Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain

Ernest R. Hilgard; Josephine R. Hilgard

(Pub. Brunner Mazel)

Both authors have written several books and numerous articles and are also highly qualified in their respective fields.

Ernest R. Hildgard, Ph.D., is a retired Emeritus Professor of Psychology from Stanford University and is described as being ‘instrumental in making hypnosis a respectable and worthwhile phenomenon to study and practice.’

Josephine R. Hildgard, M.D., Ph.D., was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Research Associate in the Hypnosis Laboratory at Stanford.

The blurb on the back of the book notes that Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain is exceptionally clear and non-technical and will appeal not only to professionals involved with pain reduction but to lay people as well.

That’s true but it’s not bedtime reading! I’d recommend browsing, initially, to familiarise yourself with it and then pick out the chapters or passages within them that are of specific interest to you. For examples, there are chapters on ‘Controlling Pain,’ ‘Strategies for Pain Reduction,’ ‘Hypnosis in Pain Control,’ ‘A Patient with Cancer,’ ‘Hypnosis and Chemoanalgesia,’ Hypnotic Relief of Pain and Anxiety, as well as ‘Hidden Pain and Its Interpretation.’

As one of the book’s reviewers writes it’s written with great clarity and ‘cautiously balanced scientific judgement.’ I appreciate the acknowledgement that hypnosis for pain relief may not be effective for everyone and the refreshing lack of hyperbole. It had the effect of only making me more intrigued with the subject and willing to go deeper into it.   (Maneesha)

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