On the bus yesterday, I listened to an audiobook about a man I found very interesting. I would love to reproduce everything I heard, but this will be some facts that I found especially interesting
I had the nickname in grade school and high school, “Dictionary,” because I spent so much time reading the dictionary. One noon, just after the noon dismissal bell rang, I was in my usual chair reading the dictionary in the back of the room. Suddenly a blinding, dazzling flash of light occurred because I just learned how to use the dictionary. Up to that moment in looking up a word, I started at the first page and went through every column, page after page until I reached the word. In that blinding flash of light I realized that you use the alphabet as an ordered system for looking up a word…I don’t know why it took me so long. Did my unconscious purposely withhold that knowledge because of the immense amount of education I got from reading the dictionary?
His story is impressive, and even more so when one considers his background: He was color blind, deaf and dyslexic. He learned hypnosis, and worked as a psychiatrist first. He married, got 5 children with his wife (he had three from previous relationships). He founded the American Society of Hypnosis. He died in 1980, and his ashes were strewn over a mountain top that many of his clients reached.
- I had polio, and I was totally paralyzed, and the inflammation was so great that I had a sensory paralysis too. I could move my eyes and my hearing was undisturbed. I got very lonesome lying in bed, unable to move anything except my eyeballs. I was quarantined on the farm with seven sisters, one brother, two parents, and a practical nurse. And how could I entertain myself? I started watching people and my environment. I soon learned that my sisters could say “no” when they meant “yes.” And they could say “yes” and mean “no” at the same time. They could offer another sister an apple and hold it back. And I began studying nonverbal language and body language.
- I had a baby sister who had begun to learn to creep. I would have to learn to stand up and walk. And you can imagine the intensity with which I watched as my baby sister grew from creeping to learning how to stand up.
- – My Voice Will Go With You
He was recognized for his hypnotherapy, were he integrated his extensive knowledge collected from experience and intelligence. An example of his insights: “One day a horse wandered into his home place. He let the horse take him where he wanted, and he stopped where he came from. When the farmer asked how he knew where the horse came from, he said: I didn`t, the horse did”. By relying on the force of the unconscious, he could help both people and animals
Milton Erickson was an interesting therapist and scientist: With creativity he tailored therapy to each client so that it fitted perfectly. He was the perfect “mirror” for others, so much that he actually could “talk” exactly like the client in front of him. He strongly believed in the unconscious, and in letting people find their own insights. He could tell little anecdotes that were completely right for the client. An example was an alcoholic that lived in a family where everyone drank (even his own wife) and drunk for several years. He was considered a hopeless case. Milton gave him a task: He should go to a park and sit down to watch a cactus for several minutes. Erickson told him this cactus could live without water for three years. 5 years later his sister called Erickson and told him both he and his wife had stopped drinking. He also used Reframing, mirroring and the paradox intervention. And example of the first, is when he sent a rootless client to Flagstaff so that she created new positive associated to a place that just seemed negative before. An example of the second is when he met a patient that tore things apart. She tore and threw everything she saw: Clothes, curtains, wallpaper. Generally, she was acting out. Erickson stood beside her and did the same thing, he tore up pieces of the wallpapers and threw things here and there. He exclaimed: “This was fun! Let`s go somewhere else and do more of it”. They came to a hospital, where he ripped the clothes off a nurse.
After this event, the girl became an angel, not knowing that the nurse in on the whole thing. An example of the paradox intervention was telling a woman who had severe problems with her weight. Erickson told her to try a new method where she first would gain a certain weight before she started with dieting. When she no longer had to restrain herself, she suddenly lost the weight she needed.
His theories have been developed further after he died, and one of the results is NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming ). I actually know very little about NLP, but I have thought several times that I`ll have to check into it, since I`m very interested in theories integrating what we know about our brain, with psychology. Maybe this means I should?
Milton H. Erickson | History of Hypnosis
Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1
Can You Read People’s Emotions?By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Are you tuned in to the emotions of others? Or have you been accused of being insensitive?
If you are among those people who are mystified by moods, new research offers hope. A new study shows that certain types of reading can actually help us improve our sensitivity IQ. To find out how well you read the emotions of others, take the Well quiz, which is based on an assessment tool developed by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen.
For each photo, choose the word that best describes what you think the person depicted is thinking or feeling.
- Can You Read People’s Emotions? (klickguck.wordpress.com)
- Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test — It’s Not Just In The Eyes of The Beholder (akbani.blogspot.com)
- Is It Good to Be Gifted? Optimal IQ and the Flipside to Giftedness (thesunnysidemusic.com)
- Emotional and persuasive perception of fonts (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Reading literary fiction improves empathy, study finds (theguardian.com)
- Can you read people’s emotions? (ashycode.wordpress.com)
- Study Finds That Reading Tolstoy & Other Great Novelists Can Increase Your Emotional Intelligence (openculture.com)
Psychologist also need to blow off steam (but silently)
Some of you might wonder what a psychologist do in their free time. I can of course, only use myself as a reference, even if I also have friends with the same profession as me. I know that some of them go on mountain trips, use time with friends, spend time with their family and travel. They often wish they had more time to read articles, books and psychological updates, but they choose the things most important for them at that time.
Some of you might hope for something sensational. Maybe you imagine me going to fancy parties with a lot of glamorous people, while sipping champagne. Or you think I use all my time on charity, either with people or small puppies. Maybe some even have a picture of me doing really strange things, like using voodoo-dolls, or perfecting my skills in collecting stamps. Like you probably realize, that’s not how I live. I also like to do things mentioned in connection with my colleagues, but also have other stuff I do, just for me. Sometimes I have time-limited projects, like last year when I started a facebook-group where I tried to connect people in my city with each other, which led to some new friendships and a lot of fun activities (photography course, cooking-course and hair-styling course, in addition to several nice dinners). I have also worked hard with learning Italian, and use some time on this blog (have always loved to write). I also love to read and scrapbook. The pictures are some project of mine, and now I am working with making “posters” for my office, with full of inspirational quotes and ideas. I have already put up three of them at my office, and have been a bit disappointed that no patients have commented on them so far (either they are too ugly, or they simply do not notice it. In that case, I should be pleased, since that must mean they pay attention to our conversations). I have also made some posters related to food. I use the scrapbook method, and focus on pasting things like recipes and information about healthy food, on them.
It’s also relaxing for me to just think, but unfortunately I use too little time on that. Sometimes I make food, and when routine kicks in, my thoughts start to roll in every direction. I can also sit and sip some tea, and let the thoughts wander for a while (until I burn my tongue) Sadly, other than that, my nose if often buried too deep in a book to get any thinking done. But as I have learn, too much thinking is not necessarily a good thing, either.
What I also do, is train a lot. I go swimming mostly three times a week, and this week I also had a little biking tour. I was deliciously sweaty and pumped afterwards, but it felt so good to feel the wind in my hair and finally get some daylight on my white skin. One problem with working long days and using my car all the time, is that I forget that there exist something called nature, weather or fresh air. Lovely to be reminded of that, once in a while.
I think everyone needs to blow off some steam, once in a while, and if you found my activities boring, I still hope this might have made you think about what YOU like to do! If not, at least you know even more about a psychologist life!
That`s all for now!