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Milton H. Erickson Quotes

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Milton H. Erickson Quote: “A goal without a date is just a dream.”

A goal without a date is just a dream.

— Milton H. Erickson



Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.”

Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Enlightenment is always preceded by confusion.”

Enlightenment is always preceded by confusion.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “What is easiest to see is often overlooked.”

What is easiest to see is often overlooked.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Allow yourself to see what you don’t allow yourself to see.”

Allow yourself to see what you don’t allow yourself to see.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.”

Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You can pretend anything and master it.”

You can pretend anything and master it.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “The unconscious mind works without your knowledge and that is the way it prefers.”

The unconscious mind works without your knowledge and that is the way it prefers.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “The most important thing in changing human behavior is the person’s motivation.”

The most important thing in changing human behavior is the person’s motivation.

— Milton H. Erickson



Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “People do not come into therapy to change their past but their future.”

People do not come into therapy to change their past but their future.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You can’t effect the cards that you are dealt, but you can determine how you play them.”

You can’t effect the cards that you are dealt, but you can determine how you play them.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Trance is a natural everyday experience.”

Trance is a natural everyday experience.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “There are so many things in human living that we should regard not as traumatic learning but as incomplete learning, unfinished learning.”

There are so many things in human living that we should regard not as traumatic learning but as incomplete learning, unfinished learning.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You don’t take insults. You leave them with the insulter.”

You don’t take insults. You leave them with the insulter.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You can’t learn to swim on a piano bench.”

You can’t learn to swim on a piano bench.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You see, we don’t know what our goals are. We learn our goals only in the process of getting there You don’t know what the baby is going to become. Therefore, you wait and take good care of it until it becomes what it will.”

You see, we don’t know what our goals are. We learn our goals only in the process of getting there You don’t know what the baby is going to become. Therefore, you wait and take good care of it until it becomes what it will.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Life is lived in the present and directed toward a future.”

Life is lived in the present and directed toward a future.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “I am very confident. I look confident. I act confident. I speak in a confident way...”

I am very confident. I look confident. I act confident. I speak in a confident way...

— Milton H. Erickson



Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You use hypnosis not as a cure but as a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn.”

You use hypnosis not as a cure but as a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never grow bigger, better, or more useful.”

Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never grow bigger, better, or more useful.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Therapy is often a matter of tipping the first domino.”

Therapy is often a matter of tipping the first domino.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “How many of us really appreciate the childishness of the unconscious mind?”

How many of us really appreciate the childishness of the unconscious mind?

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “You can trust the unconscious.”

You can trust the unconscious.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Life’s difficulties are merely necessary roughage.”

Life’s difficulties are merely necessary roughage.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “I have no intention of dying. In fact, it will be the last thing I do!”

I have no intention of dying. In fact, it will be the last thing I do!

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “The conscious ego cannot tell the unconscious what to do?”

The conscious ego cannot tell the unconscious what to do?

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “People who accomplish a great many things are people who have freed themselves from biases. These are the creative people.”

People who accomplish a great many things are people who have freed themselves from biases. These are the creative people.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Don’t ask why the patient is the way he is, ask for what he would change.”

Don’t ask why the patient is the way he is, ask for what he would change.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “We always translate the other person’s language into our own language.”

We always translate the other person’s language into our own language.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “Shut up, sit in that chair there and go into a deep trance!”

Shut up, sit in that chair there and go into a deep trance!

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “When I wanted to know something, I wanted it undistorted by somebody else’s imperfect knowledge.”

When I wanted to know something, I wanted it undistorted by somebody else’s imperfect knowledge.

— Milton H. Erickson


Milton H. Erickson Quote: “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.”

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.

— Milton H. Erickson

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