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The Benefits of Self Hypnosis

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The interest in hypnosis as an area of research has burgeoned in the last decades at a level only comparable to that at the end of the last century. Only lack of specific knowledge can bring about the rejection of a series of procedures that are proving to be of considerable importance as adjuncts to psychological treatments, particularly cognitive-behavioural ones.

The tendency to include hypnosis within psychological treatments is prevalent in other advanced countries. The rejection of hypnosis among some psychotherapists can only be explained by myths and wrong beliefs. It is also true, nonetheless, that a change in this attitude is exemplified by the prominent manuals of behaviour modification published recently in Spain. They include chapters on hypnosis although, paradoxically, only one is written from a cognitive-behavioural perspective, in contrast with the main approach of such manuals.

As with other forms of suggestion deployment, it reduces the effort and time necessary to bring about behavioural change. The media, stage shows, and literature have portrayed hypnosis as a method to erase the subject’s will. Although this robotic portrait is inaccurate, patients typically ask for this type of methods, because they are unaware of the other types. Hypnosis can, however, bring about difficulties when dealing with some problems. Such difficulties are mostly centred on the issues of asking patients to close their eyes, to relax, and to adopt postures conducive to sleepiness, heaviness and muscle flaccidity. The therapist often needs to have a rapid communication with the patient, to evaluate the effect of suggestions and to apply some specific therapeutic procedures.

For all of these reasons it was proposed a procedure that would link hypnosis to self-regulation therapy, in a sense waking hypnosis. This procedure would satisfy those patients who want to be hypnotised, allowing them to follow suggestions quickly, accurately and in a concealed way. The purpose is to include hypnosis as one of the procedures in treating for example the active management of stress.

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