In 1948, Milton Hyland Erickson, MD, moved with his family from Eloise, Michigan to Phoenix, Arizona. The warm, dry climate, he was told, could improve his health. So he settled in the Valley of the Sun where he lived and worked until his death in 1980. With his wife, Elizabeth, Dr. Erickson spent the last ten years of his long and distinguished life at a modest, ranch-style home on Hayward Avenue. The home is located near the majestic Phoenix mountain preserve which encompasses Piestewa Peak (formerly known as Squaw Peak), one of Dr. Erickson’s favorite, local natural landscapes.
Elizabeth Erickson, Dr. Erickson’s lifelong companion and professional partner, continued to live in the Hayward home until her death in 2008. In 2010, the Erickson Foundation purchased the home and set in motion plans to preserve it and establish a museum, which would honor Dr. and Mrs. Erickson’s contributions to the fields of psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis.
The Hayward home was tailored for Dr. Erickson’s ease of mobility–outfitted with rails, ramps, and handicap accommodations. During the final decade of his life, Dr. Erickson conducted a private practice, wrote, and held many teaching seminars in this home. He generously invited several students, who became his intellectual heirs, to stay free-of-charge in the guest house, which came to be known as “the little house.” Mrs. Erickson was known for her generosity and graciousness in welcoming these students and other visitors.
The Milton and Elizabeth Erickson Museum is a snapshot of Mid-Century life in the Southwest: relaxed, functional, and charming. The roomy double lot, which the house sits on is surrounded by a serene landscape of original, indigenous trees, cactus, and shrubbery. Dr. Erickson’s office in the guest house is “frozen in time,” but warmed with his essence. His green leather chair may be empty, but is still filled with his spirit.
Due to the significant efforts of MHE’s children — Roxanna Erickson Klein, Kristina Erickson, and Robert Erickson –the Milton and Elizabeth Erickson Museum has been developed with integrity to honor the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Erickson. Many of the items in the museum were donated by Erickson family members and Jeffrey K. Zeig, and are now preserved by museum concierge, Ceil Gratz.
The Milton and Elizabeth Erickson Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the professional and personal life of Dr. Erickson. Throughout the home there is memorabilia and significant and cherished items donated from family members and Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig who was gifted many items from Mrs. Erickson and the Erickson family. The museum also features items given to Dr. Erickson by admirers, colleagues, and patients. We have striven to keep Dr. Erickson’s spirit alive by preserving his legacy with authenticity and integrity. We hope all visitors to the museum have a wonderful experience.