If you are unfamiliar with hypnosis or have only been exposed to its use as a form of entertainment, you may be surprised to learn that the field of clinical hypnosis is an established and vital component of behavioral medicine programs in the finest academic and clinical institutions, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford. There are international, national and state professional organizations whose membership is comprised of top-notch researchers and clinicians in a wide range of disciplines. Peer reviewed journals have documented the effectiveness of hypnosis in treating depression, anxiety, pain management, OCD, addictions and other conditions in the context of psychotherapeutic intervention.
The entertainers you may have seen in a show or a movie are masters at culling their volunteers for subjects who enjoy a little silly fun and being the “life of the party.” Skeptics and dissenters are always quickly and discreetly removed from the stage to create the illusion that the performer has special powers of “mental control.” Although it may appear that the subjects are surrendering their will, their “trance” would be quickly disrupted if the performer were to attempt to induce them to violate their important values.
It is more likely that you have had some experience with more currently popular techniques, such as: guided imagery, mindfulness, mind-body healing, or some form of meditation. All of these techniques, and many others, are undeniably hypnotically based in their use of focusing and suggestion and can be very effective in relieving mild to moderate stress and anxiety. There seems to be an unlimited number of easily accessed generic scripts, recordings or apps to to help manage symptoms, but they cannot achieve the benefits of a personalized intervention designed to utilize your unique strengths to foster growth and resolve issues. Hypnosis creates an amplified, high-powered context for people to explore, discover, and use more of their innate abilities.
I embrace the conviction that people have many more abilities than they consciously realize and hypnosis is one tool that can help them discover and develop within themselves the very resources they need in order to improve. Hypnosis isn’t the therapy, and hypnosis itself cures nothing. Rather, hypnosis is the vehicle for empowering people with the abilities and realizations needed to help themselves.