7/19/13 - Exploring the Genius of Dr. Milton H. Erickson, Part II: The Utilization Approach

Jun 17, 2013 by Dr. Jeffrey Zeig

Dr. Jeff ZeigTitle: “Exploring the Genius of Dr. Milton H. Erickson, Part II: The Utilization Approach”
Date: July 19, 2013
Presenter: Dr. Jeffrey Zeig

Description: In this second installment of Dr. Jeffrey Zeig’s exploration of Dr. Milton H. Erickson’s singular genius, Dr. Zeig focuses on the psychotherapy master’s use of utilization.

Dr. Erickson is rightfully known as the inventor and innovator of numerous psychotherapy techniques. He also is famous for the creativity he employed in hypnosis and psychotherapy. He was able to tailor each therapy session to the uniqueness of the individual client; it can be said that he invented a new approach for each patient.

Central to this creativity and personalization was Dr. Erickson’s mastery of utilization, whereby he would accept and validate his clients’ particular perceptions and problematic behavior and then utilize them as valuable resources to facilitate the therapy.

In this lecture, Dr. Zeig uses case vignettes to define and illustrate the use of Erickson’s utilization approach.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will gain an understanding of the basic principles and definition of the utilization approach.
  • Attendees will be able to understand and describe the utilization approach as a therapeutic “posture.”
  • Given a patient, attendees will be able to indicate three possibilities to utilize in order to advance therapy goals.


Dr. Zeig is the founder and director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation, having studied intermittently with Dr. Erickson for more than six years. He is the architect of the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conferences, widely regarded both as the world’s largest and its most important conferences on psychotherapy. He also organizes the Brief Therapy Conferences, the Couples Conferences, and the International Congresses on Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. The author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books, Dr. Zeig maintains a private practice in Phoenix, Arizona and is a frequent and in-demand speaker at major universities and teaching hospitals around the world, including the Mayo Clinic, the Menninger Clinic, and MD Anderson.




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