Counselling and Clinical Hypnosis
Supportive counselling and providing advice on matters of physical and psychological health are part and parcel of most medical visits. As pain physicians we often advise patients on general health measures, provide advice on nutrition, supplements, and ways of improving sleep as part of our holistic approach to pain-reduction and optimal health. Unfortunately, unlike other provinces, BC does not cover extended counselling, psychotherapy, or hypnosis by family physicians, so if an extended appointment is made specifically for counselling then the appointment is charged-for privately.
Clinical hypnosis is the use of hypnosis by a trained professional in order to assist a client or patient to make the changes they wish to make in order to relieve physical pain or emotional distress, change habits or behaviours, or improve skills or performance (generative change) or to obtain new perspectives. It can be combined with various other types of counselling such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or energy psychology techniques. It can also be used as a type of procedural anaesthesia to reduce discomfort during dental or medical treatments or childbirth.
In our office Clinical Hypnosis is used by Dr. David Bowler to reduce discomfort during procedures, to manage or eliminate chronic pain that has not responded to conventional measures, or to treat phobias or anxiety.
Clinical hypnosis is about helping you take control of those parts of your life that don’t have to be out of control any more. Patients experience clinical hypnosis as a pleasant, relaxing, and conversational process while sitting or reclining comfortably. They remain aware of their surroundings and are free to move or adjust posture if needed to feel even more comfortable. In this process your mind will be active and alert the entire time. You’ll hear what is said, and remember as much as you would from any normal conversation. You will be encouraged to use your imagination and to find resources within yourself of which you may not have been previously aware.
You can read more about clinical hypnosis on his blog where a series of entries is planned, in particular the entry, based on the work Dr. Milton Erickson, dispelling myths about clinical hypnosis. Dr. David Bowler also has a new website where you can read more about stress illness recovery and clinical hypnosis.
The Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Division) also has an informative website where you can learn more if you have questions or would like to read about the scientific evidence.