Hypnotherapy filter: If Erickson didn't do this, who did?
November 8, 2013 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Decades ago I read a description of Milton Erickson's most interesting/spectacular cases--how he used hypnotic suggestion to help people overcome their obsessions and other life problems. The one that has stayed with me was a description of dealing with a man who had been given to an orphanage at birth and had spent his childhood and adolescence growing up in a variety of institutions. His life as an adult was one of petty crime, unemployment, no relationships of any kind. The hypnotherapist spent many many hours over the course of months with this man giving him a new set of memories--here you are with your loving family on your fifth birthday,here you are with your friends in eighth grade, etc--just built up a whole life of new memories for him. This enabled the man to make a better life for himself. I have checked out "An Uncommon Casebook: Complete Clinical Work of Milton H. Erickson, M.D." and although I saw many case histories I remembered reading, I didn't see anything like this. Am I looking in the wrong book? Am I looking up the wrong hypnotherapist? Any help or direction would be much appreciated.
posted by uans to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think you're thinking of The February Man.
posted by bac at 9:00 AM on November 8, 2013

Response by poster: bac, this is fascinating, but The February Man, according to the synopsis, is a full-length transcript about the treatment of a woman. I know I didn't read hundreds of pages like this.
posted by uans at 10:14 AM on November 8, 2013

I believe this is one of the cases in Jay Haley's book about Erikson: Uncomon Therapy.
posted by jamjam at 1:50 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jamjam beat me to it. It's in jay haley's book. I remember the description also.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:03 PM on November 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks jamjam and wittgenstein--this looks like it. I won't mark the question as resolved until I get it out of the library, though--just because I am still looking for the answer to this question. Turned out I was recalling two different short story collections as if they were one. I still haven't found the story about the handicapped woman and the devil.
posted by uans at 12:44 PM on November 9, 2013

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