The future lies continously in the womb of the present. In every "today" one of the critical factors on which the configuration at any given conjuncture is the creativity of the intellectual and managerial élite. This creativity is to a great extent dependent on the fluidity of unconscious associative processes. These, in their turn, are decisively influenced by affective factors in the widest sense.
In 1977 the American Psychiatric Association called for a critical examination of the clinical effectiveness of meditation. The author provides a review of the literature bearing on clinical and physiological comparisons of meditation with other self-control strategies. He begins by providing a definition of mediation and then cites the literature comparing mediation with such self-regulation strategies as biofeedback, hypnosis, and progressive relaxation.
For this Presidential Address, I accepted the challenge to discuss my perception of the future directions of hypnotherapy. I believe that the next decade will bring increased attention to the mind/body relationship and how hypnosis can be most effectively employed in this area. As an oncologist, one of the most exciting areas of current research is in psychoneuroimmunology. The role of communication in the practice of the health sciences is receiving more emphasis.
We predicted the future of hypnosis for the next 10 years using the Delphi method--the best available forecasting tool. A panel of 89 experts in the field of hypnosis completed a 44-item questionnaire that addressed future developments in these areas: (1) training and preparation, (2) general applications of hypnosis, (3) theory, and (4) research. Also predicted was the likelihood of occurrence of certain cogent events in the field. Results indicated probable increases in emphasis in nearly all areas surveyed.
In summary, consumers desire health care professionals with interpersonal communication skills; with ability to interpret nonverbal communication or body language beyond gross facial gestures; and with effective questioning techniques for taking family histories quickly and accurately yet uncovering some client feelings and life-style difficulties in the process.
The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Hypnotic analgesia has occupied a pivotal place in experimental and clinical hypnosis. It emerged early in the 19th century when effective clinical techniques for pain management had not yet developed, and the relief of pain and suffering had not even become a well-defined social goal. Its acceptance was further complicated by political struggles surrounding the humanitarian transformation of medicine during this era as well as a redefinition of the physician-patient relationship that wrested control from the patient.
During the past 40 years, there has been increased interest in clinical hypnosis among qualified health care professionals. However, training programs in the past have been quite variable. This has led to the identification of a need for an accepted standard curriculum in clinical hypnosis. The present research surveyed professionals regarding qualifications and training in clinical hypnosis. The continued growth of clinical hypnosis among professionals may ultimately rest upon the development of an educational standard that integrates clinical skills and knowledge from research.