Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
This Blog is published for information and educational purposes only. No warranty, expressed or implied, is furnished with respect to the material contained in this Blog. The reader is urged to consult with his/her physician or a duly licensed mental health professional with respect to the treatment of any medical or psychological condition.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Which Hypnotic Induction is Best for Your Client?

Many books have been written on the subject of hypnotic inductions and more are appearing every year, some of which are quire expensive. But how are we to tell which induction is the best one to use for any individual client?

When I was presenting at the Royal Society of Medicine a few years ago, one woman said that she would lapse into her native Gaelic after an induction and it would  work just fine, regardless of whether or not the client understood what she was saying. This explains why witch doctors and medicine men can also be effective in cultures which support these beliefs, as long as the basic ingredients of rapport and positive expectations for change are present, As Steve Lynn so eloquently put it in his summary of our induction chapter in the American Psychological Association's Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis:   
If proper consideration is given to: a) the personality and characteristics of each individual client we encounter; b) the establishment of rapport and positive expectations for change; and c) the total situation in which the session is conducted, then we might well be successful even if the body of the session was delivered in Gaelic and the client did not understand a word of it.  Perhaps that's why, in cultures that accept it, putting on a mask and dancing around the subject chanting nonsense and shaking rattles at them is often the treatment of choice (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010).

Print Sources

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.  

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Publishing Co.).

Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings: The Narrative Consruction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis) . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

It's the RELATIONSHIP that Heals!

I have lived through most of the ups and downs in the history of clinical psychology which are brilliantly summarized in the foregoing link to the British newspaper, The Guardian. This is why I like to use hypnosis -- which, IMHO, most usefully combines the best features of all the major theoretical approaches, intensified even further through the lens of the hypnotic relationship.

As Irving Yalom said, "It's the relationship that heals. It's the relationship that heals. Ir's the relationship that heals -- my professional rosary!"