Foreword to The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy

The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy

A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis

Copyright © Donald Robertson, 2012. All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781855755307

Due for publication in 2012. Available for now from Amazon UK and other booksellers.

The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy is a major new clinical textbook on evidence-based practice in clinical hypnosis, written by psychotherapist and hypnotherapist Donald Robertson and published by Karnac, the UK’s leading specialist psychotherapy publishing house. Based on extensive background research, it contains references to almost 250 different scientific journal articles and clinical textbooks on hypnosis and CBT.

Dr. Michael Heap, co-author of Hartland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis, 4th Edition, has contributed the following Foreword:

Over the last 30 years, the most significant development in the field of psychotherapy has been cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In terms of the standards and criteria that any system of psychotherapy is nowadays evaluated, CBT ticks all of the boxes: a clear rationale with a solid grounding in mainstream psychology and its related disciplines; a rational and informed understanding of the problems and disorders that come within its scope; a coherent, and structured approach to treatment that is informed by rigorous assessment, formulation and clear goals; a commitment to continuous research into theory, process and outcome; and many more. This is not to say that CBT is uncontroversial and without critics, but over the years it has proved flexible and able to incorporate new ideas and variations, thus extending the legitimate scope of its application over an astonishingly wide range. This progress continues unabated.

What about hypnotherapy? It may be argued that hypnotherapy as it is practiced today has been with us for much longer than CBT. Yet it has struggled to establish itself with anything like the same success as CBT. One reason may be that over the years, many publications concerning hypnosis and hypnotherapy – articles and, particularly books – have often been of poor or indifferent quality, their authors frequently failing to acknowledge the importance of the above standards and criteria for developing a psychological therapy. But there is another likely reason. It is often said that hypnosis is, for most purposes, not a therapy in itself; it is an adjunct to therapy, whether that therapy be psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioural, cognitive, and so on. And now that hypnosis is well-established as a real psychological phenomenon with a sound evidence base, we can make that statement with due confidence.

It is natural therefore that psychotherapists should look to ways of integrating hypnosis with CBT that enhance the scope and effectiveness of the latter, and thus establish what may be justifiably called ‘cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy’. And in this book, Donald Robertson proves that he is the right person for this task. First and foremost he approaches the subject matter with the same high standard of scholarship that is evident in his previous publication The Discovery of Hypnosis, and this includes careful attention to the historical context and to theoretical matters that inform the rationale of his approach. Readers who are already practitioners of CBT will appreciate the author’s emphasis on therapy as a collaborative process and the importance of a thorough assessment and a careful formulation, without which therapy lacks a firm anchor. Due regard is also paid to preparing the patient for therapy. The author describes in detail how hypnotic procedures may be integrated with CBT, demonstrating this with a range of cognitive and behavioural methods such as exposure, reality testing, cognitive restructuring, and covert behavioural methods. His approach is well structured, but flexible, and he demonstrates a firm grasp of his subject matter, which is considerable in scope. In particular, I believe he will convince readers who are already CBT therapists that learning how to include hypnosis in their repertoire of skills will pay them and their clients significant dividends. And those hypnotherapists wishing to incorporate CBT into their practice will be amply rewarded.

With The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy the author has demonstrated the exacting standards by which all books on therapeutic hypnosis should be judged. I commend it to the reader.

About the Book

Hypnotherapy is arguably the oldest modality of psychological therapy, at least in the modern sense. Psychologists have long attempted to conceptualize hypnosis in terms of cognitive and behavioural processes and the term cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnosis was first coined in 1974 by Theodore Barber, and his colleagues, one of the most prolific and influential researchers in the field of hypnosis. Since then cognitive research on hypnosis has continued to evolve alongside the assimilation of modern cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques within the framework of hypnotherapy and vice versa. This book explores the historical and conceptual relationship between hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT).

It proceeds to offer a modern cognitive conceptualization of hypnosis, based on the writings of James Braid the founder of hypnotherapy and drawing upon modern cognitive-behavioral research on hypnosis. The author carefully explores the combination of hypnosis with both cognitive and behavioural interventions and ways in which methods can be adapted in the light of therapeutic principles derived from both fields. The book aims to provide a comprehensive core text for the practice of cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy and to facilitate further dialogue between practitioners of hypnosis and CBT.

Available for Pre-order Online

Table of Contents

Part I: The Cognitive-Behavioural Approach to Hypnosis
Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Chapter 2: James Braid & the Original Hypnotherapy
Chapter 3: Cognitive-Behavioural Theories of Hypnosis

Part II: Assessment, Conceptualisation, & Hypnotic Skills
Chapter 4: Assessment in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Chapter 5: Case Formulation in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Chapter 6: Socialisation & Hypnotic Skills Training

Part III: Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Chapter 7: Applied Self-Hypnosis & Coping Skills
Chapter 8: Affect: Hypnotic Exposure Therapy
Chapter 9: Behaviour: Problem-Solving Hypnotherapy (PSH)
Chapter 10: Cognition: Cognitive Hypnotherapy
Chapter 11: Conclusion & Summary

  1. mark powlett

    I am always on the hunt for new texts to help expand my knowledge. Its not just about completing the mandatory CPD amount of hours but we are all learning all of the time so I am very much looking forward to reading this new CBT text

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