Henry Leo Bolduc

As the father of modern hypnosis, Dr. Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) taught teachers and healed healers. Stricken with polio at a young age, Erickson experimented with self-hypnosis techniques to alleviate his pain and paralysis. After graduating from medical school, he specialized in hypnosis and became one of the most respected - and certainly the most innovative - psychotherapists of the century. Even after a second stroke confined him to a wheelchair, he continued healing, teaching, speaking, and writing.

The following are quotes by Dr. Erickson

Hypnosis is not some mystical procedure, but rather a systematic utilization of experiential learnings - that is, the extensive learnings acquired through the process of living itself.

I like to initially regress my psychiatric patients to something pleasant, something agreeable...I impress upon them that it is tremendously important to realize that there are some good things in their past, and those good things form the background by which to judge the severity of the present.

One does not try to force upon his patient a new pattern, but rather to reestablish the old unused and forgotten patten of behavior the patient had previous to the development of his phobia.

Rather than hypnotically treating a patient suffering from a phobia for doorknobs by telling him in the trance to forget his phobia, to overcome it, to realize its foolishness, one tries instead by hypnosis to elicit indirectly and adequately the story of the genesis of that phobia and to build up in him anew his own forgotten and repressed patterns of normal behavior toward doorknobs.

In belief, there are three highly important considerations in hypnotic psychotherapy that lend themselves to effective thrapeutic results. One is the ease and readiness with which the dynamics and forms of the patient's maladjustments can be utilized effectively to achieve the desired therapy.
Second is the unique opportunity that hypnosis offers to work either separately and independently, or, jointly with different aspects of the personality, and thus to establish various nuclei of integration.
Equally important is the value of hypnosis in enabling the patient to recreate and to vivify past experiences free from present conscious influences, and undistorted by his maladjustment, thereby permitting the development of good understandings which lead to therapeutic results.

The unconscious is much smarter, wiser, and quicker. It understands better.

Your unconscious mind knows what is right and what is good. When you need protection, it will protect you.

You see, I think the important thing in working with a patient is do the thing that is going to help the patient. As for my dignity...the hell with my dignity! I will get along alright in this world. I don't have to be dignified, professional. I do the thing that stirs the patient into doing the right thing.

You see, if illness can occur suddenly, then therapy can occur quite as suddenly.

We have our affective, or our emotional life, and we have our cognitive, or intellectual life. And we are taught from the very beginning to emphasize our intelligence as if that were really the important thing. But, the important thing is the person on all those levels.

I make this clear to patients in the waking state as well as in the trance state, because you are dealing with a person that has a conscious mind and an unconscious mind.

You are letting your intellect interfere with your learning.

We all have so much knowledge of which we are unaware.

We are giving the patient new possibilities, and we are taking away the undesirable qualities. Usually it's best to have patients experience the emotion first and later the intellectual, because after they have experienced the emotions so strongly, they have a need to get the intellectual side of it.

The conscious mind understands the logic of it, and the unconscious mind understands the reality.

You always give praise to the unconscious.

The simpler and more permissive and unobtrusive is the technique, the more effective it has proven to be.

In teaching, in therapy, you are very careful to use humor, because patients bring in enough grief, and they don't need all that grief and sorrow. You better get them in a better frame of mind right away.

The best way of learning, to use folk language, is by getting the feel of it. You get the feel of a poem, the feeling of a picture, the feeling of a statue. Feeling is a very meaningful word. We do not just feel with the fingers, but with the heart, the mind. You feel with the learnings of the past. Your feel with the hopes for the future. You feel the present.