October 20, 2017 - At the annual conference of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), Center faculty, current doctoral students, and alumni had a reunion dinner to reconnect and make new connections among the many generations that were in attendance. Pictured are (from left in front row): Dr. Robert Harmison (James Madison University), Dr. Nick Beck (private practice, Pensacola FL), and Karolina Wartolowicz (third year doctoral student); (from left in the back row): Carlie McGregor (third year doctoral student), Dr. Joey Raemaker (University of Notre Dame), Dr. Trent A. Petrie (UNT Center Director, Tess Palmateer (second year doctoral student), Andrew Walsh (first year doctoral student), Alan Chu (fifth year doctoral student), and Dr. Brian Yu (UC Davis).
In 1938, Griffith returned to the sporting world to serve as a sport psychologist consultant for the Chicago Cubs. Hired by Philip Wrigley for $1,500, Griffith examined a range of factors such as: ability, personality, leadership, skill learning, and social psychological factors related to performance. Griffith made rigorous analyses of players while also making suggestions for improving practice effectiveness. Griffith also made several recommendations to Mr. Wrigley, including a "psychology clinic" for managers, coaches, and senior players. Wrigley offered a full-time position as a sport psychologist to Griffith but he declined the offer to focus on his son's high school education.
Hypnosis is first and foremost a self-accepted journey away from the reality of the moment. Although the trance state is often referred to as if the patient is asleep, nothing could be further from the truth. The patient is fully awake at all times. The hypnotic subject is simply in a heightened, more receptive state of mind. This fact is proven with inductions called open-eye techniques, where the patient keeps his/her eyes open during the hypnotherapy. Full and deep trance is still achievable.
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Unfortunately, the managers and coaches did not take Griffith's recommendations seriously. Manager Charlie Grimm did not see a need for a psychologist as a consultant on a baseball team. Even though Griffith's recommendations were not taken seriously with the Cubs, he was still given the honor with the title of 'America's first sports psychologist' by University of Massachusetts professors Walter Kroll and Guy Lewis in 1970.
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.