Toward a scientifically based understanding of Milton H. Erickson's strategies and tactics: Hypnosis, response sets and common factors in psychotherapy

Steven Jay Lynn, Michael N. Hallquist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article updates and extends earlier efforts (e.g. Sherman and Lynn, 1990; Lynn and Sherman, 2000) to characterize Erickson's work on the basis of the scientific literature and Kirsch and Lynn's (see Kirsch and Lynn, 1998) response set theory. It identifies therapeutic mechanisms and learning processes inherent in Erickson's work that constitute 'common factors' potentially responsible for the effectiveness of diverse psychotherapeutic and hypnotherapeutic approaches. We argue that many of Erickson's creative techniques were effective in establishing a strong therapeutic alliance and engendering, fortifying and maintaining positive response sets while removing impediments to the automatic activation of positive response sets and altering or deautomatizing maladaptive response sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary Hypnosis
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2004

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Hypnosis
Psychotherapy
Literature
Learning
Therapeutics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

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AB - This article updates and extends earlier efforts (e.g. Sherman and Lynn, 1990; Lynn and Sherman, 2000) to characterize Erickson's work on the basis of the scientific literature and Kirsch and Lynn's (see Kirsch and Lynn, 1998) response set theory. It identifies therapeutic mechanisms and learning processes inherent in Erickson's work that constitute 'common factors' potentially responsible for the effectiveness of diverse psychotherapeutic and hypnotherapeutic approaches. We argue that many of Erickson's creative techniques were effective in establishing a strong therapeutic alliance and engendering, fortifying and maintaining positive response sets while removing impediments to the automatic activation of positive response sets and altering or deautomatizing maladaptive response sets.

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