A normal 18-year-old girl was very distressed over the fact that she had not shown any evidence of breast development.
Her father was a physician, and at the age of 12 he had loaded her up with every kind of hormone possible. Yet there was no breast development of any sort; still none by 13, or 14, or 15. He finally quit the treatments and just gave up hope.
By the age of 18, the girl was making an extremely shizoid adjustment, withdrawing completely. She had an extremely disagreeable mother and she just hated her mother thoroughly.
So her doctor-father sent her to Erickson, asking him, "What can you do to keep my daughter from becoming schizophrenic?"
Well, it took Erickson about an hour to get the girl to tell him herself that she had no breast development whatsoever. She did agree, however, to go into a trance, and so he spent a couple more hours putting her into a deep trance very cautiously, very gently, very indirectly.
Then while she was in a deep trance state he explained to her how ignorant a man is about what a breast feels like; that he can't have any idea of how it feels to grow a breast; that he can't know what a breast feels like during a menstrual period; that he cannot really know what a woman's nipple feels like during menstruation.
And he spent a good deal of time presenting that sort of idea to her very repetitiously.
Next he explained in a similarly repetitious manner that since she was a girl, somehow or other she must have the right nerves, the right blood vessels with which to grow breasts.
He told her that when she was alone in the privacy of her room - she would someway, somehow, get a tremendous surging feeling in the breast area; and suddenly, somehow, her rudimentary nipples would feel warm, and she would have the feeling that something was happening.
He told her very honestly that he didn't know what that feeling was, but that she could find out; and that she could get that tremendous surging feeling, that growing feeling or whatever it was, and then drift off to sleep very comfortably.
Erickson saw the girl once a week for two months, at which time she had very well developed breasts.