Does hypnotherapy work?
Often (and quite understandably) people ask me; “Does hypnotherapy work?” What can I say, except, 'Yes', and for some, that's enough But I can hear others thinking, 'Well, she would say that, wouldn't she?'
So don’t just take my word for it. The good news is that there is a lot out there and new evidence coming out all the time.
What the professor of medicine says
David Spiegel, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, won a prestigious award for his research into stress and health. He is a long-standing champion of hypnosis as a valid technique to help in a variety of clinical and medical conditions.
In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Professor Spiegel explained his views about hypnosis, even though some members of the medical profession are sceptical:
“There are people who think hypnosis is just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, and it isn’t. It’s the oldest western conception of psychotherapy. My main way of dealing with it is knowing that to advance medical care you need facts, not opinions. My way of standing up to it is to do the research, publish it in mainstream journals and let people read the work and decide if we have enough evidence to support our claims.”
A bright future: managing stressors
Professor Spiegel thinks there is a bright future for hypnosis. He said:
“I would like to see people use it as a regular technique to help them focus better, think better and manage stressors better. I use it as a therapeutic tool, but a lot of what I teach patients virtually anybody can learn.
I would love to see it used as a teaching and learning technique that most people know how to do.
I think there’s a lot we learn from helping people manage pain and anxiety and focus their attention. I’d like to see it not as just some weird historical footnote but as a standard technique.”
I really like Professor Spiegel’s emphasis on ‘anyone can learn’. I've said this elsewhere on this site ... hypnosis is not something I 'do to you' but something you learn to do for yourself. It’s not mind control or a series of 'off the shelf' solutions, but a way of helping you find the right way forward for you.
And Professor Spiegel is right, it is quite easy! So please contact me for an appointment if you want to try if for yourself.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter on these blogs: Rachel Waller.
You can read more from Professor Spiegel’s interview at http://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/04/27/professor-of-medicine-spiegel-talks-about-medical-hypnosis-receiving-the-joan-and-stanford-alexander-award/