Conversion course: pre-course reading material

In order to join at Stage 2, it is essential that everyone attending is well versed in our approach to hypnosis – which for many previously trained hypnotherapists may either seem very commonsensical or might seem like a radical departure from the traditional concept of hypnosis as ‘trance’.

We teach a non-state model of hypnosis that understands hypnosis not as something that is done mechanically to the client, but rather as an act that the client engages in (focusing and using their imagination) to bring about a very responsive mind-set. This “responsive mind-set” is what makes the client’s responses “hypnotic”. However this is not a “trance” but a set of normal psychological factors brought together in a particular and enhanced way. This approach fundamentally sees hypnosis as being self-hypnosis, as it something the client is doing (even though to begin with they need help with that).

Hypnosis is made up of normal psychological factors being used in a special, focused way – and doesn’t need to be explained by “trance”.

This approach is based on extensive experimental and clinical research. It has important practical implications; moreover it frees us from the concept of “induced trance” and allows us to easily integrate hypnosis with cognitive behavioural therapy. (Because hypnosis-as-trance is not theoretically compatible with the cognitive behavioural approach to therapy).

For some previously trained therapists this requires a major reconsideration of a lot of what they have been taught about hypnosis – therefore we require that everyone joining at Stage 2 via the Accredited Prior Learning Route (i.e. as previously trained, registered hypnotherapist) commit to reading and watching some videos prior to the Stage 2 course, in order to be “up to speed” and comfortable with the model of hypnosis that we use throughout the course.

This is to ensure that they are optimally prepared to have best training experience (rather than disagreeing or experiencing a lot of friction with our approach to hypnosis) – AND also to ensure they are not holding back the group by asking questions that were covered and fully answered in Stage 1.

Stage 2 & Stage 3 are based primarily on the book The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (2012) by Donald Robertson. This book brings together information on CBT, cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis and experimental and clinical research on hypnosis, with material drawn from over a decade of experience teaching in this area.

The pre-course reading assignment for those applying to join at Stage 2 are the first three chapters of The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

There is a considerable shift for many hypnotherapists in adopting the cognitive-behavioural model – therefore in this course there is some considerable focus and group discussion on the theoretical models AND practical implications of the cognitive-behavioural model of hypnosis.

Essentially, this is a highly focused training on how to assess clients and conceptualise their issues within a cognitive-behavioural framework – and then design and deliver treatment plans in that model.

Recommended reading

  • The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (2012) by Donald J. Robertson
  • Cognitive Hypnotherapy: An Integrated Approach to the Treatment of Emotional Disorders (2008) by Assen Alladin
  • Harland’s Medical & Dental Hypnosis: Fourth Edition (2001) by Michael Heap & Kottiyattil K. Aravind
  • Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach (2006) by Steven Jay Lynn and Irvine Kirsch