Applying Hypnosis in Dermatology

Philip D. Shenefelt


Dermatology Nursing. 2003;15(6) 

In This Article

Methods of Medical Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is not a therapy in and of itself. Instead it is a tool that can be used to cut through psychological/ behavioral roadblocks to healing. In adults, induction of the hypnotic state is achieved by any of a number of methods that focus attention, soothe, and/or produce monotony or confusion. In children, the hypnotic state can be induced by having the child play make-believe that he or she is watching television, a movie, a play, or by using some other distractive process that employs the imagination. Therapies that can be enhanced by hypnosis include supportive (ego-strengthening), direct suggestion, symptom substitution, and hypnoanalysis (Scott, 1960). See Table 1 for an outline of the sequence of a hypnotic trance during medical hypnotherapy.


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