Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[Insight SBS] Hypnotherapy: Fact or Fiction

I was recently invited as the hypnotherapy  expert on SBS’s Insight Programme. It was a programme about phobias, and different approaches were canvassed. The dominant push was clearly for Exposure therapy - a CBT based approach.

However, during the taping of the show the three psychologists featured claimed there was no evidence to support the efficacy of hypnosis as a treatment option. I was flabbergasted. “None” I wondered. That would mean that one would have to be very certain that one was across all of the literature. And clearly, as I will demonstrate below, they were all
absolutely wrong.
What this reminded me of is that although modern hypnosis is now well established overseas, we are still lingering behind here in Australia. The AICH is the only school to my knoweldge that teaches a true moidern technique, and we simply need to get the message out there that modern solution oriented hypnosis desires recognition because the evidence is in
So I thought I would post a quick summary of the credibility and research from overseas:
1) Some of the most prestigious universities in the world have hypnosis research labs. The most famous are Harvard and Stamford, which as been in operation for over 60 years. You could start with researching the work of Dr Dan Siegel and Dr William Kroger.

2) The American Psychological Association Division 30
Its mission: 
“is to educate the profession and the public, to develop new and innovative clinical interventions and research methods, and to evaluate current treatment approaches. These activities advance our knowledge about basic psychological processes and foster practices designed to improve human well being. Division 30 encourages research into the area of hypnosis and develops regional and national continuing education workshops on clinical applications of hypnosis.

The Division publishes 
Psychological Hypnosis: A Bulletin of Division 30 three times a year. The Division sponsors awards for outstanding contributions to scientific and clinical hypnosis"
The APA is the leading, most respected association of its kind in the world. Not known for entertaining fringy fluffy stuff.

3) The leading Journal in the field is the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental HypnosisIt is actually considered among the leading peer reviewed journals not just re hypnosis, but in the therapeutic space. The 2007 journals summarised the research to date.

4) Dr Michael Yapko, is a hypnotherapist, my supervisor, and arguably the most decorated therapist in the world. Dr. Yapko is a member of the American Psychological Association, a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a past Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Division of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine (in England), a member of the International Society of Hypnosis, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is a recipient of The Milton H. Erickson Lifetime Achievement Award  (2007), twice a recipient of the Arthur Shapiro Award for the “best book of the year on hypnosis” from the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis for Treating Depression with Hypnosis (2001) and Hypnosis and Treating Depression (2006), and the 2003Pierre Janet Award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society of Hypnosis, a lifetime achievement award honoring his many contributions to the field.

Dr. Yapko wrote the authoritative sections on "Treating Depression" and "Brief Therapy" for the Encyclopedia Britannica Medical and Health Annualsan honour not usually bestowed on a therapist who indulges in non evidence based approaches.

5) What about the research?
What do you want to know? Go to google scholar and search for your particular angle. Hypnosis and pain, anxiety, depression, phobias etc etc.

I hope this clarifies a few things.

If you are interested in the SBS Porgramme or posting a comment on their discussion board, go to:

1 comment:

  1. On the note of google scholar, T & F (Taylor and francis online) is worth registering to; the amount of related studies/articles on all forms of hypnosis they have is amazing. Maybe 'insight' could have looked at the many papers from various university studies with amazing results.