Today hypnosis is respected as an exclusive treatment for various psychological and medical conditions, as well as a valuable technique to be used in tandem with cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic therapies.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) December 20, 2016
HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, NYSED Social Work Board) provider of online continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other allied professionals has recently updated its online CE course, Hypnosis in Healthcare.
Throughout history hypnosis has been viewed in contrasting ways, having been idealized as a miraculous cure, rejected as fraudulent, and seen as many things between these extremes. Beyond the varied thinking about the utility of hypnosis has been the variability regarding its very definition. For example, while the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis defines hypnosis as a “state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention” (1), experimentalist John Kihlstrom (2000) defines it as “a social interaction in which one person responds to suggestions given by another person (the hypnotist) for imaginative experiences involving changes in perception, memory, and the voluntary control of action.” Even when relative consensus on a definition is reached (i.e., in the context of professional organizations), the elements of the definitions may change over time and/or remain subject to debate. One important organization, the Society of Psychological Hypnosis of the American Psychological Association (APA), changed its definition of hypnosis in 2014 to “a state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.” Sanchez-Armass (2015) applauded APA’s new definition for “separating the product, hypnosis, from the procedure, hypnotic induction.”
It would seem that the pendulum associated with hypnosis has come to rest. Today hypnosis is respected as an exclusive treatment for various psychological (i.e., anxiety, depression) and medical conditions (e.g., cancer, headaches, hypertension; 4), as well as a valuable technique to be used in tandem with cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic modes of psychotherapy (e.g., 5).
Hypnosis has gone well-beyond Mesmer’s original applications to reach a practical stage. When patients are duly and honestly informed, resulting in accurate treatment expectations, hypnosis can be a potentially helpful therapeutic tool that clinicians can utilize, either directly within their realm of treatment if properly trained and/or as an adjunct to their patient’s therapy through proper referral. Unfortunately, most healthcare providers lack formal training in hypnosis, but perhaps more importantly, many lack a minimal understanding of its applications and efficacy in patient care.
HealthForumOnline’s newly updated online CE course provides an introduction to hypnosis to enable healthcare professionals to expand their knowledge of effective techniques for patients and include hypnosis as a treatment planning option with confidence. Mental health providers can chose from HFO’s over 20 categories of CE topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, women’s health, cultural diversity, eating disorders, reproduction/sexuality, aging/gerontology, pediatric psychology, addiction, chronic/acute illness, psychotherapy, CBT, DBT, MI, ACT, long-term care, neuropsychology, pain management, spirituality, LGBT issues). HFO’s online CE courses are fast, convenient and cost-effective.
1. American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. (2015a). General information on hypnosis. http://www.asch.net/Public/GeneralInfoonHypnosis/DefinitionofHypnosis.aspx
2. Kihlstrom, J, (2000). Institute for the Study of Healthcare Organizations & Transactions. Hypnosis. Retrieved September 29, 2007, from Institute-Shot.com --Hypnosis and Healthcare.
3. Sanchez-Armassa, O. (2015). A defining moment: commentary on the revised APA Division 30 definition of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 57(4), 445–447.
4. Davis, E. (2015). Literature review of the evidence-base for the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Melbourne, Australia: PACFA,
5. Schnur et al., (2009). A randomized trial of a cognitive-behavioral therapy and hypnosis intervention on positive and negative affect during breast cancer radiotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(4), 443-455.