Since 1990, the Milton H. Erickson Institute of Montreal offers extensive training to health professionals.
The first year consists of four weekend workshops (of three days each), which focus on the basics of ericksonian hypnosis, strategic psychotherapy and mindfulness.
The second year consists of three weekend workshops (of three days each) of clinical applications and supervision. The knowledge acquired during the first year will be integrated and applied to different pathologies or problems.
Our teaching methods include lectures, live and video demonstrations, supervised practice and analysis of clinical cases, big group feedback periods, small group exercices, readings and homework.
Our training program is structured in such a way that you will be able to use different hypnotic strategies by the end of the first course.
Acknowledgement by professional orders
At the end of our training program, participants receive a participation certificate issued by the IMHEM. This certificate can be used to fulfill your professional continuing education requirements, and is recognized by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ), the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ) (for psychotherapists), the Société québécoise d’hypnose (SQH) and the Milton H. Erickson Foundation of Phoenix.
The Courses (first year)
1 – Therapeutic Relationship Strategies and Ericksonian Hypnosis
This workshop introduces the basic principles of this approach and the logic behind the Ericksonian techniques.
The participants will understand Milton H. Erickson’s very special contribution to the epistemology of communication, his conceptualization of hypnosis and his innovative view of clinical change.
They will learn how to use the techniques of subtle communication that facilitate conscious and unconscious cooperation, which is necessary to
trigger hypnotic trance.
They will also learn to transform the way they communicate with their patients, and to acknowledge their specific orientation to reality, thus allowing the rapid development of a therapeutic alliance and of trust. The quality of this subtle adjustment to the client will create a motivational climate conductive to therapeutic change.
Exercising flexibility and creativity all through the therapeutic interactions, the participants will learn how to transform symptoms into allies of the healing process.
They will learn how to be strategically permissive, how to reframe the patient’s experience to trigger positive emotions, how to recuperate their dissociated inner resources, and how to orient them towards new and symptom-free possibilities. They will learn how to utilize relevant clinical material presented by the client and how to formulate effective therapeutic suggestions so as to activate inner resources.
Participants will master strategies of Ericksonian communication: pacing, leading, indirection, implication, illusory choice, yes set, etc. They will integrate these to their repertoire of therapeutic interactions and master techniques to elicit natural hypnotic responses, such as use of voice, breathing, rhythm, hypnotic language, implication, and narration.
During the first workshop, participants will understand the nature of the hypnotic phenomena and learn how to trigger and deepen hypnotic trances.
2 – Working With Resistances: The Power of Metaphors and Strategic Communication
In this workshop, participants will deepen their mastery of Ericksonian strategies. They will understand the logic behind the conscious orientation of their clients, and learn how to motivate them into spontaneous trances, how to work with their resistances, how to enhance their cooperation in the therapeutic process and how to utilize the natural fascination of metaphors. They will master the important skill of direct and indirect clinical suggestions.
Participants will learn how to adjust very subtly to the clients’ idiosyncratic behaviors to trigger naturalistic trances. They will understand and utilize strategies to deactivate the conscious process that impedes the hypnotic response. They will learn how to work with clients who present incessant internal dialogues (ruminations), who get easily distracted by external stimulations (noises) or by internal stimulations (worries or disruptive physical sensations like nausea, itchiness or pain). They will learn how to use the conditions of a present situation to create dissociation and deepen the hypnotic trance (utilization principle).
Participants will explore powerful Ericksonian strategies that facilitate the work with resistances: confusion, distraction, interruption, overcharge, disorientation, etc. They will also be taught how to use subtle linguistic constructions to motivate clients to change.
Participants will be trained to identify and utilize metaphors that clients use to express their symptoms and problems. They will learn how to pinpoint the transformative potential suggested in these metaphors. They will master the techniques and the art of using metaphoric communication in both a flexible and creative way to induce hypnotic states and to give effective therapeutic suggestions.
3 – Mindfulness and Ericksonian Hypnosis: Altered States of Consciousness in Psychotherapy
This third workshop will explore hypnosis and how it relates to associative meditative trances like mindfulness.
In this workshop, participants will practice and master the use of time in a hypnotic trance, and what Erickson called the pseudo-orientation to time. They will also practice and master the relationship that exists between the body, hypnosis and mindfulness. More specifically, they will learn how to integrate hypnotic phenomena that are radically lived in the body (such as catalepsy, hyperesthesia and analgesia) into psychotherapy, pain management and meditational practices.
Participants will also explore mindfulness practices through time, from its origins to its use in psychotherapy. They will learn how to practice and to teach concentration, breathing, relaxation and other bodily techniques to their clients. They will recognize the common elements to both hypnosis and mindfulness, like the heightened concentration, the amplification of inner experience and the nonjudgemental and positive emotions that these practices trigger.
An important point of this training program is that the participants will be taught to identify the advantages and limits – supported by corroborating scientific data – of these strategies when they are applied to psychotherapy. They will learn when and for whom these strategies are recommended, and they will know how to decide if an associative trance (mindfulness) or a dissociative trance (hypnosis) is of choice with a specific patient.
4 – Therapeutic Strategies in Psychotherapy: Ericksonian Hypnosis and Mindfulness
In this workshop, participants will learn how to use hypnosis in psychotherapy. The strategic Ericksonian principles of cooperation, utilization, permissiveness and indirection will be applied in the process of diagnosis and treatment. Participants will identify the interrelated manner in which clients construct their symptom, relate to their internal experience, create and maintain relationships, evolve through the different cycles of life, and negotiate social and cultural roles. Doing so will influence the process and strategies they use during a therapeutic process to enhance a client’s change.
During the supervised practices in this third workshop, participants will induce therapeutic trances, which aim at transforming specific clinical problems by using hypnotic phenomena, such as age regression, amnesia, pseudo orientation in time, therapeutic tasks, and post hypnotic suggestions. Participants will master complex Ericksonian therapeutic strategies to establish generative transformations, creative flexibility, and healing.
Participant will understand the logic and use of therapeutic tasks to facilitate change, and their generalization in a client’s everyday life. They will also learn how to apply Ericksoninan strategies with and without formal hypnotic inductions.
The Courses (second year)
Clinical Applications of Ericksonian Hypnosis and Mindfulness
During the second year of our training program, participants study six different pathologies, which they will learn to diagnose and treat according to the latest scientific standards. These pathologies are: anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, depression, pain disorders, attachement disorders and dissociative disorders.
Participants will master the use of complex Ericksonian therapeutic strategies to identify these pathologies’ various symptoms and their expression, work with resistances, stimulate their clients’ motivation, and induce hypnotic trances or mindfulness states, which will promote change, healing, and positive emotional experiences.
Each workshop given during the second year training program includes clinical supervision, which focuses mainly on the six pathologies that will be studied (anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, depression, pain disorders, attachement disorders and dissociative disorders).