Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. -- Tim Brunson, PhD

Psychodermatological disorders: recognition and treatment.



Many dermatological disorders have a psychosomatic or behavioral aspect. Skin and brain continually interact through psychoneuroimmunoendocrine mechanisms and through behaviors that can strongly affect the initiation or flaring of skin disorders. It is important to consider these mind-body interactions when planning treatments for specific skin disorders in individual patients. Mind-influencing therapeutic options that can enhance treatment of skin disorders include standard psychotropic drugs, alternative herbs and supplements, the placebo effect, suggestion, cognitive-behavioral methods, biofeedback, and hypnosis. When individual measures do not produce the desired results, combinations of drugs or addition of non-drug therapies may be more successful. Psychophysiological skin disorders may respond well to non-drug and drug therapies that counteract stress. Treatment of primary psychiatric disorders often results in improvement of associated skin disorders. Psychiatric disorders secondary to skin disorders may also require treatment. Therapeutic options for each of these are discussed.

© 2011 The International Society of Dermatology.

Int J Dermatol. 2011 Nov;50(11):1309-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05096.x. Shenefelt PD. Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. pshenefe@health.usf.edu

Psychocutaneous hypnoanalysis.



Many skin disorders have a significant psychosomatic component. Focused history-taking coupled with hypnoanalysis using ideomotor finger signals to detect positive responses to one or more of 7 common triggering or exacerbating factors permits systematic diagnosis of the presence or absence of a significant psychosomatic component. If no factor is positive, a psychosomatic component to the skin disorder can likely be excluded. If one or two of the 7 factors are positive and it is possible to identify the initiating event, treatment by reframing with suggestions in hypnosis may succeed in defusing the associated negative emotional impact associated with the psychosomatic component of the skin disorder. This may be sufficient to uproot and weed out the problem. However, if a multiple of the 7 factors are positive as in the included case report, referral to an appropriate psychotherapist is recommended.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2007 Oct;50(2):131-6. Shenefelt PD. Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA. pshenefe@health.usf.edu

Hypnotic approaches for alopecia areata.



Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease leading to loss of scalp hairs. The disease seems triggered by stress. Data on the possibility of using hypnotherapy in the treatment of AA are very limited. Twenty-eight patients with extensive AA, all refractory to previous conventional treatment, were treated with hypnosis at the Academic Hospital UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. This paper describes in detail the authors' hypnotherapeutic approach combining symptom-oriented suggestions with suggestions to improve self-esteem. Twelve out of 21 patients, including 4 with total loss of scalp hair, presented a significant hair growth. All patients presented a significant decrease in scores for anxiety and depression. Although the exact mechanism of hypnotic interventions has not been elucidated, the authors' results demonstrate that hypnotic interventions may ameliorate the clinical outcome of patients with AA and may improve their psychological well-being.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2008 Jul;56(3):318-33. Academic Hospital UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. Willemsen R, Vanderlinden J.

Nonpharmacologic management of common skin and psychocutaneous disorders.



Data supporting the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic psychocutaneous techniques continues to accumulate. These interventions are used for the treatment of common and psychocutaneous skin conditions. They are most commonly used as adjuncts to traditional therapies. This article will review the data on the effectiveness of hypnosis, biofeedback, psychotherapy, meditation, support groups, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation, and psychotherapy. Data supporting the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic psychocutaneous techniques continues to accumulate. These interventions are used for the treatment of common and psychocutaneous skin conditions. They are most commonly used as adjuncts to traditional therapies. This article will review the data on the effectiveness of hypnosis, biofeedback, psychotherapy, meditation, support groups, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation, and psychotherapy.

Dermatol Ther. 2008 Jan-Feb;21(1):60-8. Fried RG, Hussain SH. Yardley Dermatology and Yardley Skin Enhancement and Wellness Center, Yardley, Pennsylvania, USA. dermshrink@aol.com

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