Description: This book presents a history of hypnosis as used in medicine. It describes theories that attempt to account for behavior changes and presents research and clinical application of hypnosis across medical specialties. This is one book in a series of Medical Guides to CAM.
Purpose: It is written as a guide for clinicians to integrate hypnosis therapy in the practice arena. Hypnosis has been shown to be effective across a wide variety of patient problems. If readers begin to see how this methodology can be used in their practice, it will benefit patients. I believe the objective is met, although some chapters are more complete and thoroughly researched than others.
Audience: It is written for clinicians. I believe it will be useful for physicians, nurses, physical and psychotherapists, and social workers. It includes sections on emergency room and operative clients, obstetrics and pediatrics, radiology, and the medical specialties of oncology and pulmonology. Sections on nursing and dentistry are also included. The contributors are experienced practitioners and teachers.
Features: Hypnosis has been used for patient benefit for countless problems. This book provides an in-depth description of the physiology, theory, and response to hypnosis for selected categories of patients, both adults and children. One extremely helpful idea throughout the book describes useful phrases/positive suggestions for situations where negative ones are so often used (i.e., "you might help relieve any discomfort by..." instead of "this will hurt").
Assessment: Hypnosis is still somewhat a mystery. I would like to have seen more distinction between imagery/visualization and hypnosis. Many clinicians are easily able to learn and practice imagery, whereas hypnosis requires specific training. How great are the differences? How does self-hypnosis differ from imagery or hypnosis? However, this book offers ample evidence for the usefulness of hypnosis in clinical practice.