Milton H. Erickson

Milton H. Erickson (1902-80) is generally considered to be the most important hypnotherapist. He was a psychiatrist/hypnotherapist practising in Arizona, Phoenix, USA.

He was born colour blind, and was affected by polio at the age of 19, and in the process of curing his disabled body himself by modelling how the small babies in his family began to learn to move their hands and legs, his sensory perception on the level of non-verbal communication was made extremely acute, and helped him later in inventing non-conventional "Ericksonian Hypnosis".

His hypnotic techniques and life are well documented by a number of authors, among whom J. Haley of the Palo Alto Group (the members of the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, guided by Gregory Bateson) was the first person who introduced the techniques of Ericksonian Hypnosis to the world.

Erickson heavily influenced John Grinder and Richard Bandler, the co-founders of NLP. It was indeed Gregory Bateson, the teacher of Grinder and Bandler, who advised them to visit Erickson, and after modelling Erickson, they published their first NLP book "The Structure of Magic I" in 1975. (Also see the page "Hypnosis".)

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