As in the field of psychology generally, within the area of hypnosis there is often a gap between the world of the laboratory and the world of clinical practice. Many clinicians complain that most research in hypnosis fails to address the issues that they confront daily in their practices. On the other side of the divide, researchers may feel that their work is ignored by most clinicians.
Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach was born out of a desire to bridge the gap between research and practice, and to bring hypnosis into the mainstream of science-based clinical psychotherapy by introducing a wide readership to the benefits of incorporating hypnotic methods into clinical work. The authors are best known as researchers and theorists. Between them, they have authored well over 300 journal articles, most of them focused on scientific research. But they are also active clinical psychologists who have both practiced and supervised psychotherapy. Their previous books, The Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis and the Casebook of Clinical Hypnosis, both published by the American Psychological Association, are widely regarded as landmark volumes in the field.
Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis represents the culmination of their individual thinking about hypnosis, as well as the fruits of a twenty year collaboration. Essentials is a clinical book with a research base. The clinical strategies and techniques presented are ones Lynn and Kirsch have used in their practice and taught to their graduate students and thousands of professionals around the globe. Many of the specific techniques they describe have been validated in clinical trials and outcome studies, and their approach to most strategic issues has been shaped by their understanding of the research literature in hypnosis, psychotherapy, and psychopathology. If there is a fundamental difference between this book and the many other guides that have been published on clinical applications of hypnosis, it is the degree to which the principals and practices the authors describe are evidence-based. Hence, the subtitle of this book.
As implied by the title, Essentials distills the available science and practice of hypnosis into a clear and coherent package, accessible to students of hypnosis at all levels. Beginners will appreciate transcripts of basic inductions and suggestive methods, information about how to present hypnosis to patients, how to test for suggestibility, and when and when not to use hypnotic procedures. Practitioners already acquainted with “the basics,” will benefit from detailed descriptions of advanced and specialized techniques and strategies, and thoughtful discussions of how to maximize treatment effects. Readers will encounter fundamental information about the history of hypnosis, surveys of different theoretical perspective on hypnosis, up-to-date literature reviews on the empirically supported treatments described, and balanced discussions of thorny issues including the use of hypnosis for memory recovery. Transcripts from sessions, illustrative examples, and step-by-step descriptions of clinical procedures serve as road maps for the detailed treatments the authors present of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain and medical conditions, smoking, and eating disorders.
Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis is a book with which every clinician who is curious about hypnosis should be acquainted. Combined with supervised experiences in using hypnotic procedures, Lynn and Kirsch’s book provides readers with the knowledge required to practice hypnosis with confidence.
Dissociation and being in a hypnotic trance is something we all experience, even if we are unaware of it. It is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about unless it begins to cause problems in the person’s life. This is where dissociative disorders come into play, including depersonalization and derealization. Those with a dissociative disorder tend to be more hypnotizable and suggestible. This can be used for beneficial purposes if one learns to control it.
0:32 – What is Dissociation?
7:36 – What is Hypnosis?
“Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open” by Forbes Robbins Blair
► Meditation & Self-Hypnosis – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIbeH4eRdQY
► Reducing Anxiety – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvF-Spx3aUw
► Habits & Phobias – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AIqNSx7Dxs
Captions – https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?v=NhEfP8QxKOE
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Hypnosis and Dissociation
The term association is used to describe the binding or linking together of ideas. For over a century now, it has been invoked to explain various aspects of learning, attitude change, and motivation (Skinner, 1953; Watson, 1930). In the later part of the …
News story posted on 2017-02-08T04:56:11
Hypnotherapy has been used for a very long time – possibly back to prehistoric times. According to the expert in ancient Celtic society Anne Ross, the Druids of ancient Gaul were likely to have included an early form of hypnosis. Yogis also used a form of hypnosis. However, in Europe, the use of hypnosis as therapy was considered with suspicion and fear, with many believing that putting another into a hypnotic trance was “casting a spell” or a form of witchcraft and black magic.
In the 1700s, during the time known as the Enlightenment, hypnotherapy was investigated along with many other new medical and scientific breakthroughs. This was the era when chloroform, germs and vaccination were discovered. The earliest named pioneer of hypnotherapy was Franz Mesmer, who gave his name to “mesmerism”, which has been used as an alternative term for hypnosis. Magnetism had just been discovered, and it was believed by Mesmer and others of his kind that there was a form of “animal magnetism”, similar to the “animal electricity” that had been discovered by Galvin in his famous experiment involving frogs’ legs on copper wire during a thunderstorm. Everyone could see that metals could affect each other via “mineral magnetism”; was it possible for living beings to influence and affect each other via “animal magnetism”?
Later on, the term “hypnosis” was coined and Mesmer’s name fell out of favour, similar to the way Galvin’s name had been dropped and the word “electricity” used instead. The word was based on the Greek hypnos, meaning “sleep”, as a hypnotic trance was considered to be a form of sleep, the only other alternate state of consciousness known (or at least accepted) at the time. The general public was intrigued by this new form of therapy and often came to sessions where they could experience “instant sleep” and all its purported benefits.
As was the case with all new therapies, the topic of hypnotherapy was highly debated. On the one hand, some practitioners claimed that an individual in a hypnotic trance could diagnose their own illness with extreme accuracy. Some disciples maintained that health could be transmitted from a well person to a sick one via “animal magnetism” – a sort of beneficial infection. Others were more skeptical, viewing hypnotherapy as a quack cure that worked via the placebo effect.
One area where hypnotherapy came into great suspicion was the possibility that a trained hypnotist could force people to do something against their will. At the mildest end of the “unwanted influence” spectrum, people were wary of the possibility of a male therapist (all therapists were men in these pre-feminism days) making a woman patient fall in love with him, whether this was appropriate or not. At the other extreme, some people seriously considered that spies and enemy agents could use hypnotism for political ends, using the technique to influence government officials and to extract sensitive details.
Science soon learned that the mind plays a huge role in general health, and researchers began to explore hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Two famous schools were established where hypnotherapy was studied, the Paris School and the Nancy School.
The most famous person to attend the Nancy School was Sigmund Freud, considered to be the father of psychology and psychotherapy. Freud opened the way for modern psychology and psychotherapy, and hypnosis was one of his original tools for treating patients suffering from what we would nowadays call stress (but which Freud called hysteria). A patient lying on Freud’s famous leather couch would be put into a hypnotic state (which, experts say, is not a form of sleep but a form of highly concentrated consciousness where the mind is focussed on one thing only and shuts out all distractions). In this hypnotherapy trance, the patient was more able to relax and to open their mind to the repressed memories that often formed the root cause of their stress or other mental problem. Even today, hypnotherapy is often used for “regression”, allowing the patient to bring up memories of his or her past in order to deal with present issues.
When one considers Freud’s concept of the mind and consciousness, the use of hypnotherapy made sense. According to Freud’s theories, unwanted thoughts – be they painful memories or desires of the “Id” (the primal, untamed part of human nature) that are considered unacceptable by the “Ego” (the more sophisticated, rational and moral side) – are pushed beneath the threshold of consciousness, but are able to affect the individual’s behaviour via troubling dreams, anxieties and phobias. The purpose of psychoanalysis is to expose these memories or desires, and then to find a way of “sublimating” them (i.e. satisfying those desires in a harmless way). Hypnotherapy was one of the tools used to expose these desires, along with free word association.
Pierre Janet was another pioneer of hypnotherapy. Janet came up with the idea of “dissociation”, where a person’s consciousness withdraws from the present emotions and sensations, often in response to trauma. In a curious interplay, Janet saw a hypnotic trance as a form of dissociation (certainly, when in a trance state, a person certainly becomes less aware of his or her environment) that could be used to diagnose the root cause of a mental disorder – oddly, the disorders themselves manifested as dissociative (they called it hysterical) behaviour.
Another early pioneer of hypnotherapy and suggestion to change behaviour was Émile Coué. Coué investigated auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis (he called it “conscious autosuggestion”), with his main idea being that if you repeat something to yourself often enough about your own behaviour or habits, you will bring about the desired change. Coué’s best known autosuggestion phrase for his patient to repeat themselves was “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better,” which was recited prior to going to sleep (a state very similar to a hypnotic trance). Coué is considered to be the founder of the self-help movement, and laid the groundwork for works such as The Power Of Positive Thinking and the like.