Ericksonian hypnosis

March 22, 2017


Ericksonian hypnosis

Natural Standard Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Related Terms

  • Autohypnotic experience, Ericksonian hypnosis, Ericksonian therapy, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, metaphor, Milton H. Erickson.


  • Milton H. Erickson piloted a number of therapeutic techniques to help people deal with and work through their psychological problems. Ericksonian hypnosis, also known as Eriksonian hypnotherapy, uses the tools of metaphor, suggestive phrases and tones of voice. According to The Milton H. Erickson Foundation, the therapist uses these tools when talking to the patient to help the person become more aware of his thought patterns. The patient is conscious during Ericksonian hypnosis, and the methods of this process are often incorporated into psychotherapy. Today, this work is carried on through The Milton H. Erickson Foundation, which holds trainings and distributes publications related to Ericksonian hypnosis. Proponents believe that these tools decrease a patient's resistance to incorporating new ideas or behavior patterns.

  • Ericksonian hypnosis is a form of suggestive therapy that is incorporated into other psychological modalities. There are very few scientific studies researching the efficacy of this modality. Unlike other forms of hypnosis, the patient is conscious during treatment. Advocates argue that Ericksonian hypnosis uses suggestions to help the patient relax, and enter a conscious, but trance-like state where new ideas are more accepted. The clinician uses carefully worded phrases and tones of voice to gently encourage the patient to accept new ideas or changes in behavior.

  • People interested in Erickson hypnosis should make sure to choose a qualified, licensed practitioner.


  • There are very few studies researching the efficacy of this modality using the scientific method. However, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis publishes a journal related to Ericksonian hypnosis.


  • Ericksonian hypnosis should not be used as the only treatment approach for medical or psychiatric conditions, and should not delay the time it takes to consider more proven therapies.

Author Information

  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. 25 June 2006. www.asch.net

  2. Milton H. Erickson Foundation. 8 May 2006. www.erickson-foundation.org

  3. Online Resource About Milton Erickson Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. 8 May 8, 2006. www.ericksonian.info

Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


March 22, 2017