E-ISSN: 2458-9101
Waking Hypnosis as a Psychotherapeutic Technique
Warwick D. Phipps
Sleep and Hypnosis: A Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopathology 2019; Online Ahead of Print
Today the practice of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes—hypnotherapy—is recognised as an adjunct to many psychotherapeutic approaches. One important type of hypnosis is waking hypnosis. In waking hypnosis, the client exhibits an altered state of consciousness and a somewhat uncritical acceptance of (beneficial) suggestions without having undergone a trance. This is distinct from somnambulism, another form of hypnosis, wherein the client, through the process of trance, subsequently opens his or her eyes and continues to maintain the hypnotic state. In his seminal work Findings in Hypnosis, Dave Elman (1964/1984) explains that in waking hypnosis the critical faculty—the client’s sense of everyday judgement—is immediately suspended and selective or new thinking subsequently established. Although waking hypnosis has been applied in other fields, for example in medicine and dentistry in the management of pain, it appears that there has been limited purposeful application in the field of psychotherapy. After investigating the phenomenon of waking hypnosis, the paper shows how waking hypnosis, using the example of the REACH technique, may be applied in the field of psychotherapy.
Keywords: Elman, critical faculty, hypnotherapy, interactional, REACH technique, selective thinking, somnambulism, suggestion
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