Bangkok Hypnosis

BLANK PAPER BY MILTON ERICKSON

Posted by Sun on September 16, 2011

Significant therapy can often be done very, very simply, even though the therapeutic task looks to be huge. One year a new dean took his place at the medical school. He called me into his office and said, “I’m the new dean here and I brought with me a protege of mine. Now this protege of mine is an absolute gem because he’s the most brilliant student I’ve ever encountered.

He is gifted in pathology. He understands pathology and is very interested in slides, but he hates all psychiatrists. And he has a very sharp tongue. He will insult you from all directions. He’ll take every chance he can to annoy you.”

I said, ‘”Don’t worry, Dean. I’ll handle him.”

The Dean said, “Well, you will be the first ever to handle him.”

And so the first day I introduced myself and told the class I was not like other medical-school professors. Other medicalschool professors thought that their course was the most important course given in medical school. But I was quite different. I didn’t think any such nonsense. It just happened that I knew my course was the most important. That was taken in by the class very nicely.

And then I said, “For those only mildly interested in psychiatry, I offer a list of about forty extracurricular references for them to read. And for those that have some considerable interest in psychiatry, I offer a list of about fifty references they can read. And for those who are really interested, I offer a list of about sixty outside-reading topics,”

And then I told the whole class to write a review of a certain syllabus on psychiatry and hand in their reviews next Monday. Next Monday, that student who hated psychiatry stood in line. Each student passed in his review. That student banded me a blank sheet of paper.

I said, “Without reading your review, I notice you made two mistakes: you haven’t dated it, and you haven’t signed it. So, turn it in next Monday. And remember, a book review is like reading pathology slides.”

I got one of the most competent book reviews I’ve ever had in my life. And the dean said, “How on earth did you make a Christian out of that heathen?”

I took him completely by surprise.

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