Enchantment and intervention in Family Therapy

Using Metaphors in Family Therapy

By: Stephen Lankton , Carol Hicks Lankton, MA


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 152mm x 228mm
Pages : 288
ISBN : 9781845900830
Format: Paperback
Published: February 2008

This volume makes available a stimulating body of teachings taken virtually verbatim from five different workshops given by Carol and Stephen Lankton. It presents what these widely known trainers and practitioners have selected as the requisite ingredients for conceptualizing and assessing families so one can effectively use an Ericksonian approach that includes interventions of hypnosis, suggestion, paradox and metaphor.

While there have been many volumes describing Milton Erickson’s specific interventions, few have attempted to provide a broad systemic framework to make sense of these varied techniques and to weave them together in a coherent strategy for everyday work with families. Enchantment and Intervention in Family Therapy succeeds in presenting such a framework and fills it out with specific interventions that are described in detail and then built systematically into ever more complex combinations of interventions.

Enchantment and Intervention in Family Therapy is unique not just in its presentation of a systemic framework for Ericksonian approaches to treatment of the family, but also in its vivid recreation of the workshop experience with the Lanktons. The illustrations used in the volume are the actual workshop materials and projector aids, giving the reader the experience of participating in this highly stimulating and effective workshop. As a result, this volume provides a training experience that will enrich the clinical work of every practising psychotherapist.

This title was originally published in hardback under the ISBN 0876304285.

Picture for author Stephen Lankton

Stephen Lankton

Stephen Lankton, MSW, LCSW, DAHB, is a psychotherapist practising in Phoenix, Arizona. He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. He taught as faculty associate at Arizona State University, Dept. of Behavioral Science and Sociology until 2009 and now teaches for the ASU graduate School of Social Work.

He has been a keynote speaker, invited faculty, workshop, and seminars leader for hundreds of conferences sponsored by virtually every major national and state professional organization as well as dozens of universities, and post-graduate training centres in the US. He is internationally known for his clinical work and teaching of Strategic therapy, Transactional Analysis, Ericksonian, and Gestalt approaches to psychotherapy, brief therapy, couples therapy, and hypnosis in over a dozen countries for the last 36 years.

He has authored and co-authored bestselling professional books, some of which are now considered classics, including: The Answer Within, Enchantment and Intervention in Family Therapy, Tales of Enchantment and Practical Magic, as well as Assembling Ericksonian Therapy and his most recent book Tools of Intention. He has edited and co-edited 11 other books. He was founding Editor of The Ericksonian Monographs, and has published numerous clinical papers and chapters. His works have been translated into 7 languages.

He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Psychotherapy and the Irving Secter Award for outstanding contributions to the field of clinical hypnosis. He has become a Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT); Fellow and Approved Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and a Diplomate in Clinical Hypnosis and president emeritus of American Hypnosis Board for Clinical Social Work (AHBCSW). He is an Arizona Licensed Clinical Social Worker and serves on the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Social Work Credentialing Committee and Chair of the main board.

He created a new methodology for bringing the science of human behaviour to interface management at corporate enterprise level. As a corporate consultant his clients have consisted large US organizations including the Internal Revenue Service, New York State Human Services, New York State Tax and Finance, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, American Express, Xerox, and others.

Picture for author Carol Hicks Lankton, MA

Carol Hicks Lankton, MA

Carol Hicks Lankton, MA, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who operates a private practice at the Wellness Institute of East Hill in Pensacola, Florida. Internationally recognized for her role in the evolution of an Ericksonian approach to family therapy and clinical hypnosis, she is the coauthor of three books and author of numerous contributions. Ms. Lankton conducts training for mental health professionals worldwide and is passionate in her desire to facilitate therapeutic transformation that is both brief and deeply healing.

Click here to read Carol Hicks Lankton’s blog.


  1. This book can be of benefit to every therapist from beginner to advanced who is interested in a practical, hopeful and realistic approach to family therapy. The explanation on how to construct and deliver metaphors is one of the emerging approaches that demystifies and clarifies one of the most complex areas of therapy, while also suggesting useful ways for working with families. Ambiguous function assignments is another Ericksonian technique explained in a practical and easily applicable way.
  2. Steve and Carol Lankton provide a systemic framework for understanding Ericksonian interventions through the entire process of family therapy. Paradoxical prescriptions, metaphors, blocking communications, and indirect suggestions capture the family members' conscious attention, stimulate unconscious search, and lead consciousness from confusion to an understanding that comes from within. This book provides a beautiful balance between generating individuals' emotions and behavioral changes and looking at the larger ecosystem.

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