Ericksonian Approaches - Second Edition

A Comprehensive Manual

By: Thomas L South , Rubin Battino


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Size: 234mm x 156mm
Pages : 624
ISBN : 9781904424918
Format: Hardback
Published: April 2005

This outstanding manual on Ericksonian hypnotherapy has been thoroughly revised and updated. There are two new chapters - one on Metaphor Therapy and Guided Metaphor and the other on Ernest Rossi’s work on the psychobiology of gene expression. The latter chapter also contains a section on the brain and hypnosis. Thomas South has extended his chapter on utilization with another section on pain control and the chapter on ethics and the law has also been significantly updated. Finally there is a new foreword by Roxanna Erickson Klein and Betty Alice Erickson.

Follow the link to view the title’s Companion CD, £12.99.

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Picture for author Thomas L South

Thomas L South

Thomas L South has a PhD in clinical psychology and has taught courses in Ericksonian hypnotherapy at the University of Dayton and at Wright State University. He is a founder and first president of the Milton H Erickson Society of Dayton Ohio.

Picture for author Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino MS has a private practice in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He is an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Human Services at Wright State University, and has over twenty five years of experience as a facilitator of a support group for people who have life-challenging diseases and for caregivers. He is a Fellow of the National Council for Hypnotherapy (UK), and also a Fellow of two chemistry societies. Other publications by Rubin include: Healing Language. A Guide for Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Counselors; Howie and Ruby. Conversations 2000 - 2007;, That's Right, Is it Not? A Play About the Life of Milton H. Erickson, MD, and Using Guided Imagery and Hypnosis in Brief Therapy and Palliative Care.

Click here to listen to Rubin's interview with London School of Clinical Communications and Hypnosis.


  1. This is a wonderfully thorough training manual for hypnotherapy and specifically Ericksonian methods.

    Set in its historical context, the book systematically sets aside myths and misconceptions and covers the necessary groundwork of rapport building skills, methods of induction, and use of language.

    At the same time it usefully covers NLP skills in the context of hypnotherapy both in and out of trance, before entering into the specifics of inductions, hypnotic phenomena and use of metaphor.

    Filled with case studies covering a wide range of client types and client issues that can be helped through the use of hypnosis, this manual also takes good care to cover necessary ethical and legal considerations.

    Anyone intending to work with clients using NLP and/or hypnosis for any kind of change work, should give serious thought in advance to the matters raised in this excellent book. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the ethical issues involved and the boundaries that should be in place to contain your work - before taking on clients. This book goes a long way to help the reader and student in this.

    This book is recommended for: Anyone with a serious and responsible interest in learning the skills of hypnotherapy. Students and teachers of hypnotherapy and NLP.

    Summary: I highly recommend this excellent manual and have added it as essential reading for our trainee NLP Practitioners and Master Practitioners.
  2. I remember well reviewing the first edition of this work. It brought phone calls from other hypnotherapists who wanted to share some of their own feelings and experiences regarding Ericksonian Approaches. Most interesting was a lady in Cornwall who shared the most amazing and inspiring thoughts and beliefs with me. A true reckoning disciple

    We were all in agreement that this book was totally accessible and elucidating providing the reader with a systematic approach to learning the subject set against a clinical background. For us all I formulated the opinion that this was perhaps the most valuable practical resource ever produced, at the same time being one which assumes no previous knowledge of the field, it will develop the reader's understanding of hypnotherapy, whether the reader be a professional OR an interested party.

    So what of the Second Edition?
    This outstanding manual on Ericksonian hypnotherapy has been thoroughly revised and updated. Readers of the first edition will be delighted to see that there are two new chapters - one on Metaphor Therapy and Guided Metaphor and the other on Ernest Rossi`s work on the psychobiology of gene expression. To say that the latter sounds complex is an understatement, but in practice it is very readable and most enlightening. The latter chapter also contains a section on the brain and hypnosis. Thomas South has extended his chapter on utilization with another section on pain control, a chapter highlighted by many as one of the most helpful in the first edition, The chapter on ethics and the law has also been significantly brought up to date. There is also a new foreword by Roxanna Erickson Klein and Betty Alice Erickson, an extremely interesting, almost poetic foreword as you can see below. IT echoes the immense depth of humanity of Erickson and all that he developed and inspires us to lift ourselves to follow his example. At this stage of upset in the world I find his words and outlook even more relevant

    This work is the stately tree, supporting individuality, co-operation and diversity. It is filled with common sense and uncommon sense, with atmosphere and sunshine, with metaphors for more individual growth, with practice exercises for the present and with thoughts for the future. It gives us all lessons in becoming better therapists, better people, and better members of our world.

    • the history of hypnosis

    • myths and misconceptions

    • traditional vs non-traditional inductions

    • rapport-building skills

    • basic and advanced inductions

    • language forms

    • utilisation of ideodynamic responses

    • hypnotherapy without trance

    • Ericksonian approaches in medicine, dentistry, substance abuse, and life-threatening diseases

    • basic and advanced metaphor - this is a greatly developed section, considerably revised after Edition One

    • ethical and legal considerations and much, much more.

    Students delight! The fundamentals of the Ericksonian approach have never been so easy to learn. An eminently comprehensible training manual abounding with illustrations and exercises.
  3. When students ask, “What books should we read?” our response has become almost automatic. ” Start with Battino and South's text.” The book is basic enough for the beginners and sophisticated enough for the experienced. And it's gracefully written. At first glance, it's a little imposing - a big, thick textbook on a complex subject. Yet its graceful style is very readable ; it is sometimes funny and it is always encouraging. They wrote the book so that people can learn from it, and enjoy the process.
  4. Humour? In a text book ? Yes, for certain. One piece that amused me was the case notes of a promiscuous social worker who, in English jargon, had the veritable gift of the gab. Sometimes Erickson found it hard to get a word in edgewise. In the end he said

    ” Sit down, shut up and don't you dare to open your mouth!”

    All this as she entered the consulting room , mouth open ready for the words to flow. I have to admit I have never had the nerve to be quite so blunt with my patients !

    Since reading the book I have made a lot of use of the section on Weight Control ( Utilization of Hypnosis). My own personal results with patients have improved. The section on Smoking is also well worth reading. Nothing earth shattering but so immensely readable and useable

    The whole of this chapter, Utilization of Hypnosis, is excellent in every way and could well have made an excellent book on its own; it is so useful.

    I do nothing else but recommend this book to you. The second edition is certainly worthy of purchase ( even if you already have the first). The editions and revisions make what I considered to be an already excellent book, even better.
  5. Ericksonian Approaches: A Comprehensive Manual was originally published in 1994.This new edition including all the tried and true methods and techniques given in the first edition, adds much more. Exercises throughout the book have been enhanced. New sections on Rossi -˜s work, emergency and trauma, and other utilizations of hypnosis have been updated. Each chapter carefully places the material into its relevant context with important theories and findings on the topic. Practical instructions, Ericksonian stories, and exercises help the reader to integrate and personalize the learning. Chapters also are filled with sound advice for effective practice of psychotherapy in general, such as the fourth chapter on building rapport, certainly a vital skill for any therapist. Along with several other contributors, the two authors weave their expertise together into a well-integrated tapestry of Ericksonian methods.

    Early on, the authors offer what they believe to be Erickson -˜s most “encompassing and functional”(p 30) definition of hypnosis, as the communication of ideas and understandings that help clients to become receptive and feel motivated so they will make needed changes. Interpreting Erickson -˜s therapy as a form of verbal communication sets the agenda for this book -˜s thorough treatment of the Ericksonian use of language. Instructions are included for many Ericksonian language forms with a clear summary of NLP theory and detailed instructions on how to prepare and deliver hypnotic messages.

    In the 1960's, the Mental Research Institute (Jackson, Bateson, Haley, etc) developed a systems-communications theory of change based on logical types at different levels, called first-order and second-order change. The authors explain this theory well in a chapter on hypnotherapy without trance and show how to put them to use.

    Erickson believed that trance was one of the best environments in which to bring about change, and so the authors carefully lead the reader through the induction of trance to enhance responsiveness in the Ericksonian way. Included are explanations of trance phenomena such as ideodynamic responses and one of Erickson -˜s favorite ways to communicate: the story. The authors interpret stories as a form of metaphor, and they proceed to address metaphors in great depth. Four detailed chapters describe how to build simple and complex metaphors with clear instructions for how to create guided metaphors. Battino also shares his innovate use of art as hypnotherapeutic metaphor.

    Utilization is the final set of topics, including applications to psychological, medical, and dental problems. The authors outline step-by-step models for readers to follow along and include case reports to illustrate and exercises to practice. Several specialists also have contributed chapters such as Ericksonian approaches in medicine, Ericksonian applications to dentistry, and Ericksonian methods for substance abuse. The authors offer an overview of new findings about hypnosis and the brain along with Rossi -˜s innovations in psychobiology and mind/body therapy. Other topics are hypnotherapy for people with life-challenging diseases and ethical/legal considerations.

    The authors conclude that Erickson-˜s two major contributions are his utilization principle and “his precise use of vague language”(p.560).With this information-packed book, the authors succeed in setting readers squarely on the path to utilizing vague language precisely! We highly recommend Ericksonian Approaches to anyone interested in learning and integrating these powerful methods into his or her practice.

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