own mental limits. Given that I initially came to see Milton as a psychotherapist and student of Jay Haley, rather that as a young woman seeking personal advice, Milton asked me to begin our discussion by defining my theory of psychotherapy. This conversation revealed Erickson's ideas about transformation in therapy. I proudly rattled off a few paragraphs about how I worked to change people, rather than analyze them ad nauseum . Young girl,” he replied, “in psychotherapy, the therapist changes absolutely nothing. We create the circumstances in which an individual can react spontaneously and produce their own change.” Excited by the possibility of change - no matter how small, positive or negative - this person will naturally make other changes.

      As our interaction progressed and I drifted deeper into the trance, Milton asked me what I would REALLY like to talk about. To my surprise, a flood of emotions arose and I began to talk about my desire to have a child. Immediately afterwards, I was embarrassed and Milton said to me, "Now we can talk about whatever you want. Tell me about one of your cases." He then demonstrated with me, for me, that whatever topic the therapist and client talk about, they always address what is most important to the unconscious, even if it is in coded language. He demonstrated his belief that human beings give a helping hand or reveal themselves in everything they do. He loved holograms, because the hologram conveyed this essential idea that the whole can be seen from any part. For example, if a person spoke to him in body language, he communicated directly back in body language, adapting to the content or format the person wanted to use. He took the person where they were and not where he wanted them to be or where some theories suggested they were. He insisted that you know where a person is by looking at what they are looking at. I remember using this wisdom during a riding lesson to understand my horse. I knew absolutely nothing about horses. My teacher was irresponsible. It was night and my second had no lessons to teach. “This horse is in heat,” I complained to my teacher. “How do you know?” the professor asked me. “She ignores your instructions and focuses all her attention on what is happening in the pasture.” The horse, like a woman having an affair, was distracted. Milton thought that Therapists should not try to get their clients to speak the language of the therapist, but rather take the client where they are and speak directly to them in their language and on the content they choose to use to express their problem . I disagree. Pain was his teacher. If there is one thing that can make a person practical, it is what to do in the face of pain. After a visit I I had with Milton, we literally spent seven hours staring into each other's eyes. He said that while he was in a trance, he felt no discomfort, but once the trance was broken, he felt like someone had rolled a baseball bat down his spine. The type of pain he suffered taught him, for example, that " if you want to destroy something, analyze it .

      erickson miltonOf course, he enjoyed making a foray into psychoanalysis, but he also taught that the way to deal with symptoms is to see them in their parts, to break them down, and that in this state of decomposition, the big problems become manageable. He taught that many pains have a before, a during and an after. He wrote a wonderful article on how to work with pain at these three different stages. He applied this practical knowledge of visceral pain to many other human dilemmas. Troubling patterns that people suffer from – such as the cycle of abuse – are likely to be broken down into “before”, “during” and “after” phases. Erickson taught us that each of these three phases of a symptom pattern - whether an individual's mental state or a family's patterns of interaction - gives therapists just as many opportunities clinics to intervene and help create a circumstance in which the person can react spontaneously and change. Working on the abuse in this way - by dealing with arguments, forgiveness, the creation of tension - helps to destroy the entire symptom pattern. Few psychological symptoms are continuous and uninterrupted. Erickson also learned that some pain, unbearable in one part of the body, can be tolerated when transferred to another part of the body: just as a person who receives an injection can comfort himself by digging a nail into the fleshy part of his palm, because this depression allows him to control the pain. He learned that part of what hurts about pain is that it is beyond the person's control and is therefore surprising, even humiliating.

      We know that people can change by moving their problems from one aspect of their life to another where they are less bothersome, while still retaining the problem. Other therapies could never offer such ideas because they are based on theory rather than the tangible, practical aspects of urgent human suffering. I once participated in a panel with one of Erickson's daughters where we had to talk about our relationship with him. She and I said the same thing. We felt accepted by him. Erickson accepted people as they were. He wasn't trying to change a person because they had problems. So many therapies aim to make clients better or to get them to conform to a certain model of mental health, without codependency or dysfunction within the family. Erickson loved to see minds open like flowers blooming in the sun, but he did not compare a rose to a sunflower. With a reputation as a supreme manipulator, he actually intervened less than any other clinician I had the privilege of studying with. He did exactly as little as possible, because he accepted people as they were. He said: "Shellie, you are as unique as your fingerprints. There has never been and never will be anyone exactly like you. So you have the right to be fully that way. There are things that you can change and others that are like your fingerprints. You cannot change them. So you just have to accept them. He helped people gain the wisdom to know the difference. He also conveyed an acceptance totality of the person's fingerprint. Acceptance of the fingerprint is part of the basis of his paradoxical work. Paradox and other methods came to him simply by observing how people actually work... .not by making assumptions about their childhood, but by watching people in motion. He noticed that if you ask the time of a person who is running across campus to get to class, they might take off in the wrong direction This observation formed the basis of his distraction techniques in psychotherapy. He added to this his observation that if you want a baby to put down a knife, you give him something else to pick up and the baby will drop the knife. knife. Otherwise, the baby will cling, as if for dear life, to the dangerous object. Likewise, in child rearing in general and in dealing with human problems, distraction can allow the mind to open to something new.

      Paradox related to his observation that people don't like being told what to do. They don't like being told, "Well, stop this problem behavior! This tends to make them cling and persist. Tell them to keep doing what they're doing and even stop 'improve, and they will rebel. If he hoped a client would complete an assignment on a Wednesday, he would have said, "Your mother might prefer that you do this on Monday or Tuesday. I hope it will be Thursday or Friday, and I'm sure your husband would be delighted if it happens over the weekend." He observed human behavior and developed techniques from these general observations, tailoring them to the individual concerned. He also taught that it's okay if your client thinks you're God, but it's best not to get confused. People make mistakes. He said that Navahos wove a mistake into every rug to show that only God is perfect. He didn't like therapists or doctors telling people what they were capable of in terms of healing. His resentment formed when a doctor told his mother that her son would be dead by morning. Paralyzed, he managed to convince his mother to place a dresser mirror so that he could see the race rising from his bed. He managed to be fully conscious at sunrise, long enough for his mother to realize the doctor was wrong, before falling into a coma lasting several days. At a conference in Italy, Kay Thompson and I spoke about her amazing recovery after a serious accident. she explained that without Milton's philosophy, she would never have dared to consider a physical cure that doctors deemed impossible. just before this workshop in Italy, I had been thrown from the Thoroughbred racehorse in heat that my teacher had made me ride, and broken a bone in my elbow. I was told I would never straighten that arm again. “How dare you tell me what my arm can do,” I protested. When the doctor wanted to leave the arm bent after the operation, I knew when the arm had to come out to prevent it from healing. in the folded position. I had to see three different doctors before I found one who would listen to my body. If I had not known Erickson, I would not have believed in my own body and its special healing powers. One of Milton's favorite tricks was to show highly educated people that their broad and deep studies had not prevented them from suffering from philosophical mental rigidity. He had many means at his disposal to shake people's minds. One of them was his puzzle: “If a farmer plants five rows of trees, four trees per row, ten trees in total, how is that possible?” I used to watch Milton open this trap with various visitors from around the world. Everyone I saw fell in, laughing or scratching their heads. I leave the reader with this question. Miltond did not give the answers. He gave his students and clients the new problem of a great enigma. He said to me: "You are thirty years old and you want to believe that you know everything now. If your theory of life were right and mine wrong, life would be deadly boring. I am seventy years old and I learn something new every day.”

      In summary, Erickson helped me develop a philosophy of psychotherapy that was both pragmatic and intriguing.

      Ericksonian hypnosis training

      The eight principles of hypnosis 

      Principle number one: Be neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but rather realistic: Help your client get through the best door available to them.
      Principle Number Two: Therapists create the circumstances in which change can occur.
      It is the customer who makes the changes. Principle number three: Therapists should speak in the language of their clients, not the other way around.
      Principle 4: Let (your own) pain be your teacher.
      Principle 5: Accept the things you cannot change.
      Principle 6: Observe human behavior.
      Let these observations, not theory, guide your interventions for each unique situation. Principle 7: Therapists are not gods but guides.
      Principle 8: Therapists do not need to provide answers, they must open the mind.

      Is there online hypnosis training?

      LACT offers master's training in hypnosis :

      This training in hypnosis allows you to master the instruments and methods of Ericksonian hypnosis through an interactional and systemic approach, to learn how to establish a therapeutic relationship that is both direct and secure, to guide the individuals to access their own resources, use language rich in sensations, place people at the heart of their experiences in the moment, develop a meaningful goal for the patient in a narrative context.

      Reference

      • Gibson, P (2022). Escape the anxiety trap. Strategic Science Books.

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

      To safeguard
      User choice for Cookies
      We use cookies to provide you with the best possible services. If you decline the use of these cookies, the website may not function properly.
      accept everything
      Decline all
      Learn more
      Unknown
      Unknown
      Accept
      Decline
      Marketing
      Set of techniques aimed at commercial strategy and in particular market research.
      Google
      Accept
      Decline
      Analytics
      Tools used to analyze navigation data and measure the effectiveness of the website in order to understand how it works.
      Google Analytics
      Accept
      Decline
      Functional
      Tools used to provide functionality to you while you browse, this may include social media features.
      Hotjar
      Accept
      Decline