17th January 2018
It is with great sadness that I am letting you know of the passing of two great figures in the field of hypnotherapy who were both personal friends and professional colleagues.
Dr Assen Alladin
On Friday November 24th last year Dr Assen Alladin passed away at his home in Calgary, Alberta at the age of 67.
Assen was leading figure in the field of cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (which he called “cognitive hypnotherapy”) and his books and academic research papers have helped to refine and validate the combination of hypnosis and CBT. He was also a gentle, wise mentor and friend.
We hosted several of his workshops in 2014 and 2015. I joined him in China, with Tom Dowd, in 2015 where he gave a keynote talk on Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression – and where we talked extensively with Tom (below).
He became President Elect of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in early 2016.
His book Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Emotional Disorders is a practical classic and many of us have it on our bookshelves and consult it regularly.
I feel honoured to have known him and facilitated his workshops in London, saddened to lose him and hopeful that his legacy of research and publications will be built upon.
You can read a great interview with Assen here from last year where he speaks of the need to publish research on hypnotherapy.
Professor E. Thomas Dowd
Two days ago I heard that Tom Dowd had passed away with a heart attack on January 6th this year.
Tom was wise, kind and very fun man (I was going to write “gentleman” but Tom wouldn’t have agreed with that!) with an impish sense of humour. We met in Beijing in 2015 where he joined Assen Alladin and myself as guests at the Annual Psychology Conference which was hosting a special forum on cognitive hypnotherapy.
Tom was a key figure within the academic research area of counselling in the United States. He sat on several of the key boards of American Psychological Association and had a huge list of published papers.
In his early days in the 1970’s he had conduced research into NLP
– and was mock-shocked in 2015 to find out it was still alive “I thought it was a cult and had died out!” :)
Plain spoken, deeply learned, opinionated and a good deal of fun!
Tom’s book “Cognitive Hypnotherapy” – with a forward from Aaron Beck no less – is a seminal book in the field of serious hypnotherapy, combining cognitive schema therapy with Eriksonian hypnosis.
We invited him to teach a workshop in 2016 and a handful of lucky students got to study with him in the two day workshop “Cognitive Developmental Hypnotherapy” – and both witnessed and experienced his unique way of working with hypnosis.
We talked many times, visiting the Great Wall of China together, several restaurants and some English pubs.
It’s a personal and professional loss that these two great figures from our field are no longer with us. It is beyond belief that they have both passed within a few months (Tom let me know last November that Assen had passed) and at such relatively young ages.
I had hoped that we would all collaborate together to further the field of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.
We shall all have to take up that mantle and continue their work.
I invite you to leave your thoughts and blessings below.
With sadness and many fond memories