A review of the literature indicates that the consensus of opinion is not, in fact, strongly opposed to the use of hypnosis in the treatment of depression. Commentators vary, however, in their readiness to accept the use of hypnosis unconditionally . Yapko (1992) advocates a broad-based acceptance: 'As for the specific contraindications to the use of hypnosis, it may seem a bold statement to make, but I am aware of no such contraindications' (p. 186). Clarke &
International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis. Edited by G. D. Burrows, R. O. Stanley and P. B. Bloom © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Jackson (1983) adopt a similar viewpoint, suggesting that the notion that hypnosis has no place in the treatment of depression is a 'bit of clinical folklore'. Miller (1984) produces a chapter on the application of hypnosis to the treatment of depression without questioning the appropriateness of this approach. Crasilneck & Hall (1985) advocate a more conservative view, listing some contraindications but concluding that 'while hypnosis can be used in treating depression, we strongly advise that such use be only by therapists adequately grounded in psychodynamics; even then it should be used with caution and care' (p. 324).
Given that significant differences exist between respected authors in the area, what accounts for this variation?
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Hypnosis is a capital instrument for relaxation and alleviating stress. It helps calm down both the brain and body, giving a useful rest. All the same it can be rather costly to hire a clinical hypnotherapist, and we might not always want one around when we would like to destress.