Dr. Marian Shapiro is a psychologist practicing in Lexington, Massachusetts. Dr. Shapiro specializes in the treatment of health mental problems, and helps people to cope with their mental illnesses. As a psychologist, Dr. Shapiro evaluates and treats patients through a variety of methods, most typically being psychotherapy... more
Do you have frequent nightmares? Panic attacks? Debilitating phobias? Have you been told that you suffer from PTSD? These are all conditions that can be treated successfully with clinical hypnosis, whether by a psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker, or psychiatric nurse.
Hypnosis has been used as treatment at least since the time of the pyramids. In Egypt, more than 2000 years BCE, “temple sleep,” provided through incantation and trance, was a method of treatment for those who experienced suffering. In the mid-nineteenth century before the discovery of ether, physicians used hypnosis as an anesthetic during surgeries such as amputations, and in the early twentieth century, dentists used hypnosis during office tooth extractions. But with the advances in pain control and anesthesia, hypnosis became relegated to smoking cessation (now more commonly treated with drugs), weight loss, and most popularly, theatrical entertainment (making innocent bystanders quack like a duck onstage). Practitioners of medical hypnosis were – pardon the pun – reviled as quacks.
As a psychologist, I use hypnosis for the treatment of panic, phobia, some forms of depression, and some types of chronic pain, sleep disorders, stress, test/performance anxiety, and even anger management. My specialty, however, is the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from recent trauma, or from trauma occurring in childhood which continues to infuse an adult’s life with nightmares, fears, and debilitating limitations. When I first started practicing hypnosis, and succeeded in successfully interrupting a patient’s panic attacks and teaching her to do the same for herself, I was overjoyed that it had worked.
However, hypnosis doesn’t work for everything. The antibiotic that cures your infection will do nothing for your arthritic toe. It will not shorten the length of your cold, nor improve your eyesight. Nor will hypnosis. But you owe it to your body to look into hypnosis as a possible treatment for a myriad of issues, from acute burns to childbirth, to irritable bowel, to sexual dysfunction and more. Consult the website for ASCH (www.asch.net), and learn about the many areas in which hypnosis could be worth it for you. Their referral list will help you choose a practitioner in your area with appropriate training for a consultation.