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Hypnosis Gets Respect in the UK

11 Jul

Remember when the word “hypnosis” conjured up images of a stage Svengali snookering some hapless volunteer from the audience to walk like a duck and cluck like a chicken?

Well, according to a just-published University of Birmingham research analysis, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have come a long way from that perception. The investigators show most people are open to using it for medical or psychotherapeutic purposes.

The British team combed the research literature from 1996 to 2016, examining 9 different databases to find 31 qualifying articles on attitudes toward hypnotherapy.

Their findings were positive. They conclude that most members of the general public believe that hypnosis is an altered state that they can either willingly opt into or decline.They generally feel it can be beneficial for psychological issues and for supporting medical interventions.There is also a prevalent opinion that it can enhance abilities, especially memory. If offered by a certified medical or psychological provider, they are open to trying it.

Here’s the citation if anyone wants to read the entire piece:Krouwel M, Jolly K, Greenfield S. What the public think about hypnosis and hypnotherapy: A narrative review of literature covering opinions and attitudes of the general public 1996-2016.Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2017 Jun; pp. 32:75-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 Apr 15. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Of course, guided imagery is a form of hypnosis, as it encourages listeners to enter into an immersive, altered state where they are more open to healing, learning, growth and change. For years, meditation teachers have shied away from calling attention to its hypnotic features, for fear of scaring off potential users who could benefit from it. Perhaps the time has come to stop worrying about that.

All best,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award