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Post Hypnotic Suggestion In Modern Therapy Essay

1402 words - 6 pages

What exactly is post-hypnotic suggestion? According to answers.com, it is defined as: A suggestion made to a hypnotized person that specifies an action to be performed after awakening, often in response to a cue. If the term “post-hypnotic suggestion” is entered as a search query in Google it will return literally about 78,000 results. These range from businesses selling weight-loss and quitting smoking, to training programs for hypnotism, to conspiracy theories about “Manchurian candidates”, to posts how hypnotism is just a sham. There are several boards, guilds, and councils offering certification as a qualified hypnotherapist, with countless companies offering hypnosis training. This training can consist of several hundred hours of instruction, a series of videos, or a short book to read. Truthfully, the question this paper is seeking to answer is: is post-hypnotic suggestion safe and what are its uses in modern therapy.
When discussing safety, first, let us deal with what makes a person qualified to administer a post-hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotism is not a difficult skill to acquire. I hypnotized classmates in high school after buying a mail order book for less than $15. That said, I was not charging a fee, nor did I introduce any post-hypnotic suggestions. The vast majority of US states do not require licensing or governmental registration relating to hypnotism as a business (http://www.hypnotherapistsunion.org/law+6-s/usa/). This leaves us to search for a reputable non-governmental certification program to aid one in the search for a safe and reputable person to administer post-hypnotic suggestions. Several for-profit companies do offer national certification for hypnotists. Of these certification programs, four that are considered reputable certified a house cat in 2002 (Eichel,2002). The others which I have found do not instill a sense of trust in their certifications after reading their websites. This leaves the consumer to search for a hypnotist based on personal recommendations and their own judgment. The fact that there is virtually no real regulation in this profession, who's direct stated goal is to affect the mind and thought process of the the client seems to infer that the only thing making a person qualified to administer post-hypnotic suggestions is that they are simply able. The best way to find a hypnotherapist is probably to search for a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist who also uses hypnosis in their practice.
The next issue regarding safety of hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestion is, can it be used to force a person to do something they would not normally do? There are many different angles from which to view this question. First, can a subject be forced to do something against their will via a post-hypnotic suggestion? To this, the answer is a strong maybe. While it is unlikely that a person could be made to rob a bank after a single session of hypnosis, there have been cases of therapeutic mismanagement...

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