Hypnosis in Couple and Family Therapy
The field of couple and family therapy has been influenced by the work of Milton Erickson. Erickson has been called the father of modern hypnosis. He consulted with the Gregory Bateson schizophrenic communication project at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA, in the 1950s. As part of the Bateson schizophrenic communication project, John Weakland and Jay Haley traveled to Phoenix to train in Ericksonian hypnosis and they brought these ideas back to the Bateson project. This influence led to Erickson’s footprint being found in the MRI brief therapy model, in Haley’s strategic work, and in solution-focused therapy because Steve de Shazer had been supervised by John Weakland who introduced him to Erickson’s ideas. So, the ideas of Erickson have influenced the development of these models in the field, even though hypnosis is not an inherent part of any of these models.
In terms of formal trance induction (e.g., hypnosis) in the couple and family therapy field, Erickson’s...
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