The investigation of self-hypnosis has stagnated in comparison to its counterpart hetero-hypnosis since the 1980s, and this is despite the rise in popularity of similar clinician-independent techniques such as meditation.
In this presentation, Adam shows how his recent research at Bournemouth University has sought to revitalise the exploration of self-hypnosis by arguing that there are unique benefits associated with self-hypnosis for the field of hypnosis more generally.
In addition to showing how the history of self-hypnosis has seen it develop differently to hetero-hypnosis, Adam will highlight and evaluate important studies that compare self- and hetero-hypnosis, primarily in terms of effectiveness and phenomenology. This will also demonstrate the theoretical importance (and even controversy) and implications of the very existence of such a thing as ‘self-hypnosis.’
In this presentation, Adam will argue that self-hypnosis is as clinically effective as hetero-hypnosis although there is evidence that self-hypnosis requires more volition. He will then show that most extant theories of hypnosis instantiate a strong role for the self in the process of hypnosis and suggestion.
He will go on to make the following arguments: 1) There is more self-efficacy in self-hypnosis; 2) Self-hypnosis helps frame hypnosis as a skill to be advanced; 3) Self-hypnosis implies self-control, not ‘mind-control’. Self-hypnosis, with its emphasis on the independent, self-directed nature of hypnosis might therefore represent a pathway to greater general acceptance for hypnosis as a form of treatment.
Adam will also draw upon his published systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials examining the efficacy of self-hypnosis as a clinical treatment. Methodological and theoretical differences among studies will be discussed and Adam will explain how this research has informed the protocol of self-hypnosis that is now being used by him and his team at Bournemouth University.
Finally, for the first time in public, he will share the results of recent studies using Stroop task and pupilometry in conjunction with self-hypnosis compared to imagination skills at advancing cognitive performance.
Adam is the Principal of the Anglo European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis and a researcher and guest lecturer in the Psychology Department at Bournemouth University on their MSC in hypnosis programme. He is the author of the book the Science of Self-Hypnosis: The Evidence-Based Way to Hypnotise Yourself as well as the author of the first and only meta-analysis on the clinical applications of self-hypnosis published in a peer-reviewed journal (The APAs Psychology of Consciousness Journal). He runs the UK Hypnosis Convention and has dedicated his entire adult life to the field of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.