Tranceformation: Hypnosis in Brain and Body
David Spiegel, MD

2012 ASCH Annual Scientific Meeting & Workshops
Plenary Session
Saturday, March 17, 2012

Registration is now open.  Please click here to register. 

David Spiegel, MD, is the Jack, Lulu & Sam Willson Professor in the School of Medicine and Associate Chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, both at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the academic faculty since 1975. He is also director of the Psychosocial Research Laboratory. He received his medical and psychiatric training at Harvard University before coming to Stanford. He is the author of more than 280 research papers, chapters in scientific journals, and books.

David Spiegel is a leader in the field of psychosomatic research, treatment, and development with particular interest in the field of psychoneuroendocrinology/oncology. Since beginning research on the effects of support groups for women with metastatic breast cancer in 1976, Spiegel has published numerous studies showing that group psychotherapeutic interventions have positive effects on mood disturbance, coping, and pain among these patients. He is the author of a landmark study, Effect of Psychosocial Treatment on Survival of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer (Lancet; Oct. 14, 1989; p. 888-891) which studied the effects of psychotherapeutic intervention in women with metastatic breast cancer. This study demonstrated that the use of supportive-expressive group therapy in women with terminal disease not only improved quality of life, it also significantly enhanced survival time. This research spawned a new line of research on the health effects of psychosocial support. This work was the subject of a segment on the Bill Moyers’ Emmy Award-winning special Healing and the Mind.

His book, Living Beyond Limits: New Hope and Help for Facing Life-Threatening Illness, is a careful description of his 15 years of experience in helping patients with advanced cancer cope with their illness. Consistent themes are examined, including the importance of forming strong bonds of mutual support, facing fears of dying and death directly, reordering life priorities, managing relationships with family, friends, and physicians, and learning to control pain and other symptoms with self-hypnosis. The book describes his pioneering study with metastatic breast cancer patients and provides sensible guidelines for those women living with this illness and their families. Spiegel has developed a long overlooked area -- compassionate supportive care for the medically ill that does not make the error of teaching patients that survival is simply mind over matter. His research has shown, however, that mind matters.

David Spiegel has long had an interest in the use of hypnosis as treatment for medical symptoms and treatment side effects. In 1978, he and his father, Herbert Spiegel, MD, co-authored what has become a standard textbook on the clinical uses of hypnosis, Trance and Treatment. The use of self-hypnosis to help children undergoing painful and embarrassing procedures is among his current research funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is the Past President of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and in 1986, he was the recipient of the Schneck Award for significant contributions to the development of medical hypnosis. In 1998, David Spiegel opened the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford Medical Center and serves as its Medical Director.

In 1997, David Spiegel was the Burroughs Wellcome Visiting Professor, Royal Society of Medicine, United Kingdom, and a Rockefeller Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 1995, Spiegel was the recipient of the Edward A. Strecker, MD Award, given annually by the Pennsylvania Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of clinical psychiatry in the United States. In 1993, he received the Treya Killam Wilber Award from the Cancer Support Community. He was given the Kaiser Award and the Academic Faculty Member Residency Program Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1986. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and the American Psychiatric Association.

David Spiegel is a member of the editorial boards of 11 journals. In addition, he is a series editor for Progress in Psychiatry Series, published by American Psychiatric Press, Inc., a new series of books reporting research advances in psychiatry. Fifty volumes have been published.

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