Erickson moved from Michigan to Phoenix in 1948. In 1949, he entered into private practice from an office in his home, a move prompted in large part by medical necessity. Despite almost constant, intense physical pain and the progressive loss of mobility which lead to confinement to a wheelchair in his later years, Erickson was prodigiously active.
In 1957, he and a number of colleagues founded the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis with Erickson the Inaugural President. Erickson established the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis and served as editor for ten years. During the 1950s and 60s, Erickson published copiously, traveled and lectured extensively, both domestically and abroad, continued to conduct research, and was in high demand as a practicing psychiatrist. In the 1970s, restricted to his home by his physical condition, Erickson still conducted teaching seminars for professionals on an almost daily basis and still saw some patients. When he died on March 25th, 1980, at the age of 78, his seminars were booked through the end of that year and requests exceeded another year’s scheduling. Erickson left a written legacy of more than 140 scholarly articles and five books on hypnosis which he co-authored.
The Ericksonian approach departs from traditional hypnosis in a variety of ways: While the process of hypnosis has customarily been conceptualized as a matter of the therapist issuing standardized instructions to a passive patient, Ericksonian hypnosis stresses the importance of the interactive therapeutic relationship and purposeful engagement of the inner resources and experiential life of the subject. Erickson revolutionized the practice of hypnotherapy by coalescing numerous original concepts and patterns of communication into the field.
The novel psychotherapeutic strategies which Erickson employed in his treatment of individuals, couples, and families derived from his hypnotic orientation. Though he was known as the world’s leading hypnotherapist, Erickson used formal hypnosis in only one-fifth of his cases in clinical practice. Erickson affected a fundamental shift in modern psychotherapy. Many elements of the Ericksonian perspective were once considered extreme but are now incorporated into the mainstream of contemporary practice.
Posted on: August 24th, 2011 by The Erickson Foundation

Dr. Nicoletta Gava
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Dr. Giancarlo Di Bartolomeo

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