A Teaching Tale about Solution Oriented Therapy

When Milton Erickson was a young boy, living in Wisconsin, he found a horse grazing by the roadside. It was saddled and Erickson figured that it must have thrown its rider.

Book cover for "My Voice Will Go With You"

Since he didn’t recognise the horse, he had no idea whom it belonged to. But he had an idea and so carefully mounting the horse he gave it a little spur on. Some miles down the road, the horse veered into a farm. 

The farmer on seeing the horse and the young stranger, was both surprised and delighted. 

“Thank you,” said, “for bringing my horse back, but how did you know that this was his home?”

Erickson just smiled and replied, “I didn’t know where the horse should go, but he did. I just kept him on the road and moving.” 

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Milton H. Erickson (1901-80 ) was an American psychiatrist and hypnotherapist. He is noted for his extensive use of therapeutic metaphor and story as a method of addressing therapeutic change.
My Voice Will Go With You – edited and with commentary by Sidney Rosen.