Hypnotic Cognitive Therapy

Specialist Pain Medicine Physician: Dr Jacquelyn Nash – MBBS FANZCA FFPMANZCA

Post Graduate Training in Clinical Hypnosis
Member of the Australian Society of Hypnosis (ASH)

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a well-known psychological treatment for chronic pain, it has been shown to work in multiple studies for a variety of chronic pain conditions. ,
Hypnosis has also been shown to reduce pain intensity for those experiencing chronic pain. ,
The addition of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnosis, termed Hypnotic Cognitive Therapy, may improve outcomes, and have an additive effect. This may reduce the pain intensity and improve the pain related outcomes such as improving your quality of life.
There is some evidence that the combination of pain education and hypnosis can be successful when used together to reduce the effect that chronic pain has on the individual.

The aim of treatment is to use self hypnosis to enhance the positive effects from cognitive restructuring relevant to your chronic pain. A shift in the meaning of pain, or on the affective or in other words the suffering component of pain, may improve your quality of life even if the level of pain remains unchanged.

You may be encouraged to be more curious about the meaning of your pain sensations, and to be more comfortable and calm whilst experiencing those pain sensations, and to have an increased sense of mastery and control over your pain and over the impact of the pain on your life.

Have you been told by your gastroenterologist that your diagnosis is functional dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome? There is good evidence that these conditions can respond to hypnotherapy.

Self hypnosis is something that you yourself will do. It is not something that is done to you. Instead your doctor may guide you through the process of self hypnosis at your own pace. The treatment is not a ‘fix’ but rather a ‘bridge to walk across’ towards achieving the goals that you wish to achieve. You will be in total control the entire time. You will be aware during the session, and able to recall the details afterwards.

Self hypnosis is not like sleep, nor is it like an anaesthetic that your doctor could give you for an operation. It tends to be interesting and vivid, and you can remember it afterwards. EEG studies have shown that hypnosis brain waves are more like being awake than being asleep. Hypnosis involves focused attention.
Self hypnosis is much like being absorbed in a good book, watching an enthralling movie, or losing track of time when driving on a familiar road.

Success with self hypnosis does not have anything to do with your gender, or intelligence, or job type. The evidence also suggests it doesn’t matter whether you feel the experience is a success or not in the beginning, the improvement with pain management can still occur with time.

The Australian Society of Hypnosis (ASH) provides training in hypnosis for healthcare professionals such as medical doctors and psychologists who hold registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Authority (AHPRA). ASH is a constituent member of the International Society of Hypnosis (ISH), and is the only Australian hypnosis society which provides training in hypnosis and ongoing professional development and peer support to AHPRA registered professionals.

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