Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy

Milton Erickson’s psychotherapy is a form of hypnotherapy in which the therapist collaborates with the client to activate abilities that already exist within the client. The therapist utilizes hypnosis, metaphors, and real-life experiences in order to help the client achieve the goals that they want to accomplish.

Ericksonian psychotherapy subscribes to a belief that each person possesses enough innate resources within themselves to live more successfully. The task of psychotherapy is to identify, develop, and harness those innate or inherent but often unrecognized potentials. The therapist seeks to guide the client to stimulate action, and change behaviors and beliefs, which then promotes the resources within the client to solve problems, grow, and mature.


Ericksonian psychotherapy can include hypnotherapy when appropriate. Ericksonian hypnotherapy is different from what people usually expect when they think of hypnosis. Before Erickson, hypnosis was frequently condemned as at best, a cheap parlor trick and, at worst, a destructive and controlling form of treatment. But Erickson’s work liberated hypnosis from the dark shroud of superstition and revealed it as a compassionate and highly effective form of therapy. Clients discover a deeper state of comfort during the trance experience and find it rewarding, refreshing, and strength enhancing. Fears and beliefs that prevent change lose their power, thus enhancing the ability to face life’s challenges.

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