About the Society of Psychological Hypnosis

The following brochure (PDF, 137KB) is intended primarily for use by Div. 30 members who incorporate hypnosis into their clinical practice. We recognize that despite a great deal of empirical research demonstrating the effectiveness and efficacy of hypnosis, many clients may be unfamiliar with the technique. Furthermore, they may hold numerous misconceptions about hypnosis, based on things they might have seen on television, in the movies, or in stage shows.

Therefore, this brochure was created to educate clients about the “basics” of hypnosis, and to clear up any misconceptions they might have about the technique

We suggest that when you discuss the use of hypnosis with clients as you present them with a copy of the brochure to read. We hope that the brochure will serve as a useful springboard for discussion between you and your clients.

The brochure is meant to be one page, with two folds to separate the columns. You may need to print one side your page first, then reinsert that page into your printer to print the back side.

Definition and Description of Hypnosis

In 2014, the Div. 30 Executive Committee prepared the following official definitions related to hypnosis:

  • Hypnosis: A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.
  • Hypnotic induction: A procedure designed to induce hypnosis.
  • Hypnotizability: An individual's ability to experience suggested alterations in physiology, sensations, emotions, thoughts or behavior during hypnosis.
  • Hypnotherapy: The use of hypnosis in the treatment of a medical or psychological disorder or concern.

While there are substantial variations in theoretical understanding of these phenomena, the above definitions were created with an interest in simplifying communication regarding hypnotic phenomena and procedures within and between fields of research and practice, and so are intentionally largely atheoretical. This page will be updated to include additional discussion of the theoretical perspectives which allow greater insight into the nature and functioning of hypnosis.