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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This is a comprehensive look at hypnosis, including theories, techniques, treatment of psychiatric disorders, and health issues. It is full of research, providing evidence for a practice which has a long history. This updates the first edition of 1995.
Purpose: In the 15 years since the first edition, "the evidential base supporting the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of many conditions has increased substantially," the editors note, adding, "the time seemed right for a new edition, in which more recent research and treatment innovations could be presented."
Audience: Anyone who wishes to learn about clinical hypnosis is part of the intended audience. The editors include novice hypnotherapists, who will learn "the basics of hypnotherapy and the many potential uses of hypnosis," making it an "ideal textbook for graduate and postgraduate courses and workshops." They suggest trained hypnotherapists and seasoned clinicians can use it as a reference for the "many suggestions for applying techniques and strategies relevant to the nitty-gritty work of the practitioner," while "hypnosis researchers and theoreticians will find much value." Steven Jay Lynn, professor of psychology at State University of New York, is past president of the American Psychological Association, Division of Psychological Hypnosis. Judith W. Rhue is a professor at Ohio University, and Irving Kirsch is a professor at the University of Hull. The contributors represent an international authorship from the U.S., Australia, Spain, Canada, and the U.K.
Features: After an introduction and basic definitions, the first part of the book outlines the history of hypnosis, from Franz Mesmer to the present. An interesting early chapter discusses hypnotizability in terms of assessment and treatment outcomes. The second part focuses on theories of hypnosis, including psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, and Milton Erickson models. The techniques are detailed in the third part. Chapter 10 on hypnotic inductions walks readers through this process, explaining preinduction procedures, methods of induction, deepening or heightening techniques, and self-hypnosis. Part IV deals with specific DSM-IV-TR diagnostic categories such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, dissociative identity disorder, and anorexia nervosa. This part also addresses hypnosis with children and couples. Part V shows how hypnosis can be used in health psychology to address pain control, smoking cessation, and anxiety involved with surgical procedures. Finally, issues involved in training healthcare personnel to use hypnosis in their practices as adjunctive therapy are discussed. This final section also contains cultural issues related to Navajos, Afro-Brazilians and Afro-Caribbeans, Puerto-Ricans, and Haitians. The figures and tables help clarify the text, although there are not too many. The case studies and other clinical material are extremely helpful in seeing the hypnotic process in action.
Assessment: This excellent book details the hypnotic process and the various techniques, and provides useful case material. It will be of great value to both novice and seasoned practitioners.