Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Hypnosis Mesmerized

Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Hypnosis Mesmerized

Article excerpt

Hypnosis Mesmerized Hypnotherapy: A Modern Approach. Willliam L. Golden, E. Thomas Dowd, and Fred Friedberg. New York: Pergamon Press, 1987. (168 pp.)

The 1970s saw the integration of hypnosis with behavior therapy; therefore it is inevitable that hypnosis will be integrated with cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) in the 1980s.

This small book, authored by three experienced therapists from different theoretical backgrounds, provides a broad-based treatment manual, integrating traditional, cognitivebehavioral, and Ericksonian hypnotherapy procedures. By aiming for "technical eclecticism," that is, borrowing techniques from diverse therapeutic approaches without necessarily accepting the underlying theories, they have succeeded admirably in integrating both contemporary and traditional methods of hypnotherapy.

Throughout the book they set out to instruct the readers, especially novices to hypnosis, how to induce and utilize clinical hypnosis. The focus is on clinical techniques, which are described in easy-to-follow details and illustrated by case examples. Some readers may wonder how some of the hypnotic techniques described differ from CBT. It is true that some of the techniques do not differ from traditional CBT, but those therapists looking for other methods to integrate with their own approaches may find the integrating procedures useful.

After the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 describes the stages of hypnotherapy. The authors' assertion that trance is not an important aspect of hypnosis, and that hypnotic responsiveness can be effectively increased through skills training, is still controversial and far from being settled. One may also find the use of the term trance throughout the book contradictory. Since they don't regard trance to be an important aspect of hypnosis, the word could have been substituted for by calm, relaxation or another appropriate word. It is supposed that the book is a treatment manual, and therefore the authors do not attempt to define trance or hypnosis.

Chapter 3 deals with depression, which is left out by most textbooks of clinical hypnosis. …

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