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The Legacy of Milton H. Erickson:
Selected Papers of Stephen Gilligan

Stephen Gilligan

Stephen Gilligan closes his introduction to this collection of his writings on Erickson with, appropriately enough, a story. When asked how he might repay Erickson for his generosity over the years, Erickson said simply, by passing on to others what has been useful. Stephen Gilligan has been fulfilling that request ever since.

The Legacy of Milton H. Erickson: Selected Papers of Stephen Gilligan is a labor of love that provides tremendous insight into the work of both men. After all, a large part of Erickson's legacy is the students he taught. And the progression of the enclosed papers shows well how the student becomes the teacher, with the content of the work remaining in place even as the context is changing.

Divided into three sections—on theory, application, and transition—the papers trace the major tenets of Erickson's approach and demonstrate clearly that these are not merely of historical interest, but of vast and urgent contemporary significance. Three of Erickson's overarching concepts drive Gilligan's work now as in the past: the principle of utilization; the intelligence of the unconscious; and the mathematics of relationship, that is, the therapist and client have creative capacities together that are greater than either one has alone. This collection shines a light on the ongoing veracity of Erickson's approach and on the evolution of Gilligan's.

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