Every person's map of the world is as unique as their thumbprint.There are no two people alike. No two people who understand the same sentence the same way... So in dealing with people, you try not to fit them to your concept of what they should be.— Milton H. Erickson
The most delightful Milton H. Erickson quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.
The unconscious mind is decidedly simple, unaffected, straightforward and honest. It hasn't got all of this facade, this veneer of what we call adult culture. It's rather simple, rather childish It is direct and free.
Patients are patients because they are out of rapport with their own unconscious... Patients are people who have had too much programming - so much outside programming that they have lost touch with their inner selves.
Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never grow bigger, better, or more useful.
Each person is a unique individual. Hence, psychotherapy should be formulated to meet the uniqueness of the individual's needs, rather than tailoring the person to fit the Procrustean bed of a hypothetical theory of human behavior.
You use hypnosis not as a cure but as a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn.
The most important thing in changing human behavior is the person's motivation.
People do not come into therapy to change their past but their future.
The unconscious works without your knowledge and that is the way it prefers.
People who accomplish a great many things are people who have freed themselves from biases. These are the creative people.
Don't ask why the patient is the way he is, ask for what he would change.
You don't take insults. You leave them with the insulter.
Trance is a natural everyday experience.
The Structure of Magic I by Richard Bandler and John Grinder is a delightful simplification of the infinite complexities of the language I use with patients. In reading this book, I learned a great deal about the things that I've done without knowing about them.
How many of us really appreciate the childishness of the unconscious mind?
Therapy is often a matter of tipping the first domino.
Dreams, puns, elisions, plays on words and similar tricks that we ordinarily think of as frivolous, all play a surprising and somewhat disconcerting role in the communication of important and serious feelings.
You can't learn to swim on a piano bench.
Emphasis should be placed more on what the patient does in the present and will do in the future than on a mere understanding of why some long-past event occurred.
The conscious ego cannot tell the unconscious what to do?
Shut up, sit in that chair there and go into a deep trance!
A goal without a date is just a dream.
I have no intention of dying. In fact, it will be the last thing I do!
Allow yourself to see what you don’t allow yourself to see.
You can trust the unconscious.
As for my dignity... the hell with my dignity. I will get along alright in this world. I don't have to be dignified, professional.
You can pretend anything and master it.
When I wanted to know something, I wanted it undistorted by somebody else's imperfect knowledge.
Little is really known of the actual potentials of human functioning.
Enlightenment is always preceded by confusion.
There are so many things in human living that we should regard not as traumatic learning but as incomplete learning, unfinished learning.
You can't effect the cards that you are dealt, but you can determine how you play them.
Life's difficulties are merely necessary roughage.
We always translate the other person's language into our own language.
Life isn't something you can give an answer to today.
You should enjoy the process of waiting, the process of becoming what you are. There is nothing more delightful than planting flower seeds and not knowing what kind of flowers are going to come up.
Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.
You see, we don't know what our goals are.
We learn our goals only in the process of getting there. "I don't know what I'm building but I'm going to enjoy building it and when I get through building it I'll know what it is." In doing psychotherapy you impress this upon patients. You don't know what a baby is going to become. Therefore, you take good care of it until it becomes what it will.
Life is lived in the present and directed toward a future.
What is easiest to see is often overlooked.
I am very confident. I look confident. I act confident. I speak in a confident way.