The Answer Within

A clinical framework of Ericksonian hypnotherapy

By: Stephen Lankton , Carol Hicks Lankton, MA


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 152mm x 228mm
Pages : 368
ISBN : 9781845901219
Format: Paperback
Published: July 2008

The first volume to appear in the Crown House Classics Series, The Answer Within fits the bill perfectly as it is both classic and completely contemporary. With new introductions by the authors, The Answer Within illuminates the genius of Milton H. Erickson as a psychotherapist and demonstrates how the principles that anchored his creativity can be incorporated into an effective therapeutic approach that is both flexible and grounded. A foundational work that continues to be fresh, the book takes the reader step by step from diagnostic assessment through treatment plan, illustrating each stage with clinical examples and transcripts. Clear and engaging, the informative case presentations include actual inductions and intricate metaphors accompanied by insightful commentary on therapeutic strategies and techniques.

From Contemporary Psychology (1984):
‘The clarity with which the subject is presented will not only help readers to understand Erickson’s use of metaphor, but will help them understand how this technique may be used in their own practice.’

From The Script, International Transactional Analysis Association (1983):
‘A balanced, thoughtful analysis and interpretation of Milton H. Erickson’s approach to hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, a complex system of skills which is neither magic nor mere mechanics.’

From the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (1984):
‘The book is creative, thoughtful, and useful. Perhaps because the book is uniquely their own style, Erickson might have commended the framework provided as ‘Lanktonian Hypnotherapy’.’

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 is a recent reprint of a classic book dealing with Ericksonian Therapy. I have to say that I probably wouldn't have understood much of it had I come across it at the beginning of my career as a therapist. However, it does make much more sense to me several years and much experience later.

    Far from only using examples from Milton Erickson's work, the authors also use their own transcripts to illustrate how they adapted what Erickson did to suit their own styles of working with clients. Indeed, this is what the man himself always emphasised - that students should learn his methods and then go away and do the sort of things he did but in their own way.

    The book is split into nine sections (or chapters), each dealing with a specific aspect of Erickson's work. By all means begin at the beginning, since it is well written and interesting throughout but, if there are some aspects with which you feel you are already familiar enough, choose a section you would like to understand more fully and begin with that. I don't doubt you'll end up reading the whole book anyway, just possibly not in the order in which it was written. A good resource but possibly better suited to the more experienced therapist.
  2. This text is a detailed account of what I consider to be the Master of Hypnosis and therapy, Milton Erickson. I would have loved to have met the man in person to experience being in a room with such a maestro, but it was never my good fortune to do so, however this book creates the closest experience of Erickson you are likely to find.

    It covers his philosophies on human beings and the interactions within themselves and with others in the world. It demonstrates how he formed and developed his ideas and brilliantly describes what one is looking for within the client for them to find that "the answers within'.

    As you read through the fundamental frameworks of Ericksonian therapy and the intricate linguistic and metaphorical frameworks, it is a challenging read. Thank goodness it is all brought alive by case studies where the words can then really resonate within.

    This is certainly a necessary read for those serious about working with hypnosis.

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