Hypnosis and Trauma

Every day I turn on the news and see reports of violence somewhere. . . . it may be armed conflicts in the Middle East or Africa. . . . it may be child or domestic abuse here at home. As a psychologist, my next thought is how to treat the mental anguish that must be all-encompassing for survivors. I wasn’t taught anything about treating trauma in my graduate program. And most of the trauma recovery techniques that I’d learned soon after graduating have since been found not as useful as originally hoped. Traditional talk therapy can sometimes actually re-traumatize…

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Ericksonian Hypnosis

Remember “You are getting sleepy” after the hypnotist urges his patient to stare at a swinging pocket watch? Popularized on TV and in the movies for years, this became the lay person’s image of hypnosis. Filled with a good deal of mystery and magic, audiences held their breath until the suspense of trance released itself into awakening. And voila! Eyes opened and consciousness returned. Of course, this isn’t how hypnosis works, but it’s intriguing to look at perceptions surrounding its practice. “…we know now that such an authoritarian-like approach can trigger resistance…” With uncanny control, the hypnotist would tell the…

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