Milton H. Erickson, M.D. (1901-1980) was a pioneer in the fields of hypnosis and psychotherapy. His contributions have had tremendous influence on modern treatment modalities in the mental health field. Erickson's inquisitive nature, determination and remarkable observational and intuitive skills caused him to explore innovative treatment options finely crafted for the patients he worked with. It was said that Erickson developed a new psychotherapy for each person he treated, as he very much considered the unique qualities and perspective of each individual.
The principle of utilization
is one of Erickson's key contributions. This principle recognizes both the uniqueness of each individual and the unique features of whatever it is they are struggling with. Erickson economized therapeutic work by considering what a person brings to treatment as the raw material with which to construct a solution. A person's mannerisms, language style, behaviors, stories, postures, physical peculiarities and even the presenting problem provide material with which to construct a therapeutic intervention.What a person brings to treatment and even circumstances in the treatment session can be utilized effectively for a resolution of the presenting problem.