“When Words Falter: What Hypnotic-related Techniques Can Do for Talk Therapy”
Gerard Sunnen, MD
As Freud said, “the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego.” Modern psychotherapies rely mostly on verbal transactions. Yet contemporary understandings of the brain and its greater nervous system indicate that many psychological functions involve non-verbal, psychodynamic dimensions. Judicious use of nonverbal techniques within psychotherapy, for example, can successfully appease psychosomatic over-reactivity, as found in anxiety disorders. They can also be recruited to trans-fer psychological insights into transformational action, thus helping to bridge psychoanalysis’ still mysterious gap named “working through.”
Within psychotherapy’s context, there are, at times, opportunities to utilize mind-body techniques that will ease, facilitate, and accelerate personal transformation in the interest of overall well-being.
A demonstration of Autogenic Training (AT) which is a desensitization-relaxation technique will be used for experiential audience participation. AT, an effective therapist-friendly technique, is widely used in Europe but less well-known in the U.S.
Meditative therapies, relaxation training, hypnosis and self-hypnosis, mental imagery, yogic therapies and Autogenic Training, among others, all invite a spectrum of nervous system dimensions to actively participate in personal development. This workshop will address the mind-body therapies that are most appropriate for var-ious issues. Below are recommended readings:
Tummo meditation versus Autogenic Training: Visceral nervous system self-regulation, East and West, and implications for integrative psychotherapy
Hypnosis and Meditation as States of Heightened Brain Plasticity: Seven Pathways to Higher Nervous System Function
“What is Hypnosis?”
Dr. Gerard Sunnen was named official psychiatrist for the French Consulate and Embassy in 1980 and was appointed Associate Clinical Professor of New York University-Bellevue Medical Center in 1987. He is the co-founder and honorary president of the International Association of Emergency Psychiatry (IAEP), a transcultural organization of mental health professionals seeking to develop emergency global psychiatric services.
For many years he has applied medical hypnotherapy to the treatment of pain control, pre-operative prep, anxiety, addiction, depression as well as in the service of self-discovery. Dr. Sunnen maintains a private practice in NYC.
*This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.
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