- Individual Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis
- Consultation to Professionals
- Training Workshops for Professional Groups and Agencies
- Consultation to Agencies
The previous pages have outlined some of the areas of mind-body functioning in which clinical hypnosis is often helpful. As mentioned there, I am very interested in using hypnosis to manage anxieties and fears, stress, unwanted habits, insomnia, pain, chronic illness, and low self-esteem. The Case Studies section of this site will give you a preliminary idea of some specific problems which can be improved with hypnosis. Described in the next few paragraphs are Individual Therapeutic Services, Consultation Services, and Training Workshops also provided by my practice.
INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOTHERAPY AND
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis states that hypnosis is not, in itself, a specific kind of psychotherapy. Rather, it is a way of assisting people in accessing the hidden power of their own minds in order to facilitate therapy. In fact, many different therapeutic techniques may be utilized within a brief series of hypnotic experiences. That is why it is often said that psychologists do not treat a person with hypnosis, but in hypnosis!
Individual Psychotherapy consultations are scheduled privately for 45 to 60 minutes. In the first interview a brief history is taken, and examples of the problem are described. Specific hypnotically-based solutions can then be developed. The expected changes in behavior and/or experience are formulated, and steps towards the desired outcome are noted in detail. Implementation is then scheduled at the client’s convenience. For most problems, one to four sessions are sufficient to produce significant change.
TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR
PROFESSIONAL GROUPS AND AGENCIES
Hospitals, Clinics, Mental Health Agencies, Social Service Offices, and others often want to stimulate their professional employees. Whether it is simply to become aware of the power of newer brief treatments, such as hypnosis; to learn more about the applications of hypnosis in the broad range of human problems such as dissociation and self-mutilation; or to receive clinical training in specific disorders related to psychological trauma, my background and experience can be helpful. I have lectured and presented workshops locally and regionally for a number of years. In the last three or four years, I have presented nationally, and, in 1999, internationally (see Presentations in about Dr. Burbridge). A few of the workshop designs are outlined below; others can be created to meet the precise needs of your agency or group. (See the Testimonials section for reactions from some of my workshop attendees.)
Each of these talks, lectures, and workshops can be combined and arranged in formats ranging from 1.5 hours, to half-day with one ten-minute break, to full-day experiences. Presentations are interactive lectures, with spontaneous questions taken throughout. Communication of information is supported by 35mm slides presented in Powerpoint, as well as both color 35mm slides of patient drawings and videotape of patient interviews. Previous audiences have been stunned and excited by the power of these visual materials, the raw emotional energy of which commands immediate attention and respect. Click on the images below to view sample drawings.
Many agencies are curious about newer techniques, but don’t know where to begin seeking information. For those who would like to stimulate their professional staff in alternative approaches, this workshop provides a professionally focused general overview of clinical hypnosis, and its application in: 1) anxiety and stress reduction, 2) pain management, 3) fear and phobias, and 4) complex post-traumatic problems. Methods include a combination of lecture, 35mm slides, videotape, and interactive discussion.
Physical and Psychological Trauma
Trauma is becoming a most talked-about area of health practice. This is due, at least in part, to the many adaptations that human beings can make in order to survive a traumatic event. When these events are repeated, especially by supposed caretakers, we refer to them as abuse, and their ramifications are often felt for a lifetime. This workshop provides a conceptual overview of psychological trauma and abuse, supplemented by 35mm slides. It includes the major post-traumatic adaptations and treatment approaches, and can be combined with the workshops described below in many configurations. Format is interactive lecture, color slides, and videotape.
Since dissociation is among the most common responses that human beings make to traumatic experience, knowledge of it is essential in diagnosis and treatment. Most clinicians have only the vaguest idea of what a dissociating person actually looks like, or what their inner experience feels like. Based upon hundreds of patient interviews, this presentation uses drawings, journal entries and videotape to: 1) show the adaptive power of dissociative experience in patients’ lives, 2) make dissociative behavior literally visible and recognizable to staff, 3) reveal what dissociative experience is like for patients, and 4) sketch a method that can be used to diagnose dissociation. After this presentation, clinical staff will know what to look for in their dissociating clients, and how they feel while doing it.
A frequent consequence of the chronic dissociative experiences that trap our clients is self-cutting, or other forms of self-injury. Mental health workers often hear of self-mutilating behavior from their patients, hoping against hope that they can get them to stop it. This presentation uses videotape, journal entries, and color drawings to reveal: 1) exactly what self-mutilation is like from the patient’s point of view; 2) what important relief it gives to them; 3)when self-mutilation is painful, and when it is not; 4) significant differences between self-mutilation and suicidal behavior; 5) the many meanings of “safety” for these patients, and what works and doesn”t work with “behavioral contracts” as described by patients themselves; and 6) an example of the use of clinical hypnosis to improve control in self-mutilation. The video and drawings are explicit and powerful, commanding instant attention and respect from the viewer.
Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder
Once thought to be a rare diagnosis, DID or MPD patients are making their treatment needs known more and more frequently in both public and private mental health settings. The mystery is compounded because of the amount of professional “doubt” about the “reality” of this diagnosis! Once again using videotape and drawings produced by patients, this workshop allows this complicated disorder to literally become visible. Staff will learn: 1) what the experience of a DID patient is like, especially their post-traumatic suffering; 2) what DID patients, and the “alter personalities” look like; 3) what “hidden communications” are, and why conventional diagnostic instruments aren’t usually helpful in DID; and 4) an overview of approaches to psychotherapy.
Mental health systems and schools are repeatedly confronted with the most difficult and hard-to-manage clients. Many of these persons have a wide array of co-morbid diagnoses, are repeatedly admitted to inpatient services, and foster tremendous negativity in line staff who are frustrated by intense self-destructive behavior. Often these patients are survivors of psychological trauma whose lifelong adaptations are failing. Alcohol and drug abuse, as well as extreme difficulty in affect-regulation, complete the picture. In addition to the training workshops previously described, on-site consultations in a case-discussion format are often helpful in redirecting clinical staff energy. Moreover, in select cases, brief hypnotic consultation directly with the patient, with the referring therapist present, can often be of great benefit in creating safety and sustaining calm feelings.