Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP Licensed & Board Certified, Clinical Psychologist. Hypnotherapist. Thu, 04 May 2017 17:49:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Workshop: Emotional Clearing Therapy Thu, 04 May 2017 17:49:09 +0000 July 7 – 9, 2017 | 19 Chapel Hill Rd, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
by David Quigley, BA, CH

Do your clients suffer from the consequences of childhood neglect and abuse? In this experiential class, you will learn how to clear and transform traumatic memories of childhood, including:

  • Release emotional pain from the body easily and comfortably
  • Rescue the inner child from the memories of trauma, abuse and neglect
  • Discover new (or rehabilitated) loving parents in the inner world


David Quigley, BA, CH is the creator of Alchemical Hypnosis and author of two popular textbooks “Alchemical Hypnosis- a Manual of Practical Technique” and “The Alchemy of Healing”. David has trained and certified thousands of professional hypnotherapists at approved trainings worldwide since 1984.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the dynamics of insight, emotional release and emotional clearing therapy, and why each is important to healing childhood trauma and neglect.
  • Explain the rationale and technique for facilitating the client’s re-processing of the unresolved feelings and emotional needs of childhood through the Rescue Mission and Inner Family work.
  • Describe the concept of the “Inner Child.”
  • Explain the benefits of becoming familiar with one’s own “Inner Child” and giving that child a loving “Inner Family”.
  • Explain how the therapist can create a safe space and maintain appropriate boundaries for facilitating the client’s re-experiencing and transforming unresolved childhood memories. (“Rescue Mission”)
  • Explain how to implement the correct technique for facilitating the Rescue Mission, including specifics for physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
  • Explain how to bond the Inner Child to its Inner Family.
  • Experience the process of bonding one’s own “Inner Child” to a new inner family, and describe the experience.
  • Define and explain the value of an “Inner Mate” and experience how to find and connect with an Inner Mate.

Regular Tuition: $550 / Early Bird Discount: $450 if paid in full by June 16th

27 hours Continuing Education Units available for hypnotists and psychologists, and others. Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP, is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor Continuing Education for psychologists. The Behavior Therapy Center, P.C. & Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP, maintain responsibility for this program and its content.

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Workshop: Intensive Hypnotherapy Training Program Wed, 04 Jan 2017 17:42:19 +0000 In late February and early April, 2017, Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP and Roy Hunter, MS, CHt will be co-teaching the full hypnotherapy certification course at the Behavior Therapy Center, just outside of Philadelphia. The first two quarters will be a two-week intensive, followed by a two-week intensive for the last two quarters several weeks later. This course is approved by both the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) as well as the Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (APHP).

Classes are open to psychologists, physicians, nurses, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, pastoral counselors, and professional hypnotherapists, and students in these disciplines. Note that classes are open to hypnotherapists and those who wish to learn professional hypnotherapy, whether or not they are already in the mental health profession. Those with previous training may, with instructor approval, enroll in whatever quarter(s) you believe will round out your training.

Individual quarters are $1295* but you may enroll in all four quarters for $4444*. Tuition includes required texts and workbooks.

February 18-22, 2017 – Quarter 1, Learning the Art of Hypnosis
Introduction to hypnosis, trance history, various inductions, deepening, “convincers” (challenge suggestions), suggestion structure, ethics & potential dangers, self-hypnosis, laws of the mind, supervised practice.

February 25-March 1, 2017 – Quarter 2, Learning the Art of Hypnotherapy
Introduction to hypnotherapy, the intake, foundation of client centered hypnosis, habit control, anchoring and triggers, discovering subconscious blocks, ideomotor responding, hypnotic regression therapy (includes presentation on risk of false memories), practicum and demonstrations.

April 1-5, 2017 – Quarter 3, Advanced Hypnotherapy
Course overview, peak performance, sports enhancement, parts therapy, practicum and demonstrations.

April 8-12, 2017 – Quarter 4, Advanced Applications of Hypnotherapy
Advanced applications of hypnosis, hypnodontics (dental hypnosis), **pain management, substance abuse, practicum and demonstrations, and more, based on student interest.

*Note that any cancellations within 15 days of the start of the course (or quarter you paid for) will result in forfeiting the amount of deposit required to hold your space in the class.

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Make This Summer More Memorable with Hypnosis Fri, 01 Jul 2016 18:43:49 +0000 This can be the summer you make the changes you need to make for your health and well being. We have summer hours for effective hypnosis and hypnotherapy sessions to help you stop smoking, shed those unwanted pounds, change that annoying habit (e.g., nail biting, teeth grinding, an annoying tic, a short fuse, compulsive eating, and so forth), get relief from chronic pain, overcome insomnia, conquer an anxiety problem, recover from depression and get your life back, improve your relationships, improve your self-esteem, find greater satisfaction at work, etc. Just call 215-947-7867 to find out how we can help you, and then book an appointment.

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Eimer Hypnosis Pre-Talk For People Who Want Pain Relief Fri, 11 Sep 2015 20:37:24 +0000 Eimer Hypnosis Pre-talk for People Who Want Pain Relief

Hypnotize Yourself Out of Pain – 1st Edition

Just reading or listening to this pre-talk can help you begin to experience less pain and more comfort! I use it with most clients and patients whom I see for hypnotherapy for pain control.

This is your time to learn to utilize the power of your mind to control your body through your mind. Nobody but you understands how much pain and suffering you feel. You did not ask to have chronic pain. But you have been asking for answers about how you can get out of pain. And you’re here because you haven’t found satisfactory answers yet.
So I am not going to sit here and tell you that I’m going to be able to take away your pain.  But maybe I can help you take away some of your pain. And perhaps you can learn how to distance yourself from the pain. But I don’t know how much.

And I don’t know how much relief you will need to feel in order to believe we have done something worthwhile together. In fact, I don’t know how much relief you will feel before you believe we’ve done something worthwhile together. Will you feel better when you feel 10% more comfortable? Will you feel much better when you feel 20% more comfortable? Will you feel you have done something worthwhile when you feel 40% more comfortable? Will you be happier when you are 50% more comfortable?

I really don’t know and it really doesn’t matter because what does matter is that you recognize that you do feel better. I want you to know that I’m not going to make you do anything here and you’re certainly not going to learn how to bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken.  You just need to be willing to daydream because anyone who can daydream can experience hypnosis.  And when you enter hypnosis, you and your secrets will be safe here, so whatever you wish to keep to yourself, you will. Whatever you’re not ready to share, or know, you can keep to yourself. And when you feel that you agree with what I’m saying you will feel better. And when you disagree with what I’m saying or asking, you’ll know that too, and feel better. And that’s just fine, because I can’t possibly know what’s in your mind unless you tell me what’s going through your mind.

But I think you will agree that because pain comes without effort, the harder you try to get rid of pain, the harder it is. So I don’t want you to try to do anything right now.  Your job is to just be the patient and just allow whatever happens happen and to refuse to analyze what you’re doing or thinking or feeling right now.

You don’t need to be the best patient to benefit from hypnosis. You just need to listen to what I am saying. For now, your job is to just be the patient and turn off your critical mind. And my job is to analyze and be critical of what I’m saying because I’m the therapist. So, being analytical is the one thing you can do to make this not work and I assume you are here because you want this to work for you. So I assume you want to know that you have experienced hypnosis in a positive way.

Because I can hypnotize anyone who is willing, and not hypnotize someone who is not a willing subject. And if you want to learn how to have more comfort, you will be a willing subject. So, be a willing subject and go along with what I say without analyzing or criticizing or judging.  And when I say something that feels all right, you will accept that idea.  But if I say anything that does not feel right, feel comfortable and disagree, while you agree to tell yourself what you do feel good about.  And if at any time you don’t understand something, or if you want to ask a question, just raise your hand and we’ll talk.

You know you won’t be unconscious in hypnosis, and when you feel like you want to talk to me, or ask me a question, the sound of your own voice will help you stay in hypnosis and you will go deeper.

You may remember some of what I have said and some of what you have said after our session. Or you just may forget everything you heard. But your unconscious mind will remember everything that’s important.  Soon, but not yet, I will ask you for permission to help you enter hypnosis. In fact, I will ask you for permission before I do anything, because I want you to be surprised about how good you feel.

So, in a moment but not yet, when I ask you. do you want to do hypnosis with me now, when you say yes, I will begin by talking with you in a way will help you relax as you close your eyes and focus on what I’m saying, and as you clearly imagine what I am suggesting.  And the more absorbed you become in imagining what I am suggesting, the deeper you will go into the pleasant daydream we will create together.  And as you go deeper into that pleasant daydream, the better you’ll feel. And the better you feel, the deeper you’ll go.

As I said earlier, anyone who can daydream can be hypnotized.  You can daydream can you not? Anyone who can daydream can do hypnosis because all hypnosis is self hypnosis, and as long as you create your own daydream, you will enter hypnosis.  And when you enter hypnosis in your own daydream, you will get in touch with your deepest feelings.  And you will discover the part of you that knows you are precious and that your feelings really matter.  And the part of you that knows you are precious also knows that you deserve to be more comfortable.

Hypnosis is the way for you to learn from that part of you how to become more comfortable, and at the same time, how to get rid of unnecessary pain, so you can recognize that you will learn how to live with less pain and with mpore comfort.  Hypnosis is a doorway into your unconscious.  And your unconscious mind holds most of the pain and the keys to finding greater comfort so you can live with less pain. My goal is to help you to get more conscious and unconscious mastery of coping methods that you will actually use to get rid of unnecessary suffering so that you begin to notice how your pain experience is changing and becoming less painful.

As I use hypnotic communication with you, and as you learn to communicate with yourself hypnotically, we can work together to discover the strategies that will help you get more distance and more relief from pain.  And as you get more distance from pain, you get closer to keeping more comfort.  And I want you to know that the more you enjoy yourself here and when you leave here, the more comfort you will have.

So, just give yourself permission to enjoy this experience for awhile. Give yourself permission to suspend judgment and criticism for now, so you get more out of this experience. And the more you get from this experience, the better you will feel. And the better you feel, the more you will want to experience hypnosis the next time. And you’ll get better and better at feeling more comfortable as you get better and better at experiencing hypnosis.

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Tame Chronic Pain Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:25:18 +0000 Taming is taming
Taming is taming

To “tame” means to establish ties. It means to gradually and patiently build an emotional connection and attachment to something using your heart. It requires patience. In order to gain greater control over chronic pain, you must put the time into building a positive relationship with that persistent pain; in others words, you must tame chronic pain while you observe all of the proper rituals. If you do this, you will become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed, and your relationship with your pain will become uniquely better.
– The concept of “taming” or “to tame” comes from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. NY: Harcourt, Brace, World. 1943.

The concept of “taming” something refers to the idea of making a connection with and developing a friendship. The book The Little Prince exemplifies in a fairy tale story metaphor the idea of what it means to “tame” something when the Little Prince wanted to make friends with a fox and that fox replied that the Little Prince first needed to tame him.

Soon I will be revising my website and its Taming Pain Blog so that it becomes a more easily accessed source of information on all things related to managing chronic pain. The concept I have used for years that works so well with people suffering from chronic pain is the idea that you can learn to “tame chronic pain”.  This requires that you have enough of a need for relief from suffering, positive motivation, and the willingness to make a commitment to putting in the time and energy required. This investment will be well paid off however, because when you tame chronic pain you will live with less pain.

I have a new book will be coming out soon. It will be titled Taming Pain Using Your Brain. and it is all about how to tame chronic pain to get realistic pain relief.  The book will be available for purchase on here on, on, and also on

People unfortunately talk about trying to get rid of pain, how to “kill pain”, and thus, they become addicted to or dependent on medications they think about as “painkillers”.  But who wants to be killed?  These concepts are self-defeating and usually counter-productive because pain does not want to be killed.  Furthermore, pain comes without effort and it thus, effort defeats most attempts to get pain relief. In contrast, in order to gain control over one’s pain, one has to become more intimate with it and understand it. That is what it means to “tame chronic pain”. When you make the commitment to put the time into building a relationship with your persistent pain (which you have anyway, but probably an antagonistic one!), your pain will become softer. Things do become softer when you tame them. Tame chronic pain and you will succeed in softening the hardness and severity of your persistent pain. And this is what gaining realistic pain relief requires. More to come later…

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Gun Violence and the Media Thu, 10 Sep 2015 14:50:06 +0000 Straight Talk About Gun Violence and the Media

Bruce with Books in Office 4-1-15 - Copy

We’ve heard politicians and anti-rights activists cry out for gun control after   the murder of two TV journalists in Virginia. At the same time the “gun grabbers” admit that their proposals would be largely ineffective in stopping public murders.  That doesn’t make sense. So, what is going on in the minds of these people?  As a clinical and forensic psychologist, having been in practice since 1986, I have a few thoughts I would like to share.


I have also written about and taught armed self-defense.

What makes the recent shooting of two broadcasters from Roanoke, Virginia so moving? Youtube from camera man-  Youtube from murderer point of view-

First of all, we saw it happen. We heard the people shout and scream. Viewing a murder in real time on TV is shocking.  Like seeing the planes hit the WTC towers on 9/11/01.

Secondly, this was up close and personal. Two nice people. America’s middles class next door neighbors, the young adults we went to grade school with are murdered right in front of us and we are helpless to do anything!

There is a part of us that feels guilty that they died and we are still alive. This is termed “survivor guilt”. This is what makes us all want to do something. What that something is depends on what side of the gun rights/gun control fence we stand.

Politicians proposed the trendy gun grab of “universal background checks”.  At the same time, these proponents admit that background checks don’t stop murderers.  Why does that make us feel better? Why are people attracted to gun regulation?

Gun control laws” do NOT make everyone feel better. The motives of the legislators and lobbyists for gun control are often divergent from the motivations of the general public who support more gun laws. For the legislators, motives range from power, money, and control all the way to hoplophobia.

For the public, the uneducated public and even the educated public like the idea of “common sense” gun laws. If you use denial to deny logically thinking through the issues and consequences of more gun laws as well as the existence of the ones currently enforced by the BATF, then you can continue to believe it makes a difference in terms of deterring violent crime.

Then you have people who know better. However, they have a stick up their you know what as a result of some unresolved inner conflict, traumatic personal experience, secondary benefits from professing we need more gun control, identification with someone who believed in gun control, a fixed belief, and even the possibility of self-blame, self punishment and general punitiveness and hostility.

This leads into the territory of true hoplophobes.

So, why are people attracted to a plan that won’t work? Why does gun control work for the politician even though it doesn’t work in the real world?

Gun control is NOT placebo which is a “sugar pill” that one believes is the real medicine. It is a “Nocebo” that is fueled or motivated by the irrational belief that if we DO NOT have it, Mad Max will come to our society. It also has lot to do with how one was raised and who one identifies with.And it is NOT superstition. But it is or should I say, can be, magical thinking. In other words, make more laws, and the problem will go away. Then it is no longer our problem since we did everything we could.

So….how should advocates for self-defense respond?  What should we say and do?

We cannot afford to sit on our hands, or bite our tongues.  We must fight more oppressive legislation with more grass roots education.  This does require community outreach, and most folks, myself included, do not have time for this.  And that is what the “Chuck” Schumers and Bloombergs of the world count on.   But as long as we turn the other way, or do nothing, good old Chuckie and Mikey will steal your face, steal your guns, steal your rights, and steal your life.

For more straight talk about guns and mental health, follow me on:

ARMED: The Essential Guide to Concealed Carry

The Essential Guide to Handguns


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Hypnosis Continuing Education Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:57:19 +0000 We now at the The Behavior Therapy Center, P.C. and Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP, are approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor Hypnosis Continuing Education for psychologists. The Behavior Therapy Center, P.C. & Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP, maintain responsibility for this program and its content. was established to provide specialized professional Hypnosis Continuing Education for professionals using hypnosis, both in psychotherapy and in medical and dental treatment, so that they can help a greater percentage of clients.

Our Hypnosis CE workshops are intended for licensed psychologists and practicing psychotherapists who wish to improve the efficiency of the therapy they provide, irrespective of their theoretical orientation (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytic, gestalt, eclectic, energy psychology, EMDR, etc.). Our workshops are designed with the goal of providing knowledge and skills that can motivate psychologists and other professionals who do psychotherapy to incorporate hypnosis into their therapy practice.

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FAQ About Hypnosis Tue, 12 May 2015 00:49:22 +0000 1. What is hypnosis?

There are many definitions of hypnosis. Here are the essentials:

  1. It is a state of controlled daydreaming and believed-in imagination.
  2. It is a state of pleasant, voluntary, relaxed attentive concentration, and effortless concentrated attention.
  3. It is a state of heightened suggestibility.
  4. It is an altered state of consciousness, during which the conscious critical mind is relaxed and relatively inactive, and the doorway to the subconscious, inner mind is opened with a person’s permission.
  5. In this comfortable “trance” state, suggestibility is heightened, mental absorption is increased, the senses are heightened, and the imagination is activated in a controlled manner. The inner or subconscious or unconscious mind is then more receptive to acceptable, beneficial suggestions.


2. Can a person be hypnotized against his will?

No. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing subject. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation.


3. Will a hypnotized person perform any anti-social, criminal or immoral acts while under Hypnosis?

NO! People who are hypnotized will not do anything in Hypnosis that they would not do in the waking state. This applies as well to sexual acts. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship. When you are in hypnosis, or in a “trance” state, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals.


4. Does a weak-minded person make a better subject than a strong-minded person?

NO! Strength of mind really has little to do with it. Either a weak-minded or strong minded person who resists will make a poor hypnotic subject. On the other hand, a weak or strong-minded person who cooperates will be a good subject. However, because Hypnosis helps a person gain greater control over both mind and body, it can help a person develop a stronger mind.


5. Will I be asleep?

No. When a person is in Hypnosis, he is not asleep. He or she remains aware of what is going on. In actuality, in Hypnosis, one’s senses become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. Then, the subject is asleep and no longer in hypnosis. In actuality, when this occurs, the state of sleep is a light but relaxing state of sleep. A simple suggestion to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the subject.


6. Is it possible that a subject could not be brought out of Hypnosis?

NO! This is not possible. You cannot get stuck in Hypnosis because you do not lose control when you are hypnotized. Hypnosis is a cooperative relationship. When you are hypnotized, you retain full control over your mind and your body. Sometimes, people feel so relaxed and comfortable in Hypnosis that they may wish to remain in that state for a little longer. However, a simple suggestion for awakening (or alerting) is all that is needed to bring a subject back into the Waking State even if the subject has fallen asleep. Additionally, when the hypnotist stops talking, the subject will soon awaken on his own. Most importantly, you can come out of hypnosis any time you want.


7. Will I tell any secrets under hypnosis?

NO! Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that they would not reveal (because they want to) in the Waking State.


8. Can a person in Hypnosis be made to bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken?

NO! They cannot be made to do anything against their will. This is not what happens in Therapeutic or Clinical Hypnosis. On the other hand, volunteers during Stage Hypnosis Show, which is for entertainment purposes only, will typically go along with the Stage Hypnotist’s suggestions as long as it is all in good fun and for entertainment purposes. But again, they are NOT being made, or forced, to do anything. But this is not the context of Clinical Hypnosis.


9. Can a person be made a ‘slave’ to a hypnotist?

NO!! Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship or a power relationship. It is not about “zap, you are under my power!” like Svengali who seduces a female subject. Hypnosis is a cooperative and collaborative relationship. It is NOT seduction. The subject retains full control and responsibility for his or her actions at all times. This myth comes from old movies and novels such as the old novel “Trilby”.


10. Can a person become addicted to Hypnosis, or is it habit forming?

No. A person can resist going into Hypnosis or being hypnotized anytime he or she desires, regardless of how many times he has been hypnotized.


11. What is the best age for being hypnotized?

People can be hypnotized at any age. However, on the average, the years between 12 and 20 are a developmental stage when pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults are most fantasy prone (they daydream more freely, or better) and capable of employing that trait to benefit from hypnosis. Nevertheless, children can be helped to solve their problems with the tool of hypnosis as can middle aged and older people.


12. Can an insane person be hypnotized?

Persons who are clinically insane are typically out of touch with reality and have difficulty concentrating. The ability to sustain concentration and the ability to follow instructions are necessary prerequisites to being able to be hypnotized. Thus, clinically insane or psychotic persons can be very difficult subjects. Nevertheless, there are clinical practitioners who specialize in working therapeutically with this population, and some of these practitioners do have the training to use the hypnosis tool effectively and therapeutically in selected cases.


13. Who can be hypnotized?

Anyone who can daydream, pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotized–if they want to be. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to which they can be hypnotized.


14. What are the requirements of a good Subject?

They are mainly the ability to daydream, the desire to be hypnotized and experience Hypnosis, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.


15. Is deep Hypnosis necessary?

For most purposes, deep Hypnosis is not necessary. For most purposes, in a therapeutic setting, a light degree of Hypnosis is all that is necessary for experiencing the therapeutic benefits of Hypnosis. In other words, we typically do not need or aim for Deep Trance. The therapeutic subject (the patient or client) is awake and aware of everything that is going on, but very relaxed and absorbed or focused.


16. Can ‘poor’ subjects become better subjects?

Most definitely yes. Repeated conditioning can improve the depth of relaxation, concentration and absorption that a client can attain. Also, strong motivation is a plus. A poor subject with a strong desire to benefit from Hypnosis in order to get relief from a problem can become a very good subject. Additionally, a “poor” subject can become a better subject to the extent that the Hypnotist instills confidence and helps the subject diminish anxiety and fear.


17. What is Self Hypnosis?

This is Hypnosis induced by a person by himself or herself without the help of a hypnotist. Some experts say that all Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis since the hypnotist is in actuality not doing anything to the subject, but rather guiding the subject into the hypnotic state of consciousness with the subject’s permission. Because the subject permits it to happen, he is really hypnotizing himself with the assistance of the hypnotist.


18. How can one learn Self Hypnosis?

You can learn Self Hypnosis from a good CD or even a book authored by a competent Hypnosis professional. However, your best bet is to have the experience first of being hypnotized by a qualified Professional Hypnotherapist, and then learn from that hypnotherapist how to enter the hypnotic state on your own. At that point, tapes (CDs) and books can be useful tools, aids, guides, and sources of information and inspiration.


19. What are the benefits of Self Hypnosis?

The premier benefit of learning and practicing Self Hypnosis is to initiate and continue the process of positive self-change. The regular use of Self Hypnosis facilitates the continuation of healthy changes in behaviors, feelings, beliefs and attitudes. When you practice Self Hypnosis you enter a state of self relaxation. When you are relaxed, you cannot be uncomfortable or anxious or stressed or in pain. Relaxation is the physical and emotional opposite of these negative feelings. Practicing Self Hypnosis conditions your ability to relax at will. It builds your ability to control your mind and your body. More control is the goal, and with more control, you gain greater ability to master and control your symptoms. Additionally, when you are in a state of Self Hypnosis you are able to give yourself positive suggestions and use positive imagery for positive self-change.


20. Can anyone learn Self Hypnosis?

Any normally intelligent person who can concentrate and follow instructions, and who is motivated and willing can learn Self Hypnosis.


21. What is Hetero-Hypnosis?

This is Hypnosis wherein one person, the Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist, hypnotizes (induces the Hypnotic State in) another person who is the subject or patient, or client. To do this, the Hypnotist uses an appropriate hypnotic induction, which is a method for inducing the state of hypnosis. For many types of problems where Self Hypnosis is taught, the Hypnotist teaches Self Hypnosis to the patient while he or she is in the hypnotic state.


22. What is a hypnotic induction?

It is a method of inducing the hypnotic “trance” state. There are numerous ways of inducing hypnosis. Most clinicians who practice hypnosis have their favorites. However, it is important for a clinician to choose a hypnosis induction method that fits the needs of you, the client. The hypnosis professional gives you carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping you enter a state of deep relaxation and focused attention. This is called the hypnosis induction. For this hypnosis induction to be effective, you must cooperate as an active participant in the process.


23. How does Hypnosis make a person more suggestible?

This occurs first and foremost with the subject’s permission and cooperation. By following the “hypnotist’s” instructions, you become more suggestible. When you are in this altered state of increased suggestibility, your mental “clutter” is cleared away along with your tendencies to criticize and analyze things. Then, you can pay attention to the hypnotist’s suggestions and be open to experiencing new perspectives and solutions to your problem. In this “hypnotic trance state”, you remain aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, you become increasingly absorbed in using your imagination as directed by the “hypnotist”.


24. How does Hypnosis work?

Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious Mind is opened, with your permission and cooperation, the competent Professional Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist can provide information, in a language and form that the Subconscious can accept, to help you change the behaviors, feelings and thoughts that you want to change. We utilize the fact that the Subconscious Mind has the ability (actually the tendency) to accept what it imagines as real. This can greatly reduce the felt stress of changing unhealthy habits to healthier habits.


25. What role does the Subconscious Mind play?

The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic behavior patterns. But, the Subconscious is not as easily communicated with as is the Conscious Mind. Information is imprinted in the Subconscious essentially in three ways: through trauma, through repetition, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint changes in behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and feelings.

The upshot is that making changes in long-standing habits (e.g., eating patterns, smoking, emotional reactivity, coping responses) often creates internal discomfort and stress. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to change them. This can be because of Conscious conflict about changing, but it can also be the result of conflict between the Conscious and the Subconscious parts of the mind. That is, you consciously may want to change and may have decided to change, but the Subconscious does not know this. If it did, it would help you, but it often has no way of knowing that you consciously want to change. So, it continues to control the old behavioral habits and this creates and perpetuates inner conflict. Once the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, and once it knows that it is in your best interest to be helped to change, it has no choice but to help you change. Then, the two parts to the mind, Conscious and Subconscious, can work together in cooperation with little tension, upset, or stress. Remember, what you can conceive you can achieve, and the Subconscious has a tendency to accept what it imagines as real.


26. What are some of the benefits of Hypnosis?

There are many benefits and uses for Hypnosis. To mention but a few of the more common uses:

  • relieve stress
  • control pain, both acute and chronic
  • preparation for surgery or other medical procedures
  • ease pregnancy, childbirth and labor
  • diminish and control anxiety
  • eliminate phobias
  • treat depression
  • improve self-confidence
  • control mood swings
  • manage anger and impulsivity
  • modify or change harmful habits
  • stop smoking
  • lose weight through changing overeating and other habits
  • improve concentration, memory and study habits
  • sports performance improvement
  • reduce insomnia
  • as a tool in police investigations for refreshing the memory of witnesses to a crime
  • stop fingernail biting
  • relieve dental anxiety and control dental pain
  • stop bruxism


27. What can Hypnosis ‘cure’?

Hypnosis by itself is rarely a “cure”. It is a tool to be used in therapy or treatment by a professional who is qualified to render that treatment. Medical treatments must be supervised by a medical physician. Similarly, psychological treatments for emotional or psychological problems must be supervised by a qualified psychology or mental health practitioner.


28. If you decide that you want to see a Professional Hypnotherapist, how should you go about finding someone who is qualified?

Do Your Homework! When choosing a professional hypnotherapist, it’s best to make sure you’ll be working with someone who is properly trained and with whom you’re comfortable. Consumer Beware.
The practice of hypnosis and hypnotherapy is not regulated by most states as is the practice of other healing arts. Therefore, in most states, clinicians and therapists who use hypnosis are not licensed in hypnosis. The implications of this are that anyone can call themselves a “certified hypnotherapist,” or “clinical hypnotist,” and hang out a shingle after taking a weekend course of instruction on how to hypnotize. So, beware of quacks.

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the largest national organization of licensed health professionals who use hypnosis, advises on its official Web site ( that, just as in choosing any health professional, you exercise care in selecting a clinical hypnosis practitioner. However, ASCH does not recognize Professional Hypnotherapy as a field or profession in its own right. In order to be accepted as a member of ASCH, a provider must hold (a) a license to practice a recognized primary health care profession (e.g., psychology, counseling, social work, medicine, dentistry, nursing), (b) at minimum, a Masters Degree from an accredited college or university, and (c) have a requisite number of hours of basic and intermediate training in the use of hypnosis within his/her area of practice.

The International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) are the two of the largest and most active membership and training organizations for professional hypnotherapists in the United States. Unlike ASCH, IMDHA and NGH do recognize Professional Hypnotherapy as a profession in its own right. Thus, IMDHA and NGH do not require that their members be licensed health care providers, although they do have many licensed health care providers as active members. Both IMDHA and NGH run comprehensive training programs in professional hypnotherapy and continuing education programs annually. Professional Hypnotherapists who belong to IMDHA and who are awarded Fellow or Diplomate status by that organization are typically highly trained, experienced, knowledgeable, and ethical practitioners of the art of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

By the way, a psychologist is a mental-health professional with either a master’s degree or a doctorate in psychology (a Ph.D., Ed.D., or Psy.D.) who has taken post-degree internship or residency training in clinical or counseling psychology. A psychiatrist is a physician with a medical doctoral degree (an M.D. or D.O.), who has taken post-doctoral internship or residency training in psychiatry.

MY ADVICE. Screen a Professional Hypnotherapist’s qualifications up front! Careful questioning on the telephone can help you avoid falling into the hands of unscrupulous persons who engage in fraudulent or unethical practices. (1) First, ask the person what his or her primary profession or health-care field is. (2) Whether or not the practitioner is a licensed health care provider or not, ask about the nature and extent of his or her hypnosis and hypnotherapy training. (3) Also, find out what areas of professional hypnotherapy practice that individual specializes in, and how many years of experience he or she has (or how many clients he or she has successful treated in that specialty; e.g., phobias, depression, trauma, etc.) . If you have doubts about the person’s qualifications, or you don’t feel comfortable, keep looking.

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Coping With Daily Lumbar Strain Mon, 09 Mar 2015 08:00:52 +0000 One of my patients, a 55 year old lady, reported she has had bad pain days since her last visit. She has had annoying and biting back pain in her right lumbar area, and radiating right leg pain with some numbness. Her right sided lumbar pain is flared up by household chores such as washing dishes, taking out the trash, as well as by ADLs such as donning her shoes–all activities that involve leaning forward and bending.

MRI of the lumbar spine showed:

  1. Advanced lumbar spondylosis. Findings include a moderate sized right subarticular and foraminal disc herniation at L5-S1 causing significant impingement of the traversing right S1 nerve root.
  2. Small central disc herniation at L4-L5 without mass effect on the nerve roots.
  3. Left foraminal and far lateral disc herniation at L3-L4 displacing the exiting left L3 nerve root.

HISTORY: Low back pain radiating to left leg. History of lumbar spine surgery at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Two back surgeries and both have helped. Epidural steroid injections never helped she stated.

MEDCATIONS:  Depakote from 1500mg hs. Ambien 1mg hs. Neurontin 300mg hs. Vicodin 5/500 mg tid.

INTERVENTIONS: After reviewing her use of her pain meds, we moved on to challenging disabling and pain magnifying thoughts. As she verbalized each thought, I offered her a different way of looking at the situation. That is we “reframed” the negative thoughts.

We talked about coping techniques. We used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) strategies to address her anger that flares up when she hurts. We talked about pacing and taking breaks. I demonstrated and had her do some simple back stretches. We talked about self-postural adjustment. The idea is that it’s not either/or move or not move. That is not an option. We discussed her need to stretch her back out regularly as she becomes aware of the strain building in her low back. I emphasized that she would do well to consider taking planned time outs to care for her back.

I also gave the patient a handout with the following coping self statements:

  1. When my pain flares up, I remind myself that I can adjust my posture and take more breaks. I can stretch.
  2. I expect up and downs.
  3. I will always have a back up plan.
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What Does A Pain Psychologist Do? Mon, 05 Jan 2015 08:00:55 +0000 This is a brief summary of what I do as a Pain Psychologist in my private practice.

I assume you are here because you suffer from chronic pain, or you want to help someone else who does. I am a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist and I specialize in clinical pain management. I have been doing this work for the past 27 years. I provide counseling, psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, hypnotherapy, and psychological evaluations. I also teach people self help strategies for pain management. In fact, I myself suffer from chronic pain. I have Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, and multiple disc bulges.

My goal is to help you better manage your chronic pain and associated emotional stress. I do this with people everyday and I employ a variety of non-drug modalities — e.g., education, talk therapy, guidance counseling, problem solving therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, energy healing, and clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Pain Management Psychotherapy (PMP) counseling sessions are 50 minutes in length for a regular session, and 100 minutes for an extended session. Your first visit with me is an initial consultation. PMP counseling is subsequently provided based on an individualized treatment plan formulated at your first visit.

Common issues that are addressed in PMP counseling include:

  • Discovering safe and effective non-drug methods, such as hypnosis, that can relieve your pain,
  • Evaluating and treating any depression and anxiety that can make pain worse,
  • Improving your pain coping and stress management strategies,
  • Helping you learn effective relaxation skills and self hypnosis for pain management,
  • Helping you eliminate self defeating habits,
  • Educating you about the proper and safe use of pain medications,
  • Evaluating and treating any anger issues and feelings of isolation or alienation,
  • Coming up with a plan to improve your physical functioning,
  • Helping you improve your interpersonal relationships,
  • Helping you decrease and control mood swings,
  • Helping you deal more effectively with family tensions,
  • Diminishing boredom,
  • Addressing any substance abuse issues,
  • Resolving any emotional issues that may underly and maintain your persistent pain.


* * * Everyone needs help at some point. Thank you for coming here for help. * * *

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