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Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D

Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist practicing in Encinitas, CA. Stephen was among the group of students that gathered around the founders of NLP during its formation at U.C. Santa Cruz from 1974-1977. Milton Erickson and Gregory Bateson became his teachers and mentors.

After receiving his doctorate in Psychology from Stanford University, Stephen became one of the premier teachers and practitioners of Ericksonian hypnotherapy. Motivated by his experiences as a therapist, a teacher, and by his own quest, he developed a new practice of radical awakening incorporating Ericksonian psychotherapy, Aikido, Buddhism, meditation. and the performance arts.

His work, known as Self-relations Psychotherapy, reconnects mindbody processes and encourages and supports radical change. The cornerstone of Self-Relations Psychotherapy is the understandings and processes of Sponsorship. The enthusiastic acceptance of Sponsorship and Self-Sponsorship as approaches to therapy and personal change, along with Stephen's transformative presentation style, has led to speaking tours, workshops, and numerous Sponsorship groups throughout North America and Europe to which Stephen provides inspiration and supervision.

Dr. Gilligan is the author of many professional articles. His books include:

  • Therapeutic Trances
  • The Cooperation Principle in Ericksonian Psychotherapy, a classic in the field
  • Brief Therapy (Ed. with J. Zeig)
  • Therapeutic Conversations (Ed. with R. Price)
  • The Legacy of Milton Erickson
  • The Courage to Love: Principles and Practices of Self-relations Psychotherapy