Hypnosis has a long history of use. The Egyptians recorded how
"sleep temples" served to the benefit of people by
having them placed in a deep sleep attended to by the
priests. Trance work appeared in modern times with the
work of the French physician Mezmer. An English surgeon
in the early 1800s used hypnosis over 400 times while
performing surgery (before there were any anesthetics).
With the advent of modern anesthetics the use of
hypnosis fail out of favor until promoted again by
Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s.
After World War II the use
of hypnosis was expanded as causes and treatments were
sought to help war-torn veterans. Hypnosis began to
return to general medical practice in the 1950s and the
principle professional organization (the American
Society of Clinical Hypnosis-ASCH) was founded in 1959,
receiving official recognition from the American Medical
With the growth of
complementary therapies aside traditional medical
practices there has been a renewed interest in how the
mind-body connection can be encouraged and explored
through techniques such as hypnosis. A central
investigation of many auto-immune disorders (Arthritis,
Lupus, AIDS) is how some people do much better than
others and whether hypnosis might strengthen the
person's ability to effect change in their physical
Biofeedback was developed in the late 1960s with the use of
sensitive monitoring equipment that could capture
accurately the changes in the body such as muscle
tension, temperature, and electrical response. Being
very objective and measurable there has been a great
deal of research looking at how learning to regulate
internal functions can lead to reduction in negative
symptoms (for example headaches) and an increase in
My training and education in
both hypnosis and biofeedback are extensive and involve
legitimate instruction and not just attendance at some
weekend retreat. I was fortunate to have been introduced
to both hypnosis and biofeedback by well-known leaders
in their respective field. I was supervised in
biofeedback while completing my Ph.D. at Indiana State
University as well as at my internship at the Olin E.
Teague Veteran's Hospital in Temple, Texas. I later
served as the Director of the Biofeedback Clinic at the
University Rehabilitation Center associated with the UT
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas from 1988 to 1990.
I have used EMG and temperature biofeedback for many
years in working with people with chronic pain and other
psychological aspects of physical health problems.
My involved with hypnosis
was initiated during my work with pediatric cancer
patients while completing my Master's degree at St.
Mary's University in San Antonio from 1981 to 1983.
During that time I completed three semesters of
supervised practicum under the direction of a pediatric
oncologist and Licensed Psychologist and participated in
their research on the use of hypnosis in helping
children cope with painful medical procedures. During my
tenure at the University Rehabilitation Center I was
fortunate to be supervised by Harold Crasilneck, Ph.D.
who is the past president of both professional societies
in hypnosis. We met weekly for supervision and continued
to have telephone contact for many years after I
returned to Lubbock. I have continued my training in
hypnosis and earned the highest level of credentialing
as an Approved Consultant with ASCH in 1994.
I view hypnosis as a
naturalistic state that can occur without any formal
induction. I tend to use hypnosis in helping my clients
find an "internal helper" that can help to resolve past
trauma and bring about greater self-understanding. I do
not usually offer hypnosis for simplistic intervention
with stopping tobacco use or losing weight. The research
in overcoming those problems shows that hypnosis alone
has little chance for success while more structured
behavior modification programs are much better in
producing lasting results.
Hypnosis, formally or
informally used, fits nicely with my style of
counseling. I view people as having multiple "ego
states" or personalities that we tend to switch from one
to the other with little effort. Identifying those ego
states that came about due to negative life training or
traumatic psychic injury can help guide the counseling
and reintegration of the person's total personality.