Pathway or Stream? A Metaphor for Non-directive Hypnosis

This painting is the most recent addition to my office walls. I don’t even know the name of the artist who painted the original – it’s from the company Winston Porter, bought on the Wayfair website. It came straight to the office in a cardboard box and has been greeting patients ever since. What I […]

Can A Hypnotherapy App Work For IBS?

I often recommend clinical hypnosis for management of a child’s irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other form of chronic pain. Invariably, the parents’ first question is, “How can I find a provider?” Their second question is, “How can I get an appointment?” Most practitioners of gut-directed clinical hypnosis are psychologists who are already spread thin […]

Hypnosis and Healing Touch (HT)

At the hospital where I used to work, there was a Healing Touch (HT) program, which sometimes reserved free spots for employees. Always curious, I went to check it out. What could it hurt? I did not expect to be impressed by the way it made me feel — deeply peaceful, as well as physically […]

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball

The first time I see a client for a hypnosis session, it’s not uncommon for them to ask if I will be using a pendulum. They’ve seen it in so many movies and cartoons: the hypnotist dangling a pocket watch or other items from a chain, swinging it in front of a person’s face, maybe chanting some kind of incantation.

“Holding It”

When kids get stomach aches at school, we can be quick to jump to the conclusion that either a greasy lunch or anxiety is to blame. But there is another common reason which frequently gets overlooked: “holding it.” A lot of kids just don’t want to go the bathroom at school. And from what I […]

Peering Into the Past

It’s not uncommon for people to approach me with the goal of understanding their emotions. Sometimes they have anxiety, which is contributing to chronic pain. Sometimes it is a specific fear. Or it might be a tendency toward depression.

Finding a Favorite Place

Guided imagery involving a “favorite place” can be an excellent technique to help someone feel more comfortable. In fact, it is so reliable that we often use it when guiding a child or teen into a hypnotic state. Sometimes I never find out what a person’s “favorite place” is, but I am always curious!

Moving Past the Pain Scale

Most people who have been to a doctor’s office or emergency room are familiar with the questions: “Are you having any pain? How severe is it, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you can imagine?”

Hypnotherapy: The Key to Escaping the “Empty Room” of Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain can be a lonely experience. Maybe this loneliness is due partly to the invisibility of pain. Other people are not able to see the pain, and may even doubt that it is really there. Even when a person with chronic pain has a strong support system and is surrounded by family and friends who would like to help, ultimately, the pain is felt by just one person.

Hypnosis for Abdominal Pain — How Do We Know it Works?

After my first training workshop in clinical hypnosis, I didn’t fly home from Virginia to California — I floated. It seemed totally obvious to me that this new/old technique could help many of my patients who were suffering from chronic abdominal pain.