Clinical Hypnosis

Clinical Hypnosis

Maureen C. Pierce, Ph.D.

What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focused attention. It uses the imagination to increase your responsiveness to suggestions. Hypnosis can help change thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical state. When you focus your mind, you are able to use it to your benefit. Hypnosis can treat many psychological and medical problems, notably pain management. Hypnosis can help you sleep better, stop smoking, manage your weight, prepare for surgery, and manage anxiety.

What are the Benefits of Using Hypnosis for the Management of Pain?

  • Affects areas of the brain associated with pain
  • Lowers pain sensation
  • Lessens intensity of pain
  • You can experience comfort and safety within your body
  • It increases a sense of control
  • There are few, if any, side effects

Common Myths Regarding the Use of Hypnosis

MYTH: The practitioner has control over the patient.
TRUTH: When you are in a state of relaxed and focused awareness, you are always in control and are aware of this control.

MYTH: Hypnosis does not work when physical symptoms are “real.”
TRUTH: Regardless of the cause, all symptoms are real. Hypnosis helps treat many psychological and medical conditions.

MYTH: Hypnosis is the same as sleep.
TRUTH: Hypnosis is not the same as sleep. In fact, the brain activity seen during hypnosis is like the brain
activity seen when people are awake.

MYTH: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized.
TRUTH: Some people respond better to hypnotic suggestions than others.
Responding to hypnosis is not dependent on personality.
a few people are less able to respond to hypnosis, but the majority respond readily.

MYTH: A person will not be awake and will not remember anything.
TRUTH: Hypnosis is very much like what happens when you are absorbed in a hobby or other interesting activity.

MYTH: Stage hypnosis is the same as clinical hypnosis.
TRUTH: Stage hypnosis is for entertainment; Clinical or medical hypnosis is used to help people.

Resources

• American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, http://www.asch.net/
• American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/research/action/hypnosis.aspx