Hypnosis and You: An Introduction to Professionals and the Public

 

Hypnosis has tremendous utility to a range of audiences.  Who wouldn’t want to learn more about a useful tool of healing? 

For the public, hypnosis in general, and ASCH in particular, offers a pathway to expedite and intensify the healing power of your clinical treatment.  Can you imagine if your healthcare provider actually understood the power of her or his communication in the service of your care, and skillfully utilized it with finesse and efficacy?  Hypnosis can be used successfully in a variety of settings, such as the hospital, dental chair, therapy session, etc.  

Would you like to learn more about how hypnosis can promote healing?  The ASCH website has information on different treatment applications of hypnosis in medicine, mental health, and dentistry.  You can also learn more about the definition of hypnosis (what it is) and the myths of hypnosis (what it is not).  We also address frequently asked questions about hypnosis and the use of hypnosis in healthcare treatment.  When you feel ready, take advantage of our ‘Find a Certified Professional’ online resource and find a professional near you certified in clinical hypnosis by ASCH. 

For professionals, it affords an opportunity for specialized training that can yield efficient and effective results.  I have taught many first-level ASCH training workshops in hypnosis and always enjoy observing the moment when the light bulb switches on in participants’ minds: “wow, this really works!”  What is it that works exactly?  In my opinion, what works is the emergent experiential knowledge.  ASCH training incorporates a mixture of didactic sessions, featuring current empirically-supported research; and experiential practice sessions, where participants practice and expand their repertoire in hypnotic interventions and skills.  The dawning recognition of the utility of hypnosis in clinical practice is a function of experiencing hypnosis yourself.  Every person contains a wealth of knowledge waiting to be activated.  As you learn more about building upon a state of hypnosis with targeted hypnotic suggestions for healing, an interesting process unfolds.  It becomes easier and easier to think of your own hypnotic suggestions that come from the base of existing knowledge you already possess from your history of training and practice in your professional discipline.  As a psychologist, I always tell my patients that any intervention I would use during a hypnosis session is one that I would feel comfortable using in a traditional therapy session.  The same is true for doctors, dentists, nurses, and all of our other professional member groups using hypnosis.  However, what makes the process of hypnosis distinct – as opposed to more traditional treatment techniques - is the sophisticated utilization of verbal and non-verbal communication (e.g. pacing, rhythm, tone) towards specific treatment goals.  Hypnotic suggestions incorporate language, imagery, and sensation.  Every choice of word and the manner in which it is uttered can have applicability to the healing process.  Can you imagine the difference between a master storyteller and a person simply reading words off a page without any intentionality?  To me, this is where clinical hypnosis has unique utility, above and beyond traditional therapeutic interventions or related practices, such as mindfulness meditation. 

Furthermore, two of the joys of being a professional practitioner specializing in clinical hypnosis are the sense of community that ASCH affords and the high-level training that it continues to consistently offer.  Professional learning is a life-long endeavor.  Not only is it essential to the delivery of best practices in healthcare, but it also is an elemental way of staying informed and continuing to grow.  ASCH offers a multi-disciplinary home: a true big tent of integrative healthcare.  Learning with and from professionals in both similar and different professions has been a huge boon to my own professional development.  Furthermore, there are so many different forms of hypnosis to learn and master: traditional, Eriksonian, active-alert, and so on.  ASCH workshops always offer something fresh and innovative.  Not only is ASCH a home of learning, but it is a home of mentorship and community.  I have been astounded by the tremendous generosity of the ASCH community in passing on knowledge in hypnosis to new generations of professionals.  Colleagues in ASCH also look forward to our meetings as an opportunity to reconnect with close colleagues and old friends. 

One important aspect to underscore to both the public and professionals interested in ASCH training is the emphasis our society places on ethical training.  ASCH only offers training to licensed and license-eligible (e.g. students, residents) healthcare professionals.  Furthermore, as a Society, we have rigorous, empirically-informed standards of training which dictate all of our workshop offerings in hypnosis. 

Your reasons for seeking more information on hypnosis are unique and meaningful.  We wish you the best in your journey towards healing and growth.

---

Eric Spiegel, Ph.D. is the President of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (2018-2019).  He is an ASCH-Approved Consultant (AC), and a Fellow of the Society.  Dr. Spiegel was honored by ASCH in 2012 with the Early Career Achievement Award, and by the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis in 2017 with the William Kroger Award for Best Paper on Hypnosis, Health and Behavioral Medicine for his article ‘Attachment Focused Psychotherapy and the Wounded Self.’  He is co-author of the book ‘Attachment in Group Psychotherapy’, published by the American Psychological Association.  Dr. Spiegel is a licensed psychologist and owner of Attune Philadelphia Therapy Group, with offices in Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr, PA.