Yes, today is the Birthday of the one and only Dr. Milton Erickson,
or “Uncle Milty” as we sometimes call him.

Now, although I honestly believe Milton Erickson has been a little too “Gurufied” from some people in the field of NLP and Hypnosis, bottom line, NLP & Hypnosis simply would not be what it is today
if it weren’t for his many contributions.

So who was Dr. Milton Erickson and what did he contribute to the world of NLP & Hypnosis?

In short, Erickson was a psychiatrist and psychologist that mastered the art of hypnotherapy beyond most others of his time, and was known for often getting results with clients where many others had failed.

He certainly didn’t have a 100% track record, and he wasn’t always the fastest with gaining results, but he had a considerably higher- and faster track record than that of psychiatry and psychology of his time.

So what were some of his biggest contributions to Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

Well, in it’s inception, NLP started out by studying and modelling three different therapists, one of them being Dr. Milton Erickson.

The two co-founders of Neuro-Linguistic Programming decided they wanted to learn all about Erickson and exactly what gave him such an excellent track record with helping people to change, where other methods were proven to be so unsuccessful.

There were numerous techniques and methodologies that were modeled from Erickson and are now standard teachings in any quality NLP Training and many Hypnosis Training programs including, but not limited to:

  • Rapport Skills
  • Deep Trance Phenomena
  • Highly Influential Language Patterns
  • Working With Timelines & Regression Work
  • Hypnotic Metaphors & Story Telling
  • Physical Metaphors (Erickson would often have clients climb a mountain as a metaphor for life and overcoming obstacles)
  • “The Milton Model” (A “specifically vague” model of communication for assisting others in subconscious change)
  • Pain Control Techniques
  • And much, much more…

All of that said, there are some that believe that Erickson’s successes have been widely blown out of proportion. I would have to agree to some extent.

There are some Hypnosis Trainers however, that often tend to have a very “Direct/Authoritarian” way of teaching hypnosis, where as Erickson’s approach tended to be much more “Permissive” and “Conversational”, that believe Erickson’s approach was a “waste of time”.

I believe there is a balance there. Although I certainly don’t believe Erickson, or anyone should be “Gurified” to the extent that Erickson often has been, I do believe he left us with numerous excellent tools and methodologies to assist ourselves and our clients in overcoming obstacles in our lives and achieving our goals.

Sometimes it’s valuable to be more direct with clients, and sometimes it’s valuable to be more permissive and conversational with them. And of course with many clients, there is a balanced combination of both.

NLP & Hypnosis simply would not be nearly as effective as it is today if it were not for his many, many contributions.

So, in closing, I’ll simply say Happy Birthday Milton Erickson!