Clinical Practice of Hypnotherapy
The hypnotic state has long been recognized as a significant catalyst for psychotherapeutic change, yet few individuals have been as committed, as M. Erik Wright, to exploring and perfecting the clinical art of hypnotherapy. At the time of his death, Erik Wright had been assembling a volume that would convey the importance as well as the specific techniques of using hypnosis in a therapeutic context. This unfinished work was taken up by the author’s wife, Beatrice A. Wright, a psychologist well acquainted with the field of hypnosis, who compiled and organized the wealth of material designated for this volume. The result of their combined efforts is an outstanding hypnotherapy text that both retains Erik Wright’s unique orientation and captures the essence of values that guided his work.
Presenting a cogent conceptual framework along with actual protocols demonstrating a wide variety of clinically effective hypnotherapeutic procedures, CLINICAL PRACTICE OF HYPNOTHERAPY is divided into three parts. The first section introduces the underlying principles of hypnotherapy. Defining the relationship of hypnotherapy to psychotherapy, and the theoretical basis upon which the book was founded, it describes the various methods and preparations for inducing trance experiences. Topics include: common misconceptions about hypnosis; procedures for introducing clients to the trance state; the hypnotherapy of language usage; and non-verbal ways of signalling thoughts and feelings. Closing the section are lucid demonstrations of induction and enhancement procedures, including progressive relaxation, eye fixation, number progression, guided imagery, and autohypnosis, among others.
The second section elaborates and illustrates a variety of
hypnotherapeutic procedures using actual cases. One chapter, for example, presents guided imagery as applied to cases of phobic-anxiety, skin rash, and peptic ulcer. Another chapter is devoted to a variety of projective techniques, showing how they may be used to assuage grief and relieve stress. Other chapters describe approaches involving time, re-orientation, dissociation, and client-therapist role reversal.
Part three focusses on special clinical problems such as pain control, cessation of smoking, and the management of sleep disorders. Each is addressed in a separate chapter that provides detailed therapeutic procedures for ameliorating the problem. In understanding the nature of the problems covered, the historical and cultural contexts, biological aspects, and current theories are brought to bear. For example, a chapter on the management of overeating opens by reviewing the psycho-social meanings of food, and offers guidelines for evaluating a client’s weight management needs. After exploring these issues, specific hypnotherapeutic strategies--such as negative accentuation and alternative means of gratification-- are vividly demonstrated.
This comprehensive text offers a penetrating and integrated discussion of the principles and practices of hypnosis in psychotherapy. An invaluable clinical tool for those concerned with both the theoretical and practical workings of hypnotherapy, it will be of particular interest to professionals and advanced students in the fields of psychology, medicine, and social work.
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