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According to Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus, speaking for Psychology Today, hypnosis is a “genuine psychological phenomenon that has valid uses in clinical practice … hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention or concentration, often associated with relaxation, and heightened suggestibility. While under hypnosis (i.e., in a hypnotic trance), it seems many people are much more open to helpful suggestions than they usually are.” The suggestions made in a therapeutic setting get deep into a person’s brain, beyond their conscious thinking, leading to behavior change and the ability to overcome challenges that might otherwise seem insurmountable.
This might be a pretty good time to pause and call bullshit, particularly since, during the demonstration in the library, that's exactly what I was thinking myself. Hall himself tried a little of both techniques, telling us that we were ready to stop smoking, that this was something we wanted, but also told us horror stories about smoking. Not of cancer, which can be easy to ignore until it's too late, but of his trips to tobacco farms, where he'd seen all manner of disgusting things—rats and tree frogs and pesticides and pigeon shit falling into a tobacco shredder and so on. You're smoking tree frogs and pesticide, he said. To be honest, that didn't sound much worse than what I always sort of assumed I was smoking.
Sports psychologists in the U.S. comprise a niche within a broad category that also includes social and forensic psychologists, among other less populated specialties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sports psychologists are expected to grow in number by 11% nationwide from 2012 to 2022. This category of psychologists can expect to see approximately 1,400 new jobs by 2022, according to BLS projections.
I might be biased, but I do believe that the best sport psychology candidates are those who have partaken in an elite sport or performance domain (like competitive dance or professional music). I am a firm believer in the sport psychology consultant using their as-lived, phenomenological experience from their own sporting experience to really relate to and provide hands-on tools to the athlete. Kind of like a ‘been-there-done-that’ phenomenon: the consultant has already been there themselves, so they have a better understanding of what tool will make the difference with the athlete/high performer. This is not to say that you have to have been an elite athlete/performer to be an expert sport psychologist, I just happen to think those that have competed in an elite sport or its equivalent have a leg up.
Hypnosis is not a psychotherapeutic treatment or a form of psychotherapy, but rather a tool or procedure that helps facilitate various types of therapies and medical or psychological treatments. Only trained health care providers certified in clinical hypnosis can decide, with their patient, if hypnosis should be used along with other treatments. As with psychotherapy, the length of hypnosis treatment varies, depending on the complexity of the problem.