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Milton H. Erickson (1901–1980) was an American psychiatrist who introduced numerous innovations in perspective and technique to the fields of psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis. Although many of his methods were considered radical at the time, they have now become integrated into mainstream practice.

Erickson was versed in psychoanalytical theory, as was the tradition in American psychiatry in the 1930s and 1940s. Throughout these two decades, he corresponded with and consulted with a number of eminent analysts, but his writings reflected a gradual shift in orientation from exploration of internal dynamics to a focus on symptom resolution. Erickson also emphasized the garnering of patient strengths in therapy rather than searching for historical causes of patients’ psychopathology. These practices represented a significant departure from conventional psychotherapeutic therapy and ...

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