Harvard Medical School (Harvard Health Publishing)

Tap into your brain's circuitry to boost treatment for your health condition.

When it comes to pain management, anxiety, and other challenges, relief may come down to mind over matter: a technique called hypnotherapy. It works by helping you enter a trance-like state where attention is highly focused, so you're more responsive to suggestions. "It's most effective in treating problems that require stronger control over the body's responses," says Dr. Max Shapiro, a psychologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "Insomnia and pain are primary examples. It is now known that the brain has greater ability to influence the body than previously acknowledged." 

How hypnotherapy works

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to treat any number of mental or physical health problems. Hypnosis turns your attention inward. Usually, you enter a trance-like state and, with the guidance of a hypnotherapist, you can start to control or alter your thoughts, feelings, and physical state. "A hypnotic trance empowers people to activate neural circuits that are otherwise hidden," Dr. Shapiro explains. "This circuitry can activate greater comfort for pain relief, greater mental focus for certain activities, and greater self-esteem."

 read more

https://www.health.harvard.edu/alternative-and-complementary-medicine/could-hypnotherapy-help-you

How does hypnotherapy works

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/does-hypnosis-work

David Spiegel of Stanford University’s School of Medicine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=QbGlghuLkYY

In health, mind matters. David Spiegel of Stanford University’s School of Medicine explains what happens in the brain when somebody is hypnotized, and how hypnosis can reduce pain, improve cancer survival rates and help people stop smoking.



Oxford University Academic Journal 

Hypnotherapy as a Treatment for Pain

Hypnotherapy has increasingly been included in the management of burn patients, particularly in the area of acute pain. To better understand such issues as (1) overall efficacy of hypnotherapy to alleviate acute burn pain, (2) instances in which hypnotherapy is contraindicated, (3) interaction of hypnotherapy with medication, (4) standard induction techniques to use with various age groups, (5) role of nursing and other staff in facilitating hypnotic effects, and (6) future methodological directions, we examined the clinical and methodological merits of recent studies of hypnoanalgesia. Through a computer search of the medical literature and cross-referencing recent bibliographies, we were able to find 17 studies in which hypnotherapy was applied to the management of burns. The literature generally supports the efficacy of this approach to reduce burn pain; however, little else can be concluded from these studies. Several recent studies have applied hypnotherapy to aspects of burn care other than pain using excellent experimental designs. It is suggested that future studies of acute pain management follow suit.

David Spiegel of Stanford University’s School of Medicine

In health, mind matters. David Spiegel of Stanford University’s School of Medicine explains what happens in the brain when somebody is hypnotized, and how hypnosis can reduce pain, improve cancer survival rates and help people stop smoking.

The qualities of an effective Hypnotherapist

By Peter C Williams CMS CHt CHI

The effective hypnotherapist, based on the teachings of Naples Hypnotherapy Academy

There are hundreds of studies from numerous universities and colleges proving the effectiveness of hypnotherapy including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, among others. These studies show the validity and value of Hypnotherapy. Based on my experience, hypnotherapy works approximately 85-95% of the time, which is extremely impressive. Believe it or not, hypnotherapy may be cheaper than some prescription medications, especially when you consider that through hypnotherapy you may attain permanent change or resolution.

To be an effective Hypnotherapist, there are well-defined criteria that should be met. I've listed them so you, as a client, may be empowered with the knowledge and information to evaluate your hypnotherapist.


The qualities of an effective Hypnotherapist

1. An effective hypnotherapist engages the client on multiple levels, cognitively, sub-cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally. First, they establish a good rapport, to create, and encourages a willingness to share. Next, he or she focuses on understanding the client, becoming aware of their inner self, understanding their life circumstances, and why they have chosen the path they’re on.

This means: An effective hypnotherapist will allow you to feel at ease. He or she will strive to understand your circumstance to recognize where you are versus where you want to be. allowing you to express yourself freely (regarding pass traumas or negatively perceived events) and will try to engage the thoughts feelings and emotional elements associated with that events or trauma while creating a therapeutic path to resolution.

*

2. Must have good interpersonal skills. The effective hypnotherapists are able to express themselves well.        They are perceptive, sensing what other people are thinking and or feeling. In relating to their clients, they show warmth and acceptance, compassion, with a focus on the client, not themselves.

This means: As you talk about your experience, does your hypnotherapist seem to be interested in learning about how you feel? Can your therapist communicate to you in language that you understand? Does your therapist talk about himself, rather than paying attention to you.

*

3. Ability to help you feel you can trust the therapist. Generally, people determine whether or not they can trust someone 3 minutes of meeting them. Clients of effective therapists believe that their therapists will be helpful because the therapist communicates both verbally and non-verbally that he or she is someone the client can trust.

This means: What is your inner voice telling you when you first meet your therapist? Is this someone who allows you to feel that you can have a good working relationship, can you have faith in this person, and can you trust them with your deepest and darkest feelings, thoughts and traumas? The ethical code of a properly trained hypnotherapist includes the provision that revelation of illegal or dangerous intention must be reported to proper authorities such as the police or social service agencies etc. However, even this requirement can help you feel that you can trust the therapist because you know that you and all those you care about will be protected.

*

4. Willingness to establish an alliance with you. One of the best predictors of a good therapeutic outcome is the feeling that clients are in a partnership with their therapists. This is known as the therapeutic alliance. The effective hypnotherapists are able to form these alliances with many types of clients.

This means: You have the sense that your therapist is interested in getting you on board in establishing goals that both of you agree on. Though the therapist is obviously the expert, you feel that the therapist cares about your goals in sessions and is willing to work with you.

*

5. Must be able to explain the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy, how it works and why it works. The hypnotherapist must have the ability to adapt to new information from the client, executing therapeutic techniques to satisfy the changed circumstance. Effective therapists provide explanations that clients can understand but they are also willing to shift according to the direction in which sessions unfolds.

This means: You should understand what the therapist says about the possible contributing factors to your issues. The explanation needn't be (and probably shouldn't be) "overly technical;" it should be explained in a simplistic way, and you should also feel that the therapist is willing to be flexible about the type of therapy being executed.

*

6. An effective Hypnotherapist communicates confidently about the course of sessions. Getting the client’s input, while allowing the client to recognize that sessions are effective and worthwhile. These therapists allow their clients to feel secure in the knowledge that the sessions are moving in the right direction, closer to their goals.

This means: The hypnotherapist must be in control of the course of sessions, and then you will be more likely to be able to make progress. Uncertainty about whether therapists know what they're doing can undermine the course of treatment. Obviously, if you're unhappy with something about the way that sessions are proceeding, you should be able to talk about it. However, a good therapist makes you feel reassured, with a willingness to listen, and make necessary adjustments and allows you to feel that your therapist is on your side.

*

7. An effective hypnotherapist pays attention to the progress of therapy and the communication of this interest to the client. Good therapists are interested in finding out how their clients are responding to the sessions. They show that they want their clients to improve.

This means: it is important to feel your therapeutic sessions are effective when he or she checks in with you to see how you feel about the session you're getting. This doesn't mean that you need to show progress in every session, but it does mean that your therapist shows concern for you by checking in with you to see how you feel things are working.

*

8. An effective hypnotherapist inspires hope and optimism about your chances of improvement since hope is a tremendous source of motivation. The feeling that something is going to work is often a large part of the equation in successful therapeutic session. However, a good therapist is not unrealistically hopeful but is able to strike a balance between realism and hope.

This means: A good therapist will inspire you to think optimistically, to begin to think and believe that you can get better. Whatever your own past experience may be, it's better to approach sessions with optimism. If your therapist inspires you to feel hopeful, you'll benefit more from the sessions.

*

9. A good hypnotherapist is sensitive toward your cultural background, religion, race, and sex. These principles are taught at Naples Hypnotherapy Academy and recommend that hypnotherapists adapt treatment to their client's sex, ethnicity, race, culture, religion and family values. This includes showing respect for your background and being aware of attitudes within your culture or community, i.e. family relationships, religious practices, and appropriate behavior.

This means: It goes without saying, an effective therapist does not make offensive comments about your sex/gender, race, sexual orientation; negative comments on cultures, religion or ethnicity. However, therapists might not be aware of specific prohibitions or traditions that are an important part of your life. If this happens, explain why you find this to be the case. It's possible that your therapist simply is unaware of this, and will show appreciation for gaining this knowledge.

*

10. Self-insight and monitoring. An effective hypnotherapist is self-aware and is able to separate his or her own issues from those of clients. The term, "counter-transference" refers to cases in which the issues expressed by a client lead to emotional reactions on the part of the therapist. It's important for the hypnotherapist to be able to identify and manage their responses to the issues their clients present to them and be in control.

This means: If you find that your therapist brings up his or her own problems when you talk about yours, and you feel this is overstepping the line on self-disclosure, bring this up as a concern. We are not perfect, and the unconscious can play interesting tricks on all of us, including the hypnotherapists, but the good ones are able to control their reactions even if those come close to experiences that they have had.