Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dr. Milton Erickson and the Milton Model of speech

As you sit there at your computers reading this post of mine, I know you are wondering if I've lost my mind. And it is a good thing to wonder, because, if you didn't wonder, it would mean you were not thinking. And thinking is good because, everybody says so. All the time! One should think, don't you think? I know you are thinking just what I am thinking about to be writing this. I also know you are thinking if this is something you would like to continue reading or to not continue reading, isn't it? Not that thinking is not a bad thing, it is not even that thinking is not such a not good thing, it just happens. Thinking good thoughts... or thinking bad thoughts... they are both thinking. And while we think, we do and so obviously, our thinking has a lot of influence on what we do. We also think as we do and so our doing has a lot of influence on our thinking. And they are neither of them a bad thing or a good think, don't you think?

At the same time, thinking brings about a change and change... changes everything. So will you start to change now... or in a few minutes from now? It is only human beings that can change, you know. The notion of motion of change in itself means that for change to happen, there has to be ... motion! And that means, that while walls have ears and a chair can have feelings, they cannot essentially... change!

Thinkers and Perceivers are on two ends of the spectrum and yet, thinkers perceive and perceivers think. Thoughts lead to perceptions and perceptions lead to thoughts. Interesting conundrum - which comes first? One might wonder... just as you are wondering whether I've lost my mind and you are wondering if you need to call for some professional help!

OK! Before you start calling for help, let me explain what the above is an example of. The above pattern is an example of how Dr. Milton Erickson, who was one of the finest psychologists and hypno-therapists of our time, used language to work with his patients. Dr. Erickson was "artfully vague" and purposefully spoke in the abstract, because that was the way, he said, one could bypass the critical faculty and speak directly with the unconscious mind of the individual. Dr. Erickson was successfully modelled by the founders of NLP - Richard Bandler and John Grinder and that gave rise to the Milton Model in NLP. The Milton model puts people into a light trance, which is what you must have felt while reading the above. "HUH? What is she rambling about? Let me go back and read it once again, just to make sure I've understood what she is saying here" or "What on earth? Why am I still reading this?" must have been some of the thoughts that ran through your head. Didn't it?

See, we have an unconscious mind. That part of us that holds our emotions, guards our memories and brings back unresolved issues for us periodically to find resolution. Our unconscious mind is in charge of our emotional well-being. Now just think and reflect for a minute. You know that you can be the best at anything you choose to do, but something stops you. What is that something? Would it be useful for you to let go of that limiting belief or fear that you have? How can you let go of that, as long as your conscious, logical mind is with you - telling you about all that could go wrong on that journey... all the show stoppers that you could encounter on the way... How can you let go off the fears that ground you and soar like an eagle, when your conscious mind constantly intrudes and holds up a mirror, to show you your worst fears? So Dr. Erickson said, in order to make a change and make it successfully, it was essential to install that change in one's unconscious mind. 

Let me tell you a story - when Dr. Erickson was 17 years old, he had a bad bout of polio. One evening, he heard the doctor tell his mother that he would not survive and would die. Dr. Erickson determined that he would not die. He decided that he would live. He asked his father to open the windows so he could watch the sunset. Dr. Erickson focused on the sunset and determined to himself - thus sending a very strong message to his unconscious mind - that he would watch more such sunsets. He says that his concentration was solely on the sunset - so much so, that he failed to recognise the presence of other objects that lay between his bed and the glorious sunset he was watching. The only picture in his mind was the sunset and his determination that he would see more such sunsets. Not only did he live, he was nearly 80 when he died. 

That, my dear friends and readers, is a small example of the power we carry within ourselves. The power to heal, the power to carry us to great heights, the power to create our own future and our destinies. The power to imagine, dream and convert that imagination and dream to the physical world, that we call reality.

After all, what is reality, one wonders. Isn't what happens inside of us reality?