In conventional terms Clinical Hypnosis – refers to both the diagnosis of problems and the application of hypnotherapeutic approaches to treat others within a clinical and structured framework. The definition of Medical & Dental Hypnosis refers to how clinical hypnosis approaches are adapted, incorporated and specifically applied to benefit the patient in each specialised setting. Although hypnosis has been used in various forms as a therapeutic tool for thousands of years, the formal term hypnosis was coined as recently as the 18th century. Traditionally, hypnotherapy has been used within the medical field as an aligned approach and its use has been approved by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). Hypnotherapy has now become an established, evidence-based treatment for several common conditions and a report by the British Psychological Society (BPS) states “Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium” (BPS, 2001, p 2). Furthermore there is now clear evidence that therapeutic hypnosis can help reduce patient anxiety and enhance treatment outcomes across a broad spectrum of arenas. It has also been recommended for some time that all medical professionals should be offered training in hypnosis as part of their ongoing post graduate education.
Brief clinical hypnotherapy– refers to the specific therapeutic application and evolution of clinical hypnosis strategies into short term treatment parameters. It aims to maximise the therapeutic effectiveness of hypnotherapeutic approaches and facilitate the circumstances needed for individuals to develop new coping strategies, that support or enhance their medical treatment and lives. It may also allow individuals to make changes in their lives through a process of accessing resources, establishing new belief patterns, changing negative behaviour, whilst also overcoming learned limitations or fears. Such specialised therapeutic communication skills and strategies are also supported by a current perspective on mind body functioning, and can be readily employed to support patient treatment in diverse arena’s in medicine and dentistry.