Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Vol 54 4 , Aug , By: G. Cochrane, J. Friesen, University of British Columbia. Notes: Twenty-one smokers who were referred to this study by their physicians for medical reasons, received three smoking cessation hypnosis sessions. All patients reported having failed in previous unassisted attempts to stop smoking. The clinical-treatment protocol included three sessions. The first session was the initial consultation and did not include a hypnotic induction. Sessions 2 and 3 involved individually adapted hypnotic suggestions and an individual therapeutic relationship with each patient.
Each patient was also provided with a cassette tape recording of a hypnotic induction with direct suggestions for relaxation and a feeling of comfort. The patients were seen biweekly for treatment. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. Elkins, M. Hypnotherapy and test anxiety: Two cognitive-behavioral constructs: The effects of hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic achievement in college students.
Results: There was a decrease in test anxiety and improvements in achievement for the hypnosis group. The treatment gains were maintained at 6-wk follow-up. Notes: Investigated the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance. Hypnotherapy is also very effective for many other issues. Just about any area of life can be improved with hypnosis. Her well-intentioned minister, like many of his colleagues, had little understanding of guilt.
Between the psychological and the moral variety, he could make no differential diagnosis. He believed that the remedy for guilt feelings was always confession to God. When liberation was not forthcoming, he assumed that the person was in some way insincere. More confession, therefore, was needed. When Nellie began to develop some obvious schizoid symptoms, her minister found himself helpless.
Before any pastoral hypnotherapy was undertaken, preliminary counseling indicated that Nellie's girlhood was marked by many unwholesome experiences. Several sources of her psychological guilt seemed to raise their ugly heads. She was able to explain that she entered into a loveless marriage with Harry to escape a miserable home environment. Husband and wife, however, had one thing in common-both were guilt-ridden. Inauspicious from the start, the marriage relationship went from bad to worse.
Nellie found that sexual experience magnified her guilt-feelings.
Hypnosis - Wikipedia
Within a few years, she had become completely frigid. Harry attempted to sublimate much of his energies in his work and the overdrive led to some little success. The couple decided to adopt a child. Nellie, through her fanatical efforts to extricate herself from her increasing guilt, induced more and more alienation in her relationship with Harry. His own guilt reactions were obvious but, in total revolt against his wife's feverish religious activity, he tightly closed his eyes to his own inner states.
He sought escape in heavy drinking. Sensing her own part in this, Nellie enlarged her self-blame. Many months of counseling and pastoral hypnosis were required to open the door of the personal prison in which Nellie had confined herself. Harry's attitude did not ease the work. Weeks of psychodynamic manipulation were required to establish even a little communication between them. The need of conjoint therapy was clear. Harry, however, refused to seek help.
An indirect method had to be devised. But progress came slowly and results often were disheartening. True, transitional relaxation soon freed Nellie from many of her symptoms. Lasting improvement, however, required that her husband obtain the help he needed. To reach Harry through her became a defiant challenge. With a gradual elevation of Nellie's moods, Harry became less bellicose. He did continue his drinking and he entered a lengthy phase of sullenness. But the home was no longer the scene of violent clashes.
Nellie, with progressive liberation from her inner tensions, was able to concentrate her efforts upon the building of new habits. When she reached the point where, in dealing with others, the use of suggestion became natural with her, she found that she could coax Harry out of his ingrowingness.
Indeed, the indirect efforts toward Harry had no rapid result but eventually they became effective. After a time of relative normalcy, suddenly without previous discussion, Harry asked Nellie, "Will you marry me? On this occasion, the couple were beginning anew life on some solid grounds of mutual need, love and understanding.
The disorder in their inner personalities had prevented both from attaining that religious experience which can become a supportive element for normal human existence. When Harry and Nellie returned home from their honeymoon they discovered that the domestic environment had changed very much. At Harry's suggestion, family morning and evening prayer became part of the daily routine. Although many complicated factors were involved, Nellie's own honest facing of her inner states probably marked the beginning of her recovery.
After a few month's work, her pastor protested that her condition had clearly grown worse because she was neglecting parish activities, no longer attended church-services with regularity, and had discontinued her extravagant giving. When confronted, Nellie admitted the charges were. She added, "I now realize that I have been using the church for a crutch. Because I held myself in low regard, I sought compensation in the admiration which I was able to get from other people. I have every intention of resuming an active church-life but I must be sure as possible that my motivation is right.
The existential exercise of the ministry demands a lot of skill, understanding, and patience. The life-story of Cora demonstrates the importance of facing criticism with persistence. At a recent meeting of the churchwomen's group to which Cora belonged, she was asked how she felt. The woman replied that she has been feeling fine ever since she got her nerves under control. Pressed to explain how she overcame her "nerves," she answered, "Father Joe did it. She was sure that her neighbors were persecuting her. They had wired her home for eavesdropping and set up devices to communicate with her in varying ways.
She would go to the phone and hear imaginary voices which threatened her. After many months of medical care, she showed no improvement. Her husband decided to bring Cora to the pastoral study. During the counseling, the reality of Cora's symptoms was never questioned. Her problems were only discussed as her "nerves. She accepted these ideas. During hypnosis, she was given a steady stream of positive suggestions which only obliquely touched her symptoms.
After three or four months, all indications of mental illness had disappeared. The writer, a decade ago, proposed the hypothesis that much mental illness could well be the result of an induced self-hypnosis. Experience with many people seemed clearly to justify this approach. If there be solid evidence for such a conclusion, therapy for many should neither be sought in drugs, nor in institutionalization, nor in shock treatment but, instead, in dehypnotization and counter suggestion.
The writer's ideas, at the time, produced a storm of ridicule, scorn, and professional questioning. Hartmap supports the writer's thesis and maintains that the role of suggestion in emotional disorders is largely ignored in professional literature dealing with psychodiagnosis and psychotherapeutic treatment. He writes, "When a person is in the grip of an emotion, the. Just as in hypnosis, there is a loss of consciousness and the person may unknowingly slip into a trance; just as in hypnosis, he becomes extremely suggestible.
A remark may be made or the person may have a thought which is accepted or carried out by the subconscious mind as if it were a post-hypnotic suggestion. Under intense emotion, the subconscious mind seems to automatically register a statement as though a tape recording is being made. With reinforcement through association the same as a posthypnotic suggestion the idea will be carried out compulsively. For Cora, a severe family crisis produced the emotional situation which became the premises for her autohypnosis.
Her anxiety of what others would think and say created the suggestion which took root and grew stronger tending to separate Cora from reality. When the damaging suggestion had been removed by heterohypnosis, she was released from her case of "nerves. Several years ago, the writer was spending a vacation in Canada. In the parking lot of a Toronto hotel, he stumbled over a placard which had likely been used during a convention at the hotel. When a government orders an inscription on each package of cigarettes about possible harm from cigarette smoking, does it not run the risk of using suggestion to spread the disease?
When the American Cancer Society uses many coughing and hacking people to introduce an advertisement against smoking, could this not be an immoral use of suggestion? If cancer is promoted by suggestion, we can now expect many more to become its victims who may not have developed it otherwise. An existentially conceived ministry cannot afford to ignore the abuse of suggestion in interpersonal relationships.
The pastoral use of hypnotic technique should never be regarded as a game or as a panacea. It should be employed in the framework of ministerial function. In the chaotic relationships, today, of spirit, mind, and body, sometimes the causative factor for disorder can be pinpointed in the conscious area. Simple re-education may do the job. There should be no indiscriminate use of hypnosis but, if simple re-education fails, hypnotic technique offers hope. During the past twenty years, the writer has had the opportunity to work with many hundreds of men, women, and children.
Very few failed to respond to hypnosis. Many have been sent to the pastoral study by medical doctors. Among these victims, some required the deadening of the pains of arthritis and other chronic diseases. Some simply required help to overcome fear of dental or surgical assistance. Some needed self-confidence to face an examination or a change of position in life. Others had difficulties with overweight, loss of appetite, nervous spasms, enuresis, insomnia, morbid fears, asthma, allergies, migraine headache, smoking, alcoholism, marital problems, and emotional disturbance.
From the pulpit, the induction of a light trance can more than triple the effectiveness of a sermon. In this particular application of hypnotic technique, time usually does not permit a full explanation so the congregation should not be made fearful by use of words like hypnosis. Rather, the technique should be introduced as merely a spiritual exercise. Every individual in the pews should be asked to give full cooperation.
Many who have participated in the pulpit use of hypnodynamics have been enthusiastic in the description of their reactions. Although every good preacher can elicit some hypnotic response, the clear-cut use of hypnoidal techniques offers definite controls for guiding people into deeper appreciation of religious faith.
Can we not suspect that autohypnosis undergirds many of the disorders on our campuses and in society? Does not the spreading use of narcotic drugs give evidence to a drive for narcosynthesis which is the induction of an hypnotic state by means of the drugs. By the way, the person who has been on narcotics can usually have just as good "a trip" with hypnosis and without harmful after-effects. Clearly, society and its members require a lot of dehypnotization.
Many are the challenges presented to the minister who seriously regards his vocation! The times scream for an existential ministry. That of yesterday has passed away with yesterday. Many of our seminaries, if not in horse and buggy days, remain in model-T-Ford times as far as the cure of souls is concerned. Some institutions have tried to update their training but too often they have only succeeded in reorientating their graduates in the directions of collective sociology and parochial administration.
Rarely is the minister taught to handle the real problems of flesh and blood men and women. The seminary study of pastoral hypnosis can contribute much to make the ministry relevant today. Obviously, the minister is never to be a substitute for the medical doctor but modern conditions require a closer relationship between an existential ministry and the medical professions. The experts of yesterday in the fields of pastoral theology, unless they are willing to learn new disciplines, can no longer qualify as experts for today and tomorrow.
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This would be just like the warp and the woof of the cloth each denying that they had any connection with the other since they are woven perpendicularly to each other, or in opposite directions. But just as the cloth could not exist without the warp and the woof neither can man's religion exist without hypnosis. Religion is the greatest hypnotizing agent or influence in the world.
It always has been, is now and ever shall be, and unless a person understands the basic principle of hypnosis he will ever be enslaved to his religion instead of allowing his religion to free him from enslavement. In nearly every age, however, religion has consistently denied any relation with hypnosis. With all due respect, however, to religious leaders this denial has not been done maliciously but out of sheer ignorance of the principles governing both religion and hypnosis. Even today the majority of the great religions of the world will deny any connection with hypnosis and would viciously fight me for calling attention to that connection.
It appears to me that the big battle in the fight with reference to hypnosis will be waged between the medical profession on one side which claims to have a monopoly upon scientific advancements in the field of healing and the religious professions on the other side which claims to have a monopoly upon the working of the inner man. Both of these battle with each other because they do not understand the real truth with which they are dealing.
When two persons or groups of people that are earnestly seeking the truth disagree, then the truth that they are seeking hasn't yet been found. Both religion and medicine have always, are now, and always will be dealing with the principles of hypnosis whether they recognize it or lay claim to it or not. The combination of conditions in the average religious service is very conducive to hypnotic effects upon the congregation. The rhythmic marching cadence or the slow sweet meditative melodies of the music coupled with the atmosphere of fragrance from the flowers, beautiful suggestive symbols, and the elaborate decorations of the church interior, the subdued lights and flickering candles, colorful windows, comfortable seats filled with worshipers dressed in their "Sunday Best",these and many other influences exert an effect nothing short of hypnotic on the participants, interesting them and lifting them out of their self-consciousness and bringing pleasing effects to them physically, mentally and spiritually.
The clergyman, perhaps without even being aware of it at all, uses all the arts of the hypnotist in getting "en rapport" with his audience. He uses quartets or choirs composed of male and female voices to help him induce a condition of receptivity. He has the audience sing together certain moving hymns and repeat together certain rituals, creeds or responsive readings.
Then the people are bound together again in oneness of thought through the contributions they make to a common unifying cause in their offering, which perhaps is followed by a female soloist's rendition. All of these conditions create an atmosphere which causes the individual member to forget himself and his surroundings; and he becomes an open vessel to receive the suggestions offered by the orator in the pulpit who has the opportunity for a period of from a half-hour to an hour of presenting any ideas or suggestions that he may choose. These ideas thus presented may be either beneficial or harmful to the listener depending upon the degree of sympathetic interest and love the speaker has for his congregation, and the breadth and depth of his understanding of truth and life.
Man is by nature a religious being and has in all ages been so. He may deny this even with oaths and curses because he does not understand himself; yet little does he realize that with his very profanity he recognizes the Infinite Power of a Being who has ability far beyond the human to send either curses or blessings. Man is by nature a seeker after truth it's apart of his reasoning ability , and everyone seeking answers to the riddles of life must either have a philosophy of his own or be bound down by the creeds or dogmas of some religion which is trying to mould him according to its own fixed ideas.
People, therefore, should neither be praised nor blamed for their religious beliefs and acts, for, as a rule, they are largely creatures of circumstance definitely related to their heredity, environment and educational experiences. Jesus said, "I judge him not. If it were not for the principle of hypnosis operating in the minds of people there could be no religion, no church, no single congregation. The minister or priest or rabbi or whatever name is given to the leader of the religious group must of necessity be the operator or the originator, and just to the extent that the members of the congregation give their attention and become listeners concentrating upon the message of their leader, do they allow him to become the operator and they in turn become the subjects.
He is the originator and they are the executive part of the combined church personality. The ideas he drives into his listeners are expressed then through the combined body of the leader, the congregation, the church facilities, the community, etc. The leader becomes the king, the listeners become his subjects, and just to the extent that they become his subjects they are unable and unwilling to challenge or question or even think about or reason upon the statements made by their operator.
Just as in olden times a subject realized that he would have his head cut off if he questioned the mandates of his king, so in like manner symbolically the religious subject today feels that his head would be cut off his reason dethroned or killed if he challenged the reasoning of his religious dictator. It is because man has retained a part of his originative or reasoning faculty that in every age he based to some extent challenged the dictates of another to reason for him.
This accounts for all the great religious splits that have happened down through the centuries, such as the break of Martin Luther, the break of John Wesley, and in our modern day and time the splitting up of the Christian religion into hundreds of varying sects, denominations, cults, etc. Each time, however, a leader breaks away from the accepted domination of another he then in turn generally gathers together a few followers whom he can then direct with his own changed ideas.
Without realizing it he becomes another hypnotic operator who failed to respond fully to the hypnotic ideas of his predecessor. Not realizing, however, that's what he broke away from, he proceeds to do the very same thing to a group who will accept him as their leader Such is the course of religion through the ages. Whenever one person gets enough wisdom to become a leader he unknowingly or ignorantly - even though very sincerely and devotedly - proceeds to enslave a group who will listen to him to become his followers and adopt the tenants of his reasoning.
They continue to follow him until at length someone in this new group cannot go all the way with him and breaks off with other new ideas - the result of his own human reasoning ability - to form another group of those who will listen to him and later become enslaved to his ideas. Thus the cycle of religion continues to evolve in every age.
Intellect versus Emotions
The basic urge in every human personality, the one deep, sincere longing of every soul is to find God, or the Unknown Creative Spirit that created, rules, sustains, and orders the universe - whatever be the name assigned to this Power. Since every man is seeking this Power and since he can be put into direct touch with that Power that is within him in a process which is absolutely the same in every way as the principle of hypnosis, then it seems high time that man were made aware of this deep seated principle within his own being.
When a minister asks his congregation to pray with him, whether he tells them to or not, it is generally understood that they will assume a relaxed position, not thinking but wholly listening, and concentrating upon the words of the minister. In nearly every instance they are asked or automatically know that they should close their eyes and bow their heads. The whole set-up is ideal for hypnosis. The founders of every religion and the religious leaders of every age have recognized a Great Power and have given it many names.
Jesus taught that this Power, which He called The Father, was within and could be directed by man, and He even went so far as to say the things which He did and even greater things could be done by His followers John Jesus also taught that man could become one with this Power John 17 and in becoming one he could direct or release it. He said the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand - it is here now to him who understands "Behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is within you" Luke 17 b. Since every sincere soul is seeking to find that Kingdom of Heaven, that is the sincere and only longing of his heart.
No matter what other longing he may think he has, all his longings are subsidiary to this one great urge to find God within. His longings for a friend, a mate, a loved one, liquor , sex, or what not, is only his intense desire to find the Power that is able to express itself in all those manifestations which attract him.
The easiest way a person may quickly understand himself, his deep longing, and then find the answer to that longing, is through an understanding of hypnosis; and whether he recognizes it as such or calls it by this name is immaterial. Hypnosis had been practiced for thousands of years by people not knowing they were practicing it long before Braid ever gave it the name in an attempt to explain Mesmer's method less than years ago. In every walk of life people are practicing it every day without naming it. Parents hypnotize their children to certain concepts of living, eat in g, clothing, religion, etc.
Schools, churches, business houses, newspapers, radios, T - V, magazines, are constantly filling the mind of the listening public with ideas which the y accept without reasoning Whenever anyone is placed in a position to accept an idea without reasoning upon it, he is hypnotized to that extent; and all hypnosis is always listed in a matter of the extent, the degree, the stage or the percentage of the reasoning mind which is given over to the operator.
The business houses are paying huge prices to people who know the art of getting others to listen without reasoning. The T-V commercials are filled with ideas which flow in such rapid succession and in so many attractive forms that the observer does not have opportunity to use his reason. If we are to help man in his search for his real self we must know what hypnosis is, why it works, and what the power is that is set in motion through its use. There are many people - even professional hypnotists - who do not have a clear cut idea of hypnosis and how it works.
They study and review over and over the various ways of inducing the hypnotic state and they marvel at the various phenomena which hypnosis produces. They get new ideas of things they are going to tryout when opportunity affords itself, yet they know little or nothing about just what takes place in the human personality when under the hypnotic influence.
In my philosophy we teach that every person is both an operator and a subject. Everyone who is able to think and reason as a normal, human being is able to learn the laws that govern his personality and thereby can be either an operator or a subject; or with this understanding can be both operator and subject at the same time, thereby practicing self-hypnosis.
These principles should be taught to the masses so that everyone can know that he is capable of giving and receiving a hypnotic suggestion concept at will and thereby becomes his own master. It is high time that we were realizing that man is a complete entity within himself - a triune entity, who does not need to be enslaved by anyone. The sooner we teach people this, the quicker we will have a race of people who know how to be real selves and not puppets in the hands of anyone who happens to have authority or power over them. The biggest battle in the religions of the world has been whether a man has aright to go direct to the Source of Omnipotent Power himself, or whether he has to channel his request through some authorized and accepted agent or agencies which claim to have a monopoly on the use of that Power.
We are all hypnotized to a degree - and in no place does this show up better than in the realm of our religion. Our religious beliefs are an indication of the degree of our hypnotism. We have to be that way, for we must of necessity inherit and accept some of the basic concepts of our forefathers, and religion is one of the most significant. Yes, we are all victims of suggestion, - the sum total of the suggestions that have come to us from all of life. Only as one understands that can he help another to change and to become what he wants to be.
An understanding of the true principles involved in hypnosis gives one the key to life. Many religious healers today who would fight hypnosis do not realize that they are using its fundamental principles all the time. When I realized that Jesus was thoroughly familiar with the principles and practice of hypnosis it came as one of the greatest shocks of my life. To pray is to use the imagination.
In praying one takes ideas and puts them together to make an image. Just as in building anything the builder has to take ideas and collect them together to make anything, a table, a hotel, etc. An architect takes ideas and puts them together to get an image in his mind but he does not yet have a house - just an image ; then he takes that image and reduces it to a thought-form, pattern, concept, or we would say in his terms, a blueprint but he still does not have a house - just a blueprint of it ; then he gathers the material substance - the things required on the physical plane - and has them put together according to the plan, and he has a house on the physical material plane.
That is the process of creation that is always used regardless of who, when and how it is used. The theme of this magnificent spectacle was entitled "Imagination in Motion". As I watched this the truth became more thoroughly fixed in my mind that this is an application of the creative process which has been used for all time, and it is applicable toward the creation of every thing, thought and act.
Its principles involve all creation - so they will always be used whether the user is aware of it or not. It is the natural process of creation in operation and we only have to open our eyes to become aware of it. There may be limitations put upon certain forms of hypnosis but nothing can ever stop the mother from tenderly caressing her baby and thereby comforting the baby's mind.
Nothing can ever stop the salesman from trying to sell his wares. All these activities in the normal life of humans are applications of the hypnotic principle. It is the eternal plan of the Creator and we can be sure and safe in applying its principles and thereby become creators ourselves. But the stimulating of the imagination of the subject or the listener is also what everybody else does when he has a listener.
That's the method of the preacher, that's the method of the doctor, the teacher, the salesman, the mother, the young man in love, and everybody else. We are all trying to find ways of stimulating the imagination of our listeners to get them to think our way. And, of course, if we can logically get them to think our way it will naturally follow that they will act our way also. We are all acting as hypnotists in every way without knowing it. The preacher collects ideas and builds an image in his mind. He passes this image on to stimulate the imagination of his subjects congregation. It then begins its manifestation through their acts.
Just to the degree that the operator stimulates the imagination of his subject, and is successful in projecting his image into the subject's mind is the effect he is building up produced. Of course some subjects may refuse to accept the ideas of the originator the operator , and so they will not allow them to be executed through their bodies; but the principle is no less true; for in such a case the subject is trying to act as his own originator; or, in other words, he wants to be the creator of his own images and not allow anyone else to stimulate his imagination.
He must be taught logically higher truths than he is aware of at the time. The creation of anything starts in the images which we make with and through the ideas we collect. God first created we are told in the Bible Gen. And we all do likewise. All creation or reproduction is the result of the action of an originative imaging male factor upon an executive receptive female factor, the product springing after a period of incubation directly from the executive receptive female factor or member. Nothing can stop it for it is natural, universal, timeless truth-it is LAW.
As we study and practice hypnosis we are led to an understanding of this great law and the fundamental principles behind all creation, and thus we become CREATORS in our own right. So as a minister I use the principle in my prayers,-when the listeners are turned to me and listening with their eyes closed. I do not have to tell them to relax and get comfortable and close their eyes for they have already learned to assume this position. Thus when they are listening to me I can help them in their problems of physical, mental and spiritual health.
With my understanding of their problems I simply collect ideas of a positive nature and put them together to form a positive image that replaces the negative image they have formed by collecting ideas of a negative nature from their environment, education and heredity. I try to release them from their enslavement to traditions, conventional opinions, and any limiting concepts that hold them down in a rut of discouragement. As I understand it Jesus wanted all to be free when he said: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
By inference the opposite to this is if you do not know the truth then you are enslaved by ignorance. You are hypnotized and you need something to help you become de-hypnotized or un-hypnotized or whatever the label is that you attach to it. What is the reason for this? John Court: Because they have been told, or have read in Christian books, that hypnosis is condemned in the Bible.
Those who love to find a proof text for their beliefs use one word in Deuteronomy 18 vv In English the Hebrew word is usually translated 'charmer', or 'one who casts spells', and from other contexts it is clear that the word refers to snake charming. To relate it to hypnosis is quite misleading. Good exegesis of course calls for more than a simple proof text and this is lacking. On the other hand there are two examples in the Acts where it refers to Peter going into a trance the Greek word is ekstasis from which we get 'ecstasy' and both events are reported as both positive and significant.
Paul Durbin: As you well know there are many misconceptions concerning hypnosis which makes some people religious or non-religious have some fears of hypnosis. Though the article had what I considered a very negative title, it was a very positive article on hypnosis in the health care field. The only reference to the devil was in the last paragraph, "Some conservative religious groups consider hypnosis to be the work of the devil.
Recently I received a physician consult to work with a Catholic woman for pain management. As I explained the process of relaxation, imagery and hypnosis; I could see that she was very responsive. As I concluded my pre-talk, she said, "I am really looking forward to this experience, but I need to tell you that my daughter is a self-proclaimed born-again Christian and she may say something negative to you about this.
If so, do not pay any attention to her, for I am the one who is hurting and I want this. I told the patient, "Just allow the ringing of the phone and my answering it to add to your relaxation. Doe's room. As she is in therapy, please call back in 30 minutes. When the procedure was completed, I walked out of the room and there was her daughter standing in front of the door with arms folded over her chest. She said, "What have you been doing to my mother? She responded, "I am a born-again Christian. I believe that hypnosis and religious faith can work hand in hand to bring about a better life.
Jesus said in St. John , "I am come you may have life and have it more abundantly. Which denominations support hypnosis and which do not? Please explain why some do and some do not. John Court: This is not easy to answer. In general the Catholic tradition has no problem.
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The Anglican tradition also has no problem. Lutherans have varied some for some against. Seventh Day Adventists used to be against it but appear to be changing. It is mostly the smaller Bible based and fundamentalist churches, and especially Pentecostals who have taught against hypnosis largely teaching from second and third hand writers who have observed some aspect of hypnosis but without personal study of the subject Apart from the Biblical evidence the other major issue that has caused this is that some of the less orthodox traditions such as Christian Science have favored hypnosis and so the orthodox seek to create distance.
I come to you as a Christian Minister who looks upon hypnosis as a valuable tool of counseling. Coming from a religious profession and working in a church related hospital for 30 years, I was often asked, "Why does one of religious faith need hypnosis? Isn't there a conflict between religious faith and hypnosis? It can be used for good or bad depending on the hypnotist and the subject. Today, most religious groups accept the proper ethical use of hypnosis for helping people. The Roman Catholic Church has issued statements approving the use of hypnosis. In , a decree from the Sacred Congregation of The Holy Office stated, "Having removed all misconceptions, foretelling of the future, explicit or implicit invocation of the devil, the use hypnosis is indeed merely an act of making use of physical media that are otherwise licit and hence it is not morally forbidden provided it does not tend toward an illicit end or toward anything depraved.
He stated that the use of hypnosis by health care professionals for diagnosis and treatment is permitted. In , in an address from the Vatican on hypnosis in child birth the Pope gave these guidelines. This is to say that the rules of good medicine apply to the use of hypnosis. Except for exceptions noted, no other Protestant or Orthodox Churches have any laws against the proper-ethical use of hypnosis. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no opposition to the use of hypnosis in the Jewish faith when it is used for the benefit of mankind. Many of the Eastern Faiths: Buddhism, Yoga, Shintoism, Hinduism and others approve the use of hypnosis and they often use hypnosis in their worship.
The Moslem religion has no opposition to hypnosis that I have been able to discover. Hypnosis should not be condemned as anti-religious just because some people misuse it. Some oppose hypnosis because the say it is used by the occult, but do they condemn prayer because prayer is used for occultist purposes? Hypnosis can be a very helpful tool in counseling. Without apology and when appropriate, hypnosis can be used for growth, health and the benefit of people Q: In order to prevent persecution from church members, are there any Christian denominations where hypnosis is absolutely forbidden?
We want to make sure no one gets our CDs and then regrets it because of this reason. John Court: There are certainly some strong prohibitions in some Christian books but the readership is I think restricted to fundamentalists. In recent years, the Seventh-Day-Adventists have lessened their resistance by using relaxation therapy and suggestion therapy.
A hypnotist by the name of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby greatly helped Mary Baker Eddy overcome an illness and she used many of his teachings and techniques in developing the Christian Science Church. Though Quimby used hypnosis to help her, she denounced hypnosis while using its techniques. Though many in various churches opposed to hypnosis are using the principles of hypnosis relaxation, concentration, suggestion, repetition in their healing services, they denounce hypnosis.
For those who oppose hypnosis on religious grounds, I remind them of the words of Baptist Van Helmont, "Hypnosis is a universal agent John Court: It can be and in stage hypnosis obviously is. In clinical work the control is negotiated between therapist and patient so that control is largely with the patient, who is then invited to allow the therapist to work within clearly identified ethical boundaries. There is also self hypnosis, which emphasizes the point that ultimately the control of the mind is with the person in trance either self induced or delegated to the therapist.
Certainly clinical hypnosis is about enabling the patient to gain greater control of the mind; that is, empowering, not taking control away. Paul Durbin: Hypnosis is no more mind control than watching TV, listening to a political speech, or attending a worship service. There is a story about Milton Erickson going to his secretary and telling her that he was tired and wanted to rest so if anyone called, she was to say that he was out of the office.
She agreed to do this for Dr. Some days later he put her in a hypnotic state and make the same request. She responded that she could not. He asked her "Why? There is an area where there is a danger and that is in what I would call "brain washing," which can be accomplished in or out of hypnosis; where a person is bombarded with suggestion time after time, day after day.
Many therapists of the past 30 years produced false memories for their clients by telling them that they would never get well until they admitted that they were sexually abused as children even though they could not remember it. They would have them imagine what might have happened and even used guided imagery to help them remember. The results from many were the recovery of false memories, which brought havoc to the client and family of the client. I have had several articles published on the subject of "False Memories" and one can find articles on my Web site by me and others on this subject Q: Does someone who uses hypnosis for themselves risk punishment in some divine way?
John Court: No. Paul Durbin: I certainly do not believe that one risks divine punishment for using hypnosis or I would not use it in my counseling. Some may risk criticism from their church, but not from God. Q: Based on your experience, you have used hypnosis with many devout Christians; do you have any examples of people who feared hypnosis that ended up benefitting?
John Court: Yes often. My book contains a number of examples of clients experiences, published with their permission. Paul Durbin: While a hospital Chaplain and Hypnotherapist, I had some people who feared hypnosis either on a personal basis or religious basis. Often a physician would send me a referral to work with a patient who was from a Pentecostal-type church.
Many said, "Is it alright for me to call my pastor to see if it is OK? I had been a Chaplain at Methodist Hospital in New Orleans for six years before I began practicing hypnotherapy so the pastors knew me so did not fear me working with their members. Q: It has been our position that hypnosis actually gives a person more control as opposed to less control -- what are your views on this?
John Court: Agreed. Paul Durbin: I totally agree. It gives the person the power to use what he or she already possesses but has not been able to control. Control over bad habits, control over fears and phobias, and the list goes on. Q: I know this is a personal question and just your opinion, but do you see any reason why a person would not try hypnosis only because he or she is a Christian -- please explain. John Court: I know of people who do adopt that position. They have been told Christians must not be hypnotized because that would be to relinquish their free will to another person.
If that view can be shown to be false then it is possible to proceed. I am saddened at how many Christian people feel unable to accept hypnotic based interventions, when they could be very helpful in dealing with physical and emotional issues. Christians will also often report with surprise that the experience is spiritually beneficial, as it is possible to incorporate prayer and meditation into the therapeutic process.
I was referred to a lady for pain management who wanted her pain medication long before the required time. I told her that I had been referred by her physician to help her reduce pain with hypnosis and she said, "No, I am a Christian. I told her that hypnosis was a normal experience that we pass through many times a day, but she said "No" so she just hurt till her drugs were due.
What are your thoughts on this? Paul Durbin: The vast majority of research disagrees with the above statement. They may do things that they would not normally do, would do if the situation were such to entice them to do it. For a physician, it is not unethical to prescribe drugs to stop pain, but it is unethical for a physician to intentionally set up a situation where the patient becomes dependent on that drug so the physician can make more money. Hypnosis happens all the time, watching television, driving your car, being involved in a worships service and just before going to sleep and just after waking up.
Any thing can be used unethically but that is a problem of the person involved, be he clergy, physician, fireman, policeman, business person, wife, husband, teacher, hypnotherapist, but don't condemn the profession or the roll for the unethical or we would no professions. People who have been smoking for years, no longer smoke due to hypnotherapy and at a much higher rate than patches, gum or drugs.
People are released from fears in a few sessions that have been going to therapy for years. People in pain have had pain reduced or eliminated. Babies have been born to Mom who did not have to take any drugs, a positive for baby and Mom. Cancer patients have been able to take chemo with some of the side effects and have been helped to reduce the pains of cancer and even be healed of cancer.
Burn patients have been able to have 3rd degree burns reduced to 2nd and 2nd to 1st when cared for by a hypnotherapist within the first few hours following burns and to undergo painful procedures following burns with a great reduction of pain. These are blessings from God to be used to help relieve suffering emotionally and spiritually. I am an Ordained Minister of Religion and is a Christian by confession. I served as Christ's ambassador or some may say, 'servant' which is what I embrace joyfully as a pastor in Perth, Western Australia.
After my stint as a pastor, and since I was already trained in psychology and corollary to that training, I was also trained in hypnotherapy , I decided to return to my first love to augment my financial support in the ministry. By doing this, I can use the practice of hypnotherapy as a financial vehicular mode for my ministry as a tentmaker to teach in places that would have no financial means to support me. I was invited to teach in places like Pakistan and Cambodia with no financial returns: which I enjoy doing. Knowing that I will receive my rewards with my Lord.
With my practice as a clinical hypnotherapist, I could continue my ministry as a pastor, bible school teacher and missionary without being burdensome to those who cannot pay my wage. I am now a very successful hypnotherapist with a practice of approximately 20 hypnotherapists under my wing based in a medical and clinical setting in Singapore: the Camden Medical Centre.
I was suddenly stopped from my teaching job as a bible school adjunct professor in theology, psychology and counseling. Suddenly I was not good enough to teach. Not that my pedagogical skill in delivery was substandard. I was getting good feedback from the students. My classes in theology, psychology or counseling were packing in. Even the Academic Dean of these two bible seminaries attested to the fact that my students' feedback was so good, that they these seminaries were not even wanting to take, albeit current and future students' feedback of my teaching.
They knew of my standing as a bible school teacher. What I learned later was that I was dropped as a bible school teacher because I started my practice as a hypnotherapist and they would not have anything to do with me as a hypnotherapist. In light of this very narrow minded view of the church, I thought it was good that I write something about the truth of hypnosis and hypnotherapy from a Christian's point of view. That is the reason for this article. Hypnosis has been present since the dawn of mankind as an ancient healing treatment.
The popularity of its use has gone up and down, according to societal factors. Early man used drums and chanting to create altered states. The Roman empire, in particular, was especially keen on hypnotic states and their healing effects. Christianity was spreading when the Roman empire was about to collapse. Many early Christian leaders frowned upon hypnotic practices and fulminated against it as white witchcraft. Many evangelical authors referred to hypnotists as "charmers" and "enchanters" They believed that hypnosis put the soul in jeopardy by putting it in a passive receptive state, thereby opening the door to morbid spiritual influences.
What made the early priests and rabbis take such a strong stand against hypnosis? Part of the reason was because healing in hypnosis seemed to take place without God. Priests were afraid that people would no longer believe in the power of God. The concern may not even have been religious. It was a politics of numbers. If more followers fell away from Christianity, the priests would lose their power. Today, hypnosis is neither anti-religious nor pro religious. Most religious groups accept the proper and ethical use of hypnosis for helping people.
Hypnosis is steadily gaining recognition in the world as the means to help people be successful and experience abundance in their lives. The late Pope Pius gave his approval of hypnosis, stating that the use of hypnosis by health care professionals for diagnosis and treatment is permitted. In the context of medical hypnosis, patients are in safe hands, and on the road to recovery. Practitioners have an ethical code, and it is important to note that hypnotists have no mind control powers.
They can't read the future, can't cast spells or talk to the dead. There is also an irrefutable safeguard of hypnosis that keeps hypnotists from abusing the power. Any suggestion or idea not in accordance with the patient's beliefs, morals, wishes, principles, or desires will quickly and automatically be rejected. No one can make anyone do anything they do not wish to do through hypnosis.
If the hypnotist gives a suggestion and the person absolutely does not want to accept that suggestion, then he will not do it. No one can be hypnotized against his will. As God's creatures, humans have the freedom to choose and decide and act. When evangelical authors wrote that hypnosis opened the door to evil spirits, they did not fully understand the Word of God. Jesus says that light and darkness cannot live together. Christ is the light, so if you are saved, that means Christ lives within you. If Christ lives in you, it means no demon or evil spirit can take residence.
The light of Christ drives out the darkness. It is much like the case of the leper - those with faith in their therapists, who trust and believe that hypnotherapy can heal them will get well. Those with faith well- placed can and will be healed, inside and out. It is true that there are still some among us who are a little wary of hypnosis. In actuality, hypnosis is a powerful and valuable tool God has given to man to heal the mind and body. God created hypnosis for the good of man. He has a purpose in allowing us the ability to alter our consciousness, even if it seems to take place without Him.
But nothing takes place without his knowledge and permission. Hypnosis and faith in God can work hand in hand to turn lives around. Jesus indicated by his teachings that we should help people to live life to the fullest and to relieve pain whenever possible. He made woman and brought her to man. In the book of Acts, it mentions, "Peter fell into trance.
Hypnosis has been used in place of anesthesia in World War I, and is used in modern day to rid unwanted behavior, relieve headaches, induce pain-free labor etc. We were made in the image and glory of God. Every faculty of our mind and soul reflects the Creator's glory. Hebrews Endowed with mental and spiritual gifts, Adam and Eve could discern the wonders of the universe Many Christians find lack and limitations. They do not see themselves living with the splendor of the Creator. How do we live with glory? I believe the answer lies in the depths of our untapped subconscious mind.
Our subconscious mind is a suggestible instrument, easily accessed through hypnosis. Often, patients seeking therapy experience lack and problems because of limiting beliefs or values. In hypnosis, the subconscious mind directs millions of neurons to produce positive mental pictures.
A patient can hold and project the idea and image of abundance within the mind, causing it to happen in reality. This therapy is in accordance to Christian beliefs. Jesus said, "I come so that you may experience life in abundance. This can be interpreted that whatever images or thoughts held in the mind becomes reality. Picture happy moments, experience it again in your mind. By thought, you make feelings present again. The use of positive imagery improves life and health.
The brain is the channel which God communicates with Christians. By using hypnosis to overcome the ruinous effects of negative thinking, anger, discontent and selfishness, we can keep our minds pure for God. Frequently, unhappiness and discontentment are caused by our reaction and thoughts to situations. In the bible, God calls us to experience a renewing of our minds. As we change the way we view things via hypno-suggestions, the same positive changes are manifested in our lives.
We are able to let go of the bad habits we once clung to. We attract the abundance we desire. We dissolve our hurts and sorrow. During the storm in the sea of Galilee, the apostles panicked. I am with you. Peace be with you" And the disciples grew calm. If you are a Christian in the midst of a crisis, God is present amidst your broken hopes and dreams and stress.
If you can hear Jesus speaking to you, you can experience calmness, despite the problems still being there. Peace can be felt with or without a change in your circumstances. In life, when the harsh winds of illness or injury blow, when we experience sorrow or grief, realize that we can, too, experience peace in the midst of the storm. This peace comes from knowledge that He is with us to endure it all.
Through positive thinking and optimism, relaxation and imagery induced by hypnotism, life can get better. The past is still there, but we can begin where we are. With hopeful expectations comes a new life. In Christ, suffering is not removed. It is transformed into victory. The setback experienced causes the patient to forge a closer bond with God, and becomes an entrance into the kingdom.
In the years ahead, may those who discount hypnosis come to see its value as a gift from God to heal us and the means from which we can experience his blessings. Jesus said, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to teach the gospel to the poor. He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. At first it was just a Chinese person meeting another Chinese person at a conference.
We went out for a meal and got to know each other a little better. I came from Malaysia and he from Singapore. Besides having a good time talking Chinese, we learned that we shared a passion in hypnotherapy. We became friends instantly. I learned that he was gifted in so many ways. He could do hypnotherapy in FIVE languages.
I was humbled. I only speak three and have so far only done work in one.
I was touched by his compassion, brilliance and insights. We spent long conversations planning to bring a conference to Southeast Asia to share hypnotherapy with that part of the world. I knew he was a teacher with heart. We were kindred spirits. I felt I found a brother. I sat through his sessions at the conference and we had fun working together. This year, when we needed a letter of support to apply for our state school license he responded enthusiastically. In reply to an email yesterday, thanking him for his support and to share the good news that we are now licensed, we received this devastating news.
A little late, but no less sincere: Thank you Dr. My husband and I join our international community in mourning the loss of a brother, a teacher, a healer and simply a kind soul. May you rest in peace, dear Casey. We pray for Katherine and Samuel for healing and peace. We share your loss.