What is Ericksonian hypnotherapy?

Ericksonian hypnotherapy relies on the work of American psychiatrist and hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. He is considered the founder of modern hypnotherapy and one of the most successful therapists of the 20th century. The style of hypnotherapy developed by Erickson differs substantially from direct hypnosis and from several other forms of psychotherapy. 

Ericksonian hypnotherapy is based on the principle of observation and utilization. By observing and confirming subtle nonverbal cues, direct communication with the unconscious is established. The unconscious is considered a reservoir of resources, possibilities and solutions. Using indirect suggestions, metaphors and artistic vagueness, the conscious mind is distracted and the unconscious is stimulated to process, heal and grow. 

Natural responses and everyday experiences of the client are used (utilized) to induce trance and further the therapeutic process. The conscious and unconscious become more balanced and support each other towards the desired outcome.

How is it different from classical hypnosis?

In classical (direct) hypnotherapy, you are put into a trance with certain set rituals such as staring at an object. The hypnotherapist then uses direct suggestions to direct your unconscious mind. This works with people who naturally easily follow instructions from others. In many people it does not work or works only temporarily because they have resistance to direct commands even when in trance. 

In Ericksonian hypnotherapy, also called conversational hypnotherapy, you are brought into hypnosis naturally. In a way that suits your experience, mindset and personality. Once in trance, open and indirect suggestions are given that encourage your unconscious to get to work. The solution comes entirely from within and is therefore appropriate and lasting.

How is it different from integrative hypnotherapy?

Many hypnotherapists in the Netherlands work as integrative or eclectic hypnotherapists. This means working with trance and using a variety of techniques such as visualization, NLP, regression, EMDR, EFT and focusing. This usually involves communicating with the unconscious mind through the conscious mind. This works well when the conscious mind does not exert too much control. When it does, it is better to work with Ericksonian hypnotherapy because this bypasses the conscious mind and works directly with the unconscious mind.

Training in Ericksonian hypnotherapy

Mindspring provides two-day Ericksonian hypnotherapy trainings for anyone working with people, for example, therapists, coaches, psychologists and teachers. Click here for more information.