Please Explain: Hypnosis

Friday, March 19, 2010

On today’s Please Explain we’ll look into how hypnosis works, and how it can be effective in treating people who want to stop smoking, lose weight, or calm their nerves before a test. We’re joined by Dr. Roberta Temes, hypnotist, psychologist, and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hypnosis; and Dr. Amir Raz, Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Psychology, and Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, at McGill University and SMBD Jewish General Hospital.


Dr. Amir Raz, and Dr. Roberta Temes,

Comments [27]

Peter Saks from LA

I do think that there is too much mystery about hypnosis. Many people still think that this is similar to astrology or other weird pseudo-science things. The truth is, though there is a lot of science behind hypnosis, and it is widely used to treat many psychological problems and psychosomatic diseases(health problems that have their roots in psychology). I really recommend learning more about the topic rather than making up your mind based on Hollywood movies.

Peter Saks,

Apr. 14 2010 08:53 AM
Wendy Merron, BCH from Wayne, PA

As a Certified Hypnosis Instructor with the National Guild of Hypnotists, I teach the 100 hour Hypnosis Certification Course.

All NGH Certified Hypnotists must complete the 100 hour course as well as an exam.

The National Guild of Hypnotists is one of the respected organizations with over 12,000 Certified Hypnotists.

When you are choosing a hypnotist, it's important to make sure that they haven't received certification from a weekend program.

Mar. 19 2010 07:58 PM

To Susan on picky eaters:

There's been a lot of research/good advice on this. Search the web, it will be "fruitful."

From my own experience and reading, a few tips:

Start VERY small.

Encourage "adventurous eating," like a game.

Don't force. Just leave it on the plate, especially if it's the only thing, and they're hungry. If they don't eat it by the end of dinner, let it go. This can take weeks/months.

Smother it in butter(!)

Mar. 19 2010 02:50 PM
Bill from Staten Island

Roberta Temes stated that the dangers concerning induced false memories through hypnosis are a matter of "unscrupulous" hypnotists. Many if not most of the cases of hypnotically induced false memories seem to have involved hypnotists who were not necessarily unscrupulous, but were naive to the powers of subtle suggestion in their language, often based on their expectancies about the past experiences of their clients. The danger does lie in the unsophisticated and ill-advised use of suggestion itself, and the distortions that can arise from the pre-existing beliefs and ideological leanings of the hypnotist.

Memories produced through hypnosis cannot be authenticated without significant independent corroboration. In the absence of such corroboration, there is no way to distinguish a genuine recovered memory from a false recovered memory -- this despite the fact that the memory will feel genuine to the patient.

Mar. 19 2010 02:12 PM
Sam from Paterson, NJ

My college swimming coach used to do a form of meditation/hypnosis to help us prepare for competition. He would guide us up stairs and then take us through a whole race, moment by moment, so we could imagine ourselves winning.

Mar. 19 2010 01:54 PM
nina from nyc

Does it work for Insomnia??

Mar. 19 2010 01:52 PM
adrienne from jersey

Can you talk about hypnosis for weight loss- what would be the suggestive phrases you would use? Also, how do you pick a good hypnotherapist?

Mar. 19 2010 01:52 PM
Ann from Brooklyn, williamburg

I lost my childhood memories. I want to use Hypnosis to bring back those memories but if I find out there are not good memory, do you think I can use Hypnosis to make me forget them??

Mar. 19 2010 01:51 PM
Nick from NYC

Can your guests comment on whether, when we see those images of people who are not self-aware of their behavior during hypnosis, whether this is real hypnosis or a stage act? Everything they've described so far seems to describe the patient remaining self-aware...

Mar. 19 2010 01:47 PM
Diana Ardila from Brooklyn

I am expecting my second baby and have been practicing HypnoBirthing. Find the practice extremely helpful, not only to accept birth as a natural and perfect pact, but also in my day to day life.

Mar. 19 2010 01:47 PM
deandra from manhattan

would hypnosis work for anxiety disorders, or fear of flying?

Mar. 19 2010 01:47 PM
ruth shively from portland oregon

what about phobias? mine is with spiders.

Mar. 19 2010 01:47 PM
mitch from austin, tx

has hypnosis ever been used in extracting information in interrogation of terrorists or criminals?

Mar. 19 2010 01:47 PM
bob from NYC

can hypnoses effect be associated with placebo mechanism?

Mar. 19 2010 01:46 PM
maggie from nj

My father, who was trained at a center for hypnosis in NYC, began a practice using hypnosis therapeutically in the early 1960's. He was very successful in helping smokers and folks who were fearful of dentists, etc, but he could never hypnotize me, despite many many attempts..
He disliked using it for entertainment, but occasionally I and my friends could talk him into trying to hypnotize us. One evening he lined 5 of us up, basically said "when I touch your shoulder you will fall deep asleep." Instantly, when his shoulder was touched, one of my friends was completely in a trance.
Why are some people more easily hypnotized?

Mar. 19 2010 01:46 PM
Andrew from Chelsea

Can hypnosis work for insomnia?

Mar. 19 2010 01:45 PM
Susan from Manhattan

My 18 year old son is an ioncredible picky eater. He does not eat any friut or vegetables.
Can he be hypnotized to try new foods?

Mar. 19 2010 01:45 PM
Bill from Staten Island

I'd be interested to know what your guests have to say about hypnotically induced false memories



Mar. 19 2010 01:44 PM

I have been hypnotized by a licensed psychotherapist twice, for a compulsive behavior. The first time it took about a week to really kick in(and stop the behavior) but then totally went away after about 3 months and I started the behavior again. I recently had my 2nd session and am finding again it's taking about a week to kick in.

Is this gradual change common? Why would it go away after 3 months?

Mar. 19 2010 01:44 PM
anna from nyc

What about Hypnosis for INSOMNIA
My husband suffers from 25 year of insomnia
and I heard it could work but I haven't heard anything more specific

Mar. 19 2010 01:43 PM

Dose self hypnosis work. I have tried it, but just maybe I would have accomplished my goal without it.

Mar. 19 2010 01:43 PM
bk from nyc

when I was a teen in CA in the mid-70's my mother thought I was over weight (not even 10 lbs.) & sent me to a diet doctor who supposedly hypnotized me. I never thought for a minute that it was working but I lost the weight because I thought I should please my mother. (the weight didn't stay off for long, though!) now, hearing this show 35 years later I wonder if I was actually hypnotized.

Mar. 19 2010 01:40 PM
CK from NJ

My brother stopped smoking after 1 session of hypnosis,20 years ago. He said he never had a craving afterwards. He didn't smoke for 6 years, and then he moved to Paris, France, and started up again because EVERYONE there smoked at the time. (He has since stopped again.)

Mar. 19 2010 01:38 PM

What about hypnosis for pain free births? Systems like hypnobabies.

Mar. 19 2010 01:38 PM
YourBoss from NYC

Can exorcism (in the Western and East Asian cultures) be considered as part of hypnosis?

Mar. 19 2010 01:34 PM
Estelle from Austin

How would a person know if they were self-hypnotized while jogging---to use your example? Were you implying it could happen inadvertently?

Mar. 19 2010 01:33 PM
Barbara C. from North New Jersy

When cigarettes went up to $1.00 a pack, I decided to try hypnosis. That was in 1983, and the best $25.00 investment I ever made in my life so far...I ended up losing up to 30 lbs and became an avid exerciser. In 2008, I used a form of hynosis combined with meditation for anxiety, insomnia, positive visualization and reinforcement during my chemo treatment for breast cancer. It has helped me tremendously during this crisis.

Mar. 19 2010 11:28 AM

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