Recently some studies have been influenced by an evolutionary psychology perspective. This includes studies on testosterone changes in sports which at least for males are similar to those in status conflicts in non-human primates with testosterone levels increasing and decreasing as an individual's status changes. A decreased testosterone level may decrease dominant and competitive behaviors which when the status conflicts involved fighting may have been important for preventing physical injury to the loser as further competition is avoided. Testosterone levels also increase before sports competitions, in particular if the event is perceived as real challenge as compared to not being important. Testosterone may also be involved in the home advantage effect which has similarities to animal defense of their home territory. In some sports there is a marked overrepresentation of left-handedness which has similarities to left-handed likely having an advantage in close combat which may have evolutionary explanations.
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In 2003, the American Psychological Association (APA) officially recognized sports psychology as a specialized area, or proficiency, in psychology, with the goal of providing uniformity to the development and practice of sports psychology. Several key elements were identified, including the specific knowledge needed in order to be considered specialized in sports psychology; the groups of people that would benefit from this specialty; and the problems or issues addressed through its practice.
Therefore, a hypnotherapist can provide you with more positive suggestions that “stick.” In other words, you’re setting up roadblocks for the automatic, top-down processes that are keeping the addiction in place. So when you experience a smoking trigger, the mind doesn’t automatically react – it slows down and “listens” to this new information you’ve provided.
A study of 286 smokers compared the effectiveness of hypnosis versus behavioral counseling when both interventions were combined with nicotine patches. At 6 months, 26% of the participants in the hypnosis group were abstinent compared with 18% of the behavioral group. At 12 months, the abstinence rate was 20% for the hypnosis group compared to 14% for the behavioral group. It was concluded that, for long-term quit rates, hypnosis compares favorably to standard behavioral counseling when used with nicotine patches.
In 2002, the Department for Education and Skills developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy linked to National Vocational Qualifications based on the then National Qualifications Framework under the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. NCFE, a national awarding body, issues level four national vocational qualification diploma in hypnotherapy. Currently AIM Awards offers a Level 3 Certificate in Hypnotherapy and Counselling Skills at level 3 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework.
Imagery (or motor imagery) can be defined as using multiple senses to create or recreate experiences in one's mind. Additionally, the more vivid images are, the more likely they are to be interpreted by the brain as identical to the actual event, which increases the effectiveness of mental practice with imagery. Good imagery, therefore, attempts to create as lifelike an image as possible through the use of multiple senses (e.g., sight, smell, kinesthetic), proper timing, perspective, and accurate portrayal of the task. Both anecdotal evidence from athletes and research findings suggest imagery is an effective tool to enhance performance and psychological states relevant to performance (e.g., confidence). This is a concept commonly used by coaches and athletes the day before an event.
In a hypnotherapy session, after identifying client goals for the session and reviewing how the session will proceed, the practitioner will use guided imagery and soothing speech to help the person to feel relaxed and safe. When the recipient of hypnosis has achieved a more receptive state, the practitioner will provide suggestions that could help the person reach his or her goals. The person in the trancelike state remains aware and is usually able to return to a more alert state independently once the session is over. Some people find that just one hypnotherapy session is sufficient, and others may attend several sessions.
It is used for a wide variety of applications, and studies into its efficacy are often of poor quality which makes it difficult to determine efficacy. Several recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the literature on various conditions have concluded that the efficacy of hypnotherapy is "not verified", that there is no evidence or insufficient evidence for efficacy.