Hypnosis for Pain

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

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

Purchase Video Course (16 CE)

This course is intended for the experienced professional hypnotherapist, mental health clinician, and health care provider who may or may not be familiar with hypnosis and the application of this treatment method to chronic pain. Whether you have experience with hypnosis or you are looking to add it to your practice, this course will provide you with a thorough introduction so that you can begin to use it in your practice for chronic pain management.

This course will provide you with a tool box of techniques for helping your clients get realistic relief from chronic pain. You will learn how to gather maximum information from a brief intake interview, to assess client suitability for hypnosis for pain control, and to develop client centered hypnotic strategies for taming pain. This course covers direct suggestion in hypnosis pain transformation strategies, as well as hypnoanalysis techniques for discovering and releasing emotional factors blocking lasting pain relief. You will learn effective ways to use hypnosis to help your clients reduce pain intensity when appropriate, and to reduce unnecessary emotional suffering.

Dr. Bruce Eimer, the course author, is a board certified licensed clinical psychologist, a Fellow and Approved Consultant with 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 clients and patients since 1985. He has written several well received published books on hypnosis for pain control. He is the Director of Pain Psychology at a large hospital pain center in Philadelphia and has his own hypnotherapy practice. He 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.

Video Course Preview

Bonus Video – Dave Elman Induction (DEI)

When you purchase the Course & Video Bundle or the Video Only lectures, 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.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain two popular models of pain mechanisms and three principles of hypnotic analgesia.
  2. Explain two evidenced based theories of how chronic pain develops.
  3. Explain four reasons to use hypnosis for pain management.
  4. Explain the concept of “Mindfulness Based Pain Reduction”, or MBPR.
  5. Explain the “6 A’s” and the “12 D’s” of pain coping strategies.
  6. Explain to a patient how hypnosis can help him gain greater control over his pain.
  7. Describe the components of the initial evaluation of a pain patient for hypnotherapy.
  8. Explain how to help a pain patient create personalized “pain relief images”.
  9. Select an appropriate hypnotic induction for patients with moderate to severe pain.
  10. Explain how to utilize trance state suggestions once a patient is in hypnosis to help the patient experience pain relief.
  11. Formulate at least one direct hypnotic suggestion for analgesia/pain relief with each of the “12 D’s”.
  12. Explain the rationale for teaching pain patient’s self-hypnosis.
  13. Explain how to help a patient transform pain perceptions so they are less uncomfortable.
  14. Describe how to teach a chronic pain patient at least two methods of self-hypnosis for pain management.
  15. Explain how hypnoanalysis is used to facilitate the uncovering and release of the unconscious emotional factors that maintain the patient’s excessive persistent pain and block the patient from getting better.
  16. Explain the rationale for using ideomotor finger signals in hypnoanalysis.
  17. List the five most important ethical issues and risk management concerns when using hypnosis for pain management.

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

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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.