MY VOICE WILL GO WITH YOU: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. by

MY VOICE WILL GO WITH YOU: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The late Milton Erickson was a bit of a guru in the field of hypnotherapy; his technique involved putting people ""under,"" and then telling them slightly quizzical tales that would alter their attitudes--on both a conscious and unconscious level--toward a particular problem. This, then, is a compilation of the stories themselves; and as longtime devotee Rosen himself notes, something is missing when one cannot hear the voice, see the gestures, and experience the personal technique originally meant to accompany the words. Still, there are some clever little items here--almost games of one-upmanship (for Erickson believed in using his powerful mind to outdistance the subject's expectations). A 180-1b. woman came in for aid in losing weight; and after making her promise that she would follow his prescription exactly, Erickson told her to gain 20 additional pounds before dieting. The process was so hateful to her that she subsequently ""rebelled"" against gaining weight in the same way that she had previously rebelled against losing it. (There are many instances of this kind of turnaround; skeptics might simply term it reverse psychology.) In his commentaries, Rosen indicates that Erickson sometimes used the stories metaphorically; thus, a story about cured constipation could be used to inspire someone suffering from writer's block, or a tale of bladder control could teach control over one's creative energies. Some of the cures strain belief: a boy's acne cleared up during a two-week skiing vacation with no mirrors; a couple's 30-year habit of quarreling yielded to a hypnotic command to their unconscious to start enjoying life. An interesting presentation, nonetheless, for anyone curious about hypnotherapy.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1982
Publisher: Norton