Tips about Hypnosis by the Lake

As my work with hypnosis progressed it became clear that I would benefit from finding a mentor with whom I could review my progress on a regular basis.  A number of individuals recommended that I look up Dr. Ellen Cook-Jacobsen, a psychiatrist who used hypnosis at my Medical Center until her retirement several years beforehand.  I called Dr. Jacobsen, and she kindly invited me to her house, next to a beautiful lake in Cazenovia, New York, to discuss the use of hypnosis.


During several meetings Dr. Jacobsen taught me to be careful with the words I use when I help a patient become hypnotized because a patient can be very literal.  She taught me that I could become a better facilitator of hypnosis by closely observing a patient’s reactions before, during, and after a hypnosis experience.  She encouraged me to “keep things simple.”  For example, Dr. Jacobsen cautioned me that my assumptions regarding the subconscious and how hypnosis works might complicate the usefulness of hypnosis for some patients.


Dr. Jacobsen encouraged me to enroll in an hypnosis workshop: A three to four day intensive experience conducted by different societies of hypnosis, at which participants hear lectures, are shown videos, and participate in small group discussions in hypnosis exercises.  Therefore, half a year after I had been using hypnosis I attended my first workshop sponsored by The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.  At that workshop I learned that my road to hypnosis was an unusual one in that most practitioners of hypnosis attended workshops before using it.  I also noted that most of the participants in the workshops were social workers, nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists.  There were very few physicians who were not psychiatrists.  In a way, I was glad I had learned hypnosis in the way I did because it allowed me the freedom to explore this phenomenon in my own way.  Further, I realized that since there are few physicians using hypnosis in their regular medical practice that I would need to continue to find my own way with hypnosis for many of my patients.

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