Review: Hypnosis – A Guide for Patients and Practitioners

This is a much more conservative and traditional book on hypnosis than many books that are aimed more directly at NLP folk. Watson aims this book primarily at doctors, dentists, and other health professionals who are interested in using hypnosis as an additional therapy in their arsenal. This focus on health professionals makes sense because the book was originally published in 1981 as part of a series called Medicine Today.

Chapter 6, When to Use Hypnosis, is especially useful for health professionals and others who are interested in using hypnosis in facilitating health. It explains the use of hypnosis in medical terms for ailments such as anxiety, pyschosomatic illnesses, phobias, obsessional illness, neuroses, problems of personality, and addictions. The rather traditional and old-fashioned approach of the book is most exemplified by the section on “the sexual variations” with suggestions on how aversion therapy can be used to overcome homosexuality. It is a long time since 1981 and the contemporary concept of gay marriage presumably wasn’t on Watson’s mind 31 years ago 🙂

The book also includes a history of hypnosis, an attempt at providing a physiological explanation of how it works, an outline of some simple induction techniques, and a description of authoritarian/permissive techniques.

The book feels quite updated at this point but can still provide an interesting perspective on hypnosis, especially for health professionals or NLP practitioners working with health professionals in some capacity.

 

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