Psychotherapy as Experiential Drama

Jeffrey Zeig on Bridging the Gap between Knowing and Realizing

Rich Simon


In our own lives and in our work with clients, we often find that simply knowing what we need to do isn’t enough. Habits, excuses, and fears keep us stuck in patterns of behavior regardless of whether we cognitively know how to change them.

To quote Jeff Zeig, Founder of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation, we have to “bridge the gap from the land of knowing to the land of realizing” by having novel experiences. In our Networker Webcast series Creativity in the Consulting Room, Jeff describes therapy as the stage for these experiences and therapists as orchestrators of symbolic mini-dramas that give clients fresh understandings of themselves and their abilities.

In this clip from his webcast session, Jeff explains the tools he uses to make therapy a true experience—including trance, novelty, and precision in his use of language, and resonant gestures that convey powerful ideas and images to clients.

Jeff Zeig is the Founder and Director of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. He is also the architect of The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conferences and many other conferences around the world. Jeff joins Stephen Gilligan, Courtney ArmstrongErving Polster, Peggy Papp, and Steve Andreas for our all-new streaming-video webcast series:

Creativity in the Consulting Room
New Tools for More Energizing and Effective Therapy

Click here for full course details


Here's a preview of what each presenter covers:

  • Stephen Gilligan on Evoking Creative States of Consciousness
    Master powerful methods for helping clients access the generative mind-body states that can enable them to realize their dreams.

  • Courtney Armstrong on Vitalizing Your Clinical Style
    Break free from one-size-fits-all approaches and discover how to bring more of your creative potential into your work.

  • Erving Polster on Making New Things Happen
    A celebrated therapist with more than 6 decades of clinical experience reflects on the lessons he’s learned about creativity in the consulting room.

  • Peggy Papp on Metaphor, Symbol, and Fantasy in Couples Therapy
    Learn how to use experiential techniques to transform therapeutic stalemates into transformational moments.

  • Steve Andreas on The Clinical Artistry of Virginia Satir
    Through the use of clinical videos, focus on understanding the powerful techniques that made Virginia Satir a legend in our field.

  • Jeffrey Zeig on Altering Consciousness Through the Arts
    Discover how to use methods drawn from the arts to helps clients shift rigid patterns of unhappy thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

  • BONUS: Ann Randolph on Expanding Your Therapeutic Range
    An award-winning improv performer shows how you can bring new energy and inspiration to your clinical craft

  • BONUS: Jeff Zeig on The Clinical Wizardry of Milton H. Erickson
    Watch legendary hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson at work with insightful and detailed commentary from his student Jeff Zeig


Creativity in the Consulting Room
Series Available Now!

Click here for full course details

Topic: Professional Development | Couples

Tags: Ann Randolph | consciousness | Courtney Armstrong | creative counseling | creative therapy | creativity in the consulting room | Erving Polster | habits | Jeffrey Zeig | mind-body | Peggy Papp | psychotherapy | Stephen Gilligan | Steve Andreas | therapist | therapists | therapy | Virginia Satir

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