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Presenter: Michael Yapko, PhD
When hypnosis has so much to offer clinicians and their clients in the domains of psychotherapy and behavioral medicine, why is hypnosis still so frequently treated as the unwelcome relative at a family gathering? With its checkered reputation and uncertain professional identity, too many people, it seems, just don’t see the “gentle spirit” in hypnosis as readily as they do in other approaches. That’s unfortunate, because hypnosis sessions focus on and powerfully amplify that intangible quality called the human spirit. There is a difference, though, between doing hypnosis and being hypnotic, and this difference plays a critical role in whether and how the human spirit is recognized and embraced. One can recognize the ever present opportunities to be hypnotic, not just do hypnosis, in order to help amplify the best of human experience.
There is a spirit innate to the practice of hypnosis, but it hasn’t been well-articulated nor has it received the attention it deserves. In this plenary address, Dr. Yapko will describe the contributions hypnosis could and should be making to widespread clinical practice by highlighting the extraordinary compassion and optimism - the spirit - innate to the use of hypnosis. He will discuss how hypnosis relates to the emerging fields of positive psychology and mindfulness, and will describe how hypnosis was used in a most unlikely context: developing an elephant breeding program. The spirit of hypnosis is most obvious and powerful when in the service of others.
During and at the conclusion of this session, the attendee will be able to:
-> Identify specific ways hypnosis as a field has separated itself from other treatment approaches, perhaps to its own detriment;
-> Identify specific ways hypnosis structurally relates to positive psychology and mindfulness, well-recognized for their ability to raise the human spirit, and how hypnosis may be seen as foundational to these approaches; and
-> Describe and discuss the role hypnosis played in an innovative zoological program attempting to help an endangered species - elephants - and how this highlighted and applied the spirit of positive intention.