With the emphasis on sports and exercise in society, it’s no wonder that sports psychology is a growing specialty within the broader field psychology. Sports psychologists examine the interrelation between human psychology and athletic performance, applying their skills and knowledge to enhance performance and maximize the benefits of physical activity.
Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes.
“You seem like exactly the type of person hypnosis would not work on,” a friend told me when I mentioned I was going to try it, implying I'm too skeptical and set in my ways to be open to something like this. Still, there I was, ready to see what would happen. Hall's voice worked a strange alchemy on me in the library, and I drifted off into what seemed like a state of intense relaxation. I could've fallen asleep easily. I didn't even pull out my phone and refresh Twitter for a whole half hour.
Companies have a very tough time dealing with workaholics like Mansfield. Such individuals tend to sacrifice social and avocational pursuits in favor of work, and businesses value their productivity. It’s hard to realize that these people have struck a Faustian bargain: trading success for “a life.” Mansfield became a workaholic because she harbored a tremendous fear of intimacy. Although she was young, attractive, and likable, her parents’ divorce and her mother’s subsequent emotional suffering (communicated to Mansfield as “all men are bastards”) left her fearful of forming intimate relationships with men. Those were easy for her to avoid when she managed discrete projects by putting in 80-hour work-weeks. But Mansfield could no longer do so when she became the manager of 11 professionals, seven of whom were men. For the first time in her career, males were showering her with attention, and the consequences were extremely disruptive.
Although hypnotherapy can seem strange, perhaps even implausible, it is regarded as potentially effective in treating a variety of ailments, particularly phobias, addictions, and problematic habits. Hypnosis may also be used to help patients cope with stress, smoking cessation, and chronic pain, and some women even opt to use hypnosis to manage the pain of childbirth. In patients with trauma-related conditions such as posttraumatic stress (PTSD), therapists may attempt to talk to clients about their traumatic memories under hypnosis.
While there as many different hypnosis techniques as there are brands of cigarettes, a typical program will usually begin with a phone consultation, followed by an in-person session where the client is walked through breathing and visualization exercises and then “induced” into a “trance” — which is essentially a state of extreme relaxation. Once the patient is in the trance, and his “suggestibility” is maximized, the practitioner makes statements (“I am uninterested in cigarettes” or “I hate the smell of smoke on my clothing”) that will hopefully take root and change the client’s behavior. Then the client is “awakened,” or brought out of the hypnotic state. In short, a hypnotherapist verbally guides a client to a hyper-responsive, hyper-attentive state in which the patient’s subconscious mind (the part that tells them that smoking is cool and totally worth it) is in its most persuadable state, and then replaces the harmful or unwanted thoughts with positive, healthy ones.
A combination of physical education and psychology is essential for starting a sport psychology career. Some colleges and universities might offer sport psychology bachelor degree programs, which includes a blend of psychology courses and physical education courses. A sport psychology career, however, can also usually be started with a bachelor's degree in general psychology. A few aspiring sport psychologists, however, may even be able to begin their careers with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
There are varying theories throughout both the medical and psychological arenas as to how the process of hypnosis works. Some experts believe that people who practice hypnosis effectively are predisposed to this therapy or have developed enhanced cognitive and interpersonal abilities that allow them to respond accordingly to hypnotic cues and conditions. Recent studies have shown that this form of communication actually alters elements of a person’s neurological and physiological mechanisms.
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.