A Book Review by Judith E. Pearson, PhD
Dabney Ewin, a physician and hypnotherapist, intended 101 Things I Wish I/D Known When I Started Using Hypnosis to be a small, simple book: easy to read and understand. And it is. Ewin is a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Psychiatry at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana. With a strong affinity for psychosomatic medicine, he began teaching and using medical hypnosis in 1970. Today he is a leading expert in medical hypnotherapy. His book is a compilation of observations for practitioners.
Ewin's 101 Things are arranged in five categories:
- The connotations of words in hypnosis; why hypnotherapists should avoid certain words.
- Suggestions for smoking cessation. Instead of "ex-smoker" or "non-smoker" he recommends the phrase "normal person". After all, it's abnormal to derive pleasure from inhaling deadly substances!
- Helpful hints for pain management.
- Useful, but little known hypnotic techniques.
- Miscellaneous pearls of wisdom.
The book's most unique feature is a physician's view of medical hypnosis. Ewin enlightens readers on the placebo/nocebo effect, hypnoanalysis, trauma, pain, belief, laughter, prayer, suggestion, and ideomotor signals. Did you know, for instance that a surge of adrenalin creates a moment of maximum suggestibility? For this reason, anyone treating a patient in crises or fear should take care with what to say.
Even seasoned hypnotherapists will learn something of value from this small book. I like it. I plan to read it again, reading one "thing" daily as a "thought for the day," rather than take in the entire book at a single setting. I recommend you do the same.
Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D., is a Licensed Professional Counselor, free-lance writer, hypnotherapist, and NLP Trainer/Practitioner with a private practice in Springfield, Virginia. She is Executive Director for the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. She has authored The Weight, Hypnotherapy, and You Weight Reduction Program: An NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioner's Manual. Her web site is www.EngageThePower.com.