The talk will outline the neural and epigenetic mechanisms that underpin some people’s reaction to severe trauma: i.e. to develop posttraumatic stress disorder.
It will be shown that there are a surprising number of parallels between the characteristics of PTSD and the phenomena of hypnosis, to the extent that sufferers are usually highly hypnotically susceptible. This potentially gives hypnosis a unique role in the treatment of PTSD.
After obtaining his doctorate in the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, Peter spent much of his time in academia, researching hypnosis. However, he also had a spell carrying out research for the Ministry of Defence, and there he became involved with the issue of PTSD. He soon spotted the parallels and developed novel apparatus to explore the nature of the connections.
Peter has held the post of President of the Section for Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine, at the Royal Society of Medicine, and now has the same role with the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis; he is also a member of the Board of Directors of the European Society of Hypnosis. He is a strong advocate of the public dissemination of science and is a regular speaker at the major British science festivals. Additionally, he has lectured at the Science Museum, the Royal Society, the Dana Centre for the Brain and ‘Science on the Fringe’ during the Edinburgh Festival.