Hypnosis might not be appropriate for a person who has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, or for someone who is using drugs or alcohol. It should be used for pain control only after a doctor has evaluated the person for any physical disorder that might require medical or surgical treatment. Hypnosis also may be a less effective form of therapy than other more traditional treatments, such as medication, for psychiatric disorders.


The BLS reports that the job outlook is best for sports psychologists with a doctoral degree in their specialty. Positions for potential psychologists with master's degrees are limited and candidates may face intense competition for the available jobs. Sports psychologists with master's degrees may expect to work as assistant counselors or in research positions, directly supervised by licensed psychologists. Time spent volunteering with sports teams or interning under the supervision of sport and exercise psychology professionals may also be helpful in obtaining full-time positions.
Not all CEOs experience transference. Even so, coaches can easily expand their influence—from training to all-purpose advising—because CEOs don’t like to lose face. Company leaders understand what coaches do and often feel personally responsible for selecting them. As a result, they feel more accountable for their coaches’ successes or failures than they would if a psychotherapist were assigned to the case. In the same vein, when the CEO personally endorses a business plan, a number of psychological factors conspire to make it difficult to abandon that plan. Garvin was confronted with that situation when he authorized systemwide use of Nelson’s personnel development procedures.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the agency responsible for the laws relevant to the Privacy Rule that is part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). An athlete’s mental health conditions and treatment are protected health information under HIPAA and not considered part of an athlete’s employment record. The stigma associated with mental health has historically been a barrier to many athletes openly discussing mental health concerns and seeking treatment.
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Hypnosis can be a highly effective form of treatment for many mental, psychosomatic, and physical disorders. Hypnosis is a trance state in which the hypnotized person is in a heightened, more receptive state of mind. During hypnosis, the patient is not unconscious, does not lose control of his or her faculties, and does not do things under hypnosis that he or she would be unwilling to do otherwise.
My misgivings about executive coaching are not a clarion call for psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, in particular, does not—and never will—suit everybody. Nor is it up to corporate leaders to ensure that all employees deal with their personal demons. My goal, as someone with a doctorate in psychology who also serves as an executive coach, is to heighten awareness of the difference between a “problem executive” who can be trained to function effectively and an “executive with a problem” who can best be helped by psychotherapy.
The higher up you go in companies, the more you’re dealing with psychological and relational issues. Successful CEO leadership requires astuteness about others: their emotional and strategic personal drivers; their self-interest, overt and covert. These relationship competencies rest on a foundation of self-knowledge, self-awareness. And you can’t know the truth about another without knowing it about yourself.
“With hypnosis, you might help someone stop smoking by suggesting the taste or smell of cigarettes is worse than it actually is. But a hypnotherapist can also use age regression to examine the impulse that fuels the client’s habit and discover old conclusions and behaviors. The healing will take place when the client creates new conclusions about old memories and chooses new behaviors rather than smoking.”
All successful people eventually hit walls in their careers and personal lives. The skills and traits that once brought them success no longer serve them well under new circumstances. Regardless of whether they are being promoted or have suffered a major professional setback. they need to adapt quickly and pivot into an entirely new role for which they may be woefully unprepared. That new role might involve staying with the same employer, or it might require a major transition to an entirely different line of work.

McNulty’s mandate was to shadow Mirabella 24/7 for as long as needed to ensure that he would grow into his position. From the start of their relationship, McNulty and Mirabella had two private meetings a day during which McNulty analyzed Mirabella’s behavior and role-played effective styles for mastering interpersonal situations that Mirabella did not handle well. True to his jock background, McNulty reacted to Mirabella’s avowals of ineptitude and anxiety with exhortations. “Quitters never win, and winners never quit” was a favorite comment of his, but at times McNulty would also chide Mirabella for being a “weakling” who needed to “act like a man” to deal with the demands of his preordained role within the company.
Coleman Griffith made numerous contributions to the field of sport psychology, but most notable was his belief that field studies (such as athlete and coach interviews) could provide a more thorough understanding of how psychological principles play out in competitive situations. Griffith devoted himself to rigorous research, and also published for both applied and academic audiences, noting that the applicability of sport psychology research was equally important with the generation of knowledge. Finally, Griffith recognized that sport psychology promoted performance enhancement and personal growth.
While the science might not fall in favor of hypnosis’ effects, the experiences of Margaret and Jonathan speak loudly to its potential. What’s important is that those considering hypnosis perform some due diligence. Becoming a hypnotherapist isn’t like becoming a doctor where there’s a set curriculum and a series of nationally recognized qualification tests; rather there are variety of ways to become “certified,” ranging from traditional schools to online courses. One of the most respected certification-givers is the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. McGrail cautions that hypnotherapy isn’t regulated in California or most other states. “There are a lot of people that call themselves certified that are not well-trained or competent,” he says. “While they can’t do any harm, they won’t do any good. Do your homework.”

Sometimes I think of a story for a teaching example later, and I’m unable to contact the client for permission. In these situations, I change identifying details. This can be tricky, because simply omitting the name, time, and place of the event you’re describing is not enough to ensure that someone who knows the client well would not recognize the story. Certain details, like a unique physical trait combined with a sport or interest could be enough to identify the client. Therefore, I change those types of details as well.
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.
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