top of page
  • Writer's pictureKate Roberts

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy Techniques: A World of Transformative Therapy

Key Takeaways -

  • Ericksonian Hypnotherapy techniques are a type of therapy that can help people overcome mental and emotional issues and bring about positive change.

  • Milton H. Erickson is the person who is considered the pioneer of modern hypnotherapy, and this form of therapy is named after him.

  • Ericksonian Hypnotherapy produces positive outcomes by leveraging the natural mind-states of clients, which promotes feelings of calmness, positivity, and creativity.

You might have heard about Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, but do you know what sets it apart from traditional hypnosis?

In this blog post, we'll shed light on the techniques and principles that make this approach unique and powerful. As you read on, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the innovative mind of Milton Erickson, the pioneer behind this transformative therapy.

Get ready to explore how Ericksonian Hypnotherapy tailors its methods to your individual needs, using indirect suggestions and captivating storytelling to help you overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

So, buckle up and prepare yourself for a fascinating journey into the world of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. This experience might change how you think about personal growth and the power of your mind.

Background on Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson was a renowned psychologist and psychiatrist who specialised in family therapy, born in 1901 in Nevada, USA [1].

Despite experiencing numerous health challenges and disabilities throughout his life, including polio and colourblindness, Erickson became one of the most INFLUENTIAL figures in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.

Erickson's Contributions to Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy

One of his most significant contributions was the development of INDIRECT suggestion techniques, which diverged from the traditional approach of direct commands and instead relied on engaging the client's subconscious mind through storytelling, metaphors, and other techniques.

This innovative approach has since become a HALLMARK of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy.

The Development of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

The development of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy began in the 1940s and 1950s when Erickson began to refine his techniques and work with patients using his UNIQUE approach.

Erickson's work paved the way for a new generation of therapists and practitioners to incorporate his techniques into their own practices. Ericksonian Hypnosis has become one of the most POPULAR and effective modern psychotherapy therapeutic approaches.

Core Principles of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

Let's take a closer look at some of the key techniques and interventions used in Ericksonian Hypnosis to help clients achieve their goals and overcome challenges.


In Ericksonian therapeutic hypnosis, you'll learn to use your current experiences and behaviour PATTERNS to facilitate positive change.

This is one of the most effective and powerful aspects of this approach. It allows you to redirect UNWANTED behaviors toward more positive outcomes rather than simply trying to suppress or eliminate them.

Indirect Suggestions

Unlike traditional hypnotherapy, this approach uses subtle and fewer directive suggestions to help you make positive changes.

Indirect hypnosis suggestions are some of the most creative and innovative techniques in therapy, taking the form of STORYTELLING, metaphors, and other approaches that bypass your conscious mind and tap into your unconscious mind.

These are often referred to as 'conversational hypnosis' or 'Ericksonian language patterns' and are used to help you overcome challenges associated with personal growth.

Tailoring to Individual Needs

Your therapist will work with you to adapt their techniques and INTERVENTIONS to meet your specific needs rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.

This makes Ericksonian Hypnosis one of the most ADAPTIVE and individualized therapies available, allowing you to achieve real and lasting change in a way that works best for you.

Whether you want to OVERCOME anxiety, improve your performance, or work through personal challenges, your therapist will tailor their approach to help you achieve your goals.

Building Rapport and Trust

Erickson believed building a strong rapport and TRUST between you and your therapist is a top priority in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy.

This makes it one of the most SUPPORTIVE and nurturing environments for personal growth, allowing you to feel safe and comfortable as you work through personal challenges.

Your therapist will use active listening, empathetic communication, and other techniques to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can share your experiences and concerns.

Ericksonian Hypnotic Techniques

In addition to the techniques mentioned earlier, this approach involves using various Ericksonian hypnosis techniques, including indirect suggestion and specific language patterns.

  • Confusion Technique: This technique uses confusion to bypass your conscious mind and access your subconscious. Your therapist may use paradoxical statements or other techniques to confuse your mind and allow you to access deeper levels of AWARENESS.

  • Metaphors and Storytelling: Using stories and METAPHORS is an effective way to bypass your conscious mind and engage your subconscious. Your therapist may use stories tailored to your situation to help you gain new insights and perspectives.

  • Embedded Commands: These suggestions are EMBEDDED within a sentence or phrase. Your therapist may use subtle language patterns to embed positive suggestions in a way that bypasses your conscious mind and speaks directly to your subconscious.

  • Pacing and Leading: This technique involves matching your behaviour or speech patterns and gradually leading you in a new direction. Your therapist may use this technique to help you OVERCOME negative thought patterns or behaviors.

  • Mirroring and Matching: Your therapist may use this technique to build rapport and establish trust. By mirroring your BODY LANGUAGE and speech patterns, your therapist can help you feel more comfortable and open to suggestions.

  • Double Binds: These statements present two seemingly contradictory options, forcing your subconscious mind to find a way to reconcile them. Your therapist may use DOUBLE BINDS to help you overcome limiting beliefs or behaviours.

  • Reframing: This technique involves changing thoughts about a situation, behaviour, or emotion. Your therapist may use reframing to help you see a situation in a new light and PROMOTE positive change.

The Process of an Ericksonian Hypnotherapy Session

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy sessions typically follow a structured process that helps to facilitate the therapeutic process. Here's what you can expect during an Ericksonian Hypnotherapy session:

Establishing Rapport

The first step in an Ericksonian Hypnotherapy session is to establish RAPPORT with your therapist. This involves getting to know each other and building trust and connection.

Your therapist will take the time to listen to your concerns and goals and work with you to develop a personalised treatment plan.

Induction Phase

In the induction phase, your therapist will guide you into a state of RELAXATION and suggestibility. This can involve deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or other techniques to help you relax and focus your mind.

Deepening Phase

Once you are relaxed and focused, your therapist will guide you into a DEEPR TRANCE. This can involve suggestions for deeper relaxation, visualization exercises, or other techniques to help you enter a more receptive state.

Therapeutic Intervention Phase

During this phase, your therapist will use various Ericksonian Hypnotherapy techniques to help you achieve your GOALS. This can include suggestions for positive change, reframing techniques, or other interventions tailored to your specific needs.

Awakening Phase

Once the therapeutic work is complete, your therapist will guide you back to full WAKEFULNESS. This can involve counting up from a deep state of relaxation or other techniques to help you return to full awareness.

Post-Hypnotic Suggestions and Reinforcement

Before ending the session, your therapist may provide post-hypnotic language suggestions or other techniques to help reinforce the POSITIVE changes made during the session.

This can include visualization exercises or other homework assignments to help you continue making progress outside of therapy sessions.

Applications of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy can be applied to various personal challenges, including overcoming fears, managing stress, breaking habits, enhancing performance and motivation, and improving relationships and communication. Let's explore each of these applications in more detail.

  • Overcoming fears and phobias: This approach can help you overcome fears and phobias holding you back by using techniques such as exposure therapy and reframing.

  • Managing stress and anxiety: This approach can teach you techniques to manage stress and anxiety, including relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring.

  • Breaking habits and addictions: This approach can effectively break unwanted habits and addictions using aversion therapy and suggestion therapy techniques.

  • Enhancing performance and motivation: This approach can help you enhance your performance and motivation in various areas, such as sports, work, and academics.

  • Improving relationships and communication: This approach can teach you techniques to improve your communication skills and enhance your relationships with others, including active listening and conflict resolution techniques.

Comparing Ericksonian Hypnotherapy to Traditional Hypnosis

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy differs from traditional hypnosis by using tailored, indirect suggestions and placing a GREATER emphasis on building rapport with the client.

Choosing Ericksonian Hypnotherapy over traditional hypnosis has several advantages, including a more flexible and ADAPTABLE approach, resulting in a personalized experience that is more comfortable for the client.

It can also be more effective for clients resistant to traditional hypnosis techniques. The decision to choose between the two approaches should be based on PERSONAL needs and preferences, with the guidance of a qualified therapist.

Ultimately, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy may be better for those seeking a flexible, personalised approach and a STRONG therapeutic relationship with their therapist.

Finding a Qualified Ericksonian Hypnotherapist

Finding a qualified therapist is essential to your success if you are considering Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. Here are some tips to help you find a qualified Ericksonian Hypnotherapist:

  • Credentials: Look for a therapist who has received specialized training in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy from a REPUTABLE institution. Credentials to look for include certification in Clinical Hypnosis.

  • Recommendations: Seek recommendations and referrals from TRUSTED sources, such as friends, family members, or healthcare providers. You can also look for online reviews or testimonials from previous clients.

  • Questions: Before beginning therapy, it is important to ask your potential therapist some questions to ensure they are a good fit for you. Ask about their EXPERIENCE with Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, their approach to therapy, and what you can expect from the process. You may also want to ask about their success rate and any potential side effects or risks associated with the therapy.

Overall, finding a qualified Ericksonian Hypnotherapist can help ensure that you receive the BEST possible care and achieve your desired outcomes.


To summarise, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy is a successful therapy option that can help with various problems. It varies from traditional hypnosis by using customized, subtle recommendations and prioritizing establishing a good relationship with the patient.

A qualified therapist should guide you in choosing the two approaches based on your needs and preferences.

Those looking for a customized and adaptable therapy approach and a firm therapeutic bond with their therapist might find Ericksonian Hypnotherapy more suitable.

If you are considering this form of therapy, it is important to take the time to find a qualified Ericksonian Hypnotherapist who can provide the best possible care.

Sources -

  1. Milton Erickson Biography. Published November 11, 2011. Accessed April 20, 2023.

7 views0 comments


bottom of page