Hypnosis for Pain

Online Course $395
Burce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP

To receive 16 CE Credits, purchase the online course, complete the course materials and pass the knowledge test.

Purchase Online Course (16 CE)

This course is intended for psychologists, professional hypnotherapists, mental health clinicians, physicians and other health care provider who may or may not be familiar with the applications of hypnosis in treating chronic pain. This course will provide you with a thorough introduction so that you can begin to use it in your practice for chronic pain management.

You will acquire a tool box of techniques for helping people get realistic pain relief. You will learn how to gather maximum information from a brief intake interview, to assess suitability for hypnosis for pain control, and how to develop individualized hypnotic strategies for taming pain. This course covers direct suggestion in hypnosis, pain transformation strategies, as well as hypnoanalysis techniques for uncovering and releasing emotional factors blocking lasting pain relief. You will learn effective ways of using hypnosis to reduce pain intensity when appropriate, and to alleviate unnecessary emotional suffering.

Dr. Bruce Eimer, the course author, is a board certified licensed clinical psychologist in Florida, a Fellow and of the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and a Certified Hypnotherapist and Master Hypnotherapy Instructor with the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association. Bruce has been helping chronic pain patients since 1985. He has written several well received published books on hypnosis for pain control. From 2011 until 2017, he was the Director of Pain Psychology at a large hospital pain center in Philadelphia. He has had his own successful hypnotherapy and psychotherapy practice since 1989. Dr. Eimer teaches Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy around the country. Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., ABPP is an Approved Sponsor with the American Psychological Association of continuing education credits for psychologists. Completion of this course will provide psychologists with 16 CE hours.

Dr. Bruce Eimer’s curriculum vitae [PDF]

Pain Control Hypnosis Research References [PDF]

Video Course Preview

Bonus Video – Dave Elman Induction (DEI)

When you purchase this online course, you will also get access to a new 38 minute video. In this video Dr. Eimer will be hypnotizing a patient with the Dave Elman Induction for pain control.

Continuing Education Credits

Psychologists who complete this homestudy course will be awarded 16 continuing education, credit hours, which are recognized by the APA and most state psychology licensing boards.

Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Bruce Eimer, Ph.D., LLC maintains responsibility for this Continuing Education program and its content.

To earn CE credit, you must:

  1. Purchase this home study course. When you purchase this course, you get full access to…
    • Over 12 hours of video teaching and all the course reading material.
    • The 200 plus page course manual which you can download as a pdf or read online.
    • The course knowledge test.
  2. At your own pace, you must view all the course videos.
  3. You must read all the course material.
  4. After completing all the course material (videos and readings), you must sign our attestation that you have completed all the required material.
  5. Then you must complete the course learning evaluation.
  6. Following that, you must take and pass the course knowledge test to evaluate your learning and understanding of the material covered in the course.
  7. Then you will be able to download your Certificate of Completion which acknowledges the 16 credit hours you have earned.

Learning Objectives

Objective #1. Explain two popular models of pain mechanisms.

Objective #2. Explain two principles of hypnotic analgesia.

Objective #3. Explain to a patient how hypnosis can help him gain greater control over his pain.

Objective #4. Contrast what hypnosis is and is not.

Objective #5. Explain how to elicit a patient’s “pain images”.

Objective #6. Explain how to help a pain patient create personalized “pain relief images”.

Objective #7. List and explain at least 6 of the “12 D’s” of pain coping strategies.

Objective #8. Select an appropriate hypnotic induction for patients with moderate to severe pain.

Objective #9. Explain how to utilize trance state suggestions once a patient is in hypnosis to help the patient experience pain relief.

Objective #10. Explain how to help a patient transform pain perceptions so they are less uncomfortable.

Objective #11. Describe a technique for dissociating and disconnecting from pain.

Objective #12. Describe how to teach a chronic pain patient self-hypnosis for pain management.

Objective #13. Describe how hypnotic regression with reframing can uncover and release psychogenic causes of persistent pain.

Objective #14. Explain the rationale and uses for using ideomotor finger signals.

Objective #15. Explain the rationale for using “Pain Parts Therapy”.

Diversity Statement

At HypnosisCE, we recognize and appreciate diversity and individual differences.

  • We promote fairness and equity.
  • We advocate and practice inclusion in our clinical work and teaching. 
  • As a psychologist and therapist, Dr. Eimer works with a broad range of patients, students, and health professionals. He strives to bring objectivity and impartiality to his work with everyone.
  • We do not tolerate any form of discrimination against people based on age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, or nationality.
  • We value individual differences and strive to empower everyone with whom we work by encouraging them to bring their authentic selves to therapy and to our courses where they will be respected and supported.
  • Chronic persistent pain does not discriminate. It can be equally brutal to everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or nationality.
  • We are equally persistent in our efforts to help all individuals in pain continue to learn better ways to tame their pain so they can live with less pain.

Recommended Texts

Eimer, B.N. and Freeman, A. (1998). Pain management psychotherapy: A Practical Guide. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Eimer, B. and Torem, M.S. (2002). Coping with uncertainty.  Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Ewin, D.M. and Eimer, B.N. (2006). Ideomotor signals for rapid hypnoanalysis: A how-to manual.  Springfield, IL: CC Thomas.

Zarren, J. and Eimer, B. (2002). Brief cognitive hypnosis: Facilitating the change of dysfunctional behavior.  New York: Springer Publishing.

A Philosophy and Strategies for Pain Management

The course presents a philosophy of pain management along with practical strategies for building pain tolerance and inoculating the patient against unnecessary pain, stress, and suffering. I have endeavored to provide plenty of realistic and useful advice for practitioners who are working with patients who have tried everything else with little prior success. As a clinical psychologist who has treated hundreds of people with various chronic-pain syndromes over the years, I’m familiar with being considered a “court of last resort.”

Realistic Pain Relief

Being that I am also a person with chronic pain due to a permanent injury, physical impairment, and a progressive disease, I myself have been through the gamut of treatments. I have experienced the frustrations of going from one health-care professional to the next with the hope of finding pain relief, only to be disappointed in the end. One of the things that I have discovered as a result of my personal and professional experiences is that every person must ultimately take responsibility for his own pain control, or he or she must expect to be disappointed in the end if he or she expects the proverbial “they” to take away the pain. Every person must ultimately take responsibility for his or her own behavior, feelings, thoughts, and experience. Pain is a behavior, a feeling, a thought, and an experience.

Taking responsibility for how one copes with pain constitutes a conscious choice. It is the person’s choice—it’s up to the patient how to handle it. Nobody but you (your patient) can cope with the pain. As will be discussed, for treatment to be successful and the results long-lasting, this personal responsibility issue is an important concept and philosophy for the patient to accept. This is an important issue to discuss with the patient at the beginning of treatment and throughout, as appropriate.

Explanation to the “Client” or “Patient”

Hypnosis provides a drug-free clinically proven self-help approach to get better control over chronic pain and recover your life.

If you have been to countless doctors and specialists unsuccessfully searching for the answer to why you have not been able to get relief from your chronic pain, finally there is a realistic alternative. Now you can learn why you no longer need to spend all of your energy trying to suppress pain.

Pain comes on without effort and it is fruitless to exert effort to reduce it. You can learn how to conserve your precious energy and do more of what you want to do, with less pain and greater comfort. The answers to how can this be possible are contained in the methods and practices we shall go over together.

So open your mind and give the mindful exercises I shall invite you to explore a go. Your proof will be the positive changes in your experience and how much better you feel.

No risk with hypnosis? One of the benefits of using hypnosis to control pain is that there is no risk of negative side effects. Self-hypnosis is not like a pharmaceutical drug, which is an external agent that is ingested or injected and modifies biochemical and physiological processes. Self-hypnosis is an internal or inner method for communicating with the unconscious or subconscious mind, which is the part of the mind that controls all of the biochemical and physiological processes that keep us alive.

Because self-hypnosis is an inner method of self-communication, it is safe; the unconscious mind will simply not accept suggestions that are consciously or subconsciously deemed harmful or unacceptable to the patient. There is only a potential upside and no downside to using self-hypnosis to control and relieve persistent pain and discomfort.

Unfortunately, reliance on the use of narcotics is increasing, as a “quick fix” to pain. This causes its own myriad of problems. Hypnosis can be a great alternative to be used instead of, or adjunctive to, pain medication (with proper coordination of treatment with the physician).

Taking personal responsibility and accountability. I learned that keeping my pain under control necessitated keeping an open mind, maintaining balance in my life by adopting a balanced philosophy, and using the tool of self-hypnosis regularly. This is important to teach our patients. Different parties involved in one’s chronic pain have different agendas. Unfortunately, people with chronic pain are often caught between the conflicting agendas of various people and institutions. Just some of the conflicts facing the patient might include the following. All of these factors “work against” successful coping with chronic pain.

  • The patient’s own need to escape from pain
  • The insurance companies’ desire to get the patient off disability and back to work
  • The patient’s family members’ need to have the “old you” back
  • The patient’s attorney wanting the greatest settlement possible which, unfortunately, is often based on one’s degree of disability (in the legal system, one is not “rewarded” for trying to get better)
  • The defense attorney who is trying to absolve his or her client of responsibility
  • The doctors who want to have a compliant patient who responds positively to the particular treatment provided

Stress and Pain

Conflict (such as that due to the above) creates stress which is experienced both consciously and subconsciously. Stress makes coping with persistent pain more difficult. One of the jobs of the “pain therapist” is to help the patient review, reframe and resolve conscious and unconscious conflicts. A relatively conflict-free person with persistent pain is more empowered to cope with the pain and more likely to get out of pain.

The unconscious (or subconscious) part of the mind is aware of conflicts that the individual may be unaware of on a conscious level. The unconscious controls all of your automatic habits and all of the functions that keep you alive (such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, digestion, sleep-wake cycles, etc.), including pain. You need to be able to communicate with your unconscious mind to help alleviate persistent pain. Hypnosis is the most effective, nondrug tool we have for communicating with our unconscious mind.

Hypnosis for Pain Control

This course presents my understanding and philosophy about pain coping, using the tools of hypnosis and self-hypnosis. The goal of the course is to teach practitioners how to teach their patients to apply the appropriate counter and competing stimulation to reduce their pain. This involves learning how to refocus attention and mental energies to become absorbed and engaged in comforting and pleasurable mental activities. It involves mentally shifting from a state of discomfort to a state of comfort. The approach presented in this course will help your patients regain greater control over their pain, symptoms, and life experience.

Also of great importance, is the fact that the use of hypnosis for pain relief and pain management in various contexts and settings (medical, dental, psychotherapeutic, hospice, addictions) is backed by a multitude of empirical and clinical research. In fact, hypnosis is considered, not just a complementary, or alternative treatment modality for pain; it is considered an empirically supported and validated treatment (Barabasz, 2009; Eimer, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2008; Eimer & Freeman, 1998; Jensen, 2011; Lang & Laser, 2011; Patterson, 2010; Turk & Winter, 2005).

Course Outline

To access the course materials in the outline below you must log in to your account.

Module 1 Introduction and Overview
Unit 1 Abstract + Workbook + eBook (HFP)  
Unit 2 Hypnosis as an Evidence-Based Treatment Tool for Pain Management  
Unit 3 The Scope of the Problem  
Unit 4 P-A-I-N  
Unit 5 Ten Commandments for N.O. M.O.R.E. P.A.I.N.  
Module 2 Important Definitions and Concepts
Unit 1 Pain Terms and Definitions  
Unit 2 IASP Pain Term Definitions  
Unit 3 Explain Two Popular Models of Pain Mechanisms and Three Principles of Hypnotic Analgesia  
Unit 4 Explain Two Evidenced Based Theories of How Chronic Pain Develops  
Unit 5 Five Good Reasons to Use Hypnosis for Pain Management  
Unit 6 The Concept of "Mindfulness Based Pain Reduction", or MBPR  
Module 3 Getting a Client Motivated to Work with You
Unit 1 Components of the Initial Evaluation of a Pain Patient for Hypnotherapy  
Unit 2 How to Explain the "6 A's" and the "12 D's" of Pain Coping Strategies  
Unit 3 Hypnosis Pre-talk: Explain to a patient how hypnosis can help him gain more control over pain  
Module 4 Hypnosis with a Pain Client - The "6 A's" and "12 D's"
Unit 1 Inner Strength Empowered Therapy (ISET) and How to help a client transform pain perceptions  
Unit 2 How to Help a Pain Client Create Personalized "Pain Relief Images"  
Unit 3 Select an Appropriate Hypnotic Induction for Clients with Moderate-Severe Pain  
Unit 4 How to Use Trance State Suggestions to Help a Patient Experience Pain Relief  
Unit 5 Formulate Direct Hypnotic Suggestions for Analgesia with Each of the "12 D's"  
Module 5 Teaching Self-Hypnosis and Self-Management
Unit 1 Explaining to a Pain Client the Rationale for Teaching the Patient Self-Hypnosis  
Unit 2 How to Teach a Pain Client Two Methods of Self-Hypnosis for Pain Control  
Module 6 Hypnoanalysis for Pain
Unit 1 How to Utilize Hypnoanalysis to Uncover Pain's Emotional Overlay  
Unit 2 Explaining the Rationale for Using Ideomotor Finger Signals in Hypnoanalysis  
Module 7 Ethics and Risk Management
Unit 1 Ethical and risk management concerns when using hypnosis for pain  
Module 8 Self Help
Unit 1 Taming Pain Using Your Brain: A 12-Step Self-Help Program for Realistic Pain Relief  
Unit 2 Taming Pain Using Your Brain: 80 Ways to Get Tougher and Live With Less Pain  
Module 9 Attestation & Evaluation
Unit 1 Attestation (HFP)  
Unit 2 Course Evaluation (HFP)  
Module 10 Knowledge Test
Unit 1 48 Multiple Choice Questions (HFP)  
Module 11 Course Completion
Unit 1 References / Appendix (HFP)  
Unit 2 Closing Remarks (HFP)  

Purchase Video Course (16 CE)

Author Disclaimer

The clinical evaluation and treatment methods described in this course are not intended as substitutes for competent and thorough medical, psychiatric, or psychological evaluation and care, nor are they intended to replace the medical or professional recommendations of physicians or other health care providers who are familiar with a given case.

This course is intended to offer usable information that can enhance the effectiveness of the reader/clinician in helping his or her patients alleviate or gain control over their symptoms and change their dysfunctional behaviors. All patients with pain should be evaluated by a physician. In fact, it is recommended that patient’s not be accepted for pain management treatment if they have not been evaluated by a physician. If the nature or quality of the pain changes in any notable way, the patient should see his or her physician.