The Diagnostic Framework
It is not surprising to find at the heart of Erickson's work a diagnostic framework that beats to the rhythm of today's systems and communication theories. Erickson formulated and used a relationship and family approach before it was fashionable. Moreover, his approach was rooted in the awareness that people operate from internal maps which include internalized objects and guides. He conceived of an approach that related these ideas. Tracing the lines of thought that have influenced our conception of diagnosis reveals that Erickson's work has been quietly in the background of various
theory builders for decades. It is now firmly established in the psychotherapy profession that communication between individuals creates and maintains experience. Erickson stated that "mental disease is the breakdown of com - munication between people" (CP IV, p. 75).