Using Hypnosis to Enhance Personal and Group Confidence

In many performance settings (e.g., sport, business) confidence is an important determinant of performance.  Across a range of settings individuals and teams who have a belief in their ability to succeed perform better because of increased effort, persistence and a willingness to work towards high, but achievable, goals. One technique that can be effective in enhancing confidence is hypnosis. In this course Dr Jamie Barker and Dr Marc Jones draw on their research and practical experience of using hypnosis to enhance confidence and performance in sport settings. 

The aims of the workshop are to provide delegates firsthand experience of hypnotic-based procedures; examine the applied issues surrounding its use in performance domains and dispel some of the myths surrounding hypnosis; and consider the research evidence for the effectiveness of hypnosis. Above all this is a practical workshop and as such delegates will experience firsthand a range of hypnotic-based procedures including ego-strengthening hypnosis, and group hypnosis. Throughout the workshop delegates will be provided with case-study examples of hypnosis use and while the examples relate to sport the principles apply equally to other performance settings (e.g., performing arts, business).


09:30 Registration/Tea and Coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
16:45 Workshop ends


This is an entry level course for practitioners or students wishing to learn more about how hypnosis can be used in performance domains.

Because self-efficacy has an influence on sport performance the effectiveness of a variety of psychological strategies to engender increased and prolonged self-efficacy in athletes has been explored. Specifically, strategies based on Bandura’s (1997) four sources of efficacy (performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, persuasory information and emotional/physiological state) have been examined. One technique that may be effective in this regard is hypnosis.

Hypnosis uses suggestions to alter perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, thereby facilitating long-term changes in behavior (Heap & Aravind, 2002). Hypnotic suggestions are proposed to facilitate a process of dissociation between executive control and monitoring functions within the brain because the non-conscious part of the cognitive control structure responds to the given suggestions and images without engaging potentially critical conscious awareness (Hilgard, 1994). It has therefore been suggested that if, during hypnosis, efficacy enhancing suggestions are made (i.e., verbal persuasion), they will be more readily accepted by the athlete because of the absence of critical conscious awareness (Barker & Jones, 2008). Recent research has outlined hypnosis to successfully enhance self-efficacy levels and performance in sport (Barker & Jones, 2006, 2008; Barker et al., 2010).

Learning outcomes and objectives 

  • to demonstrate an informed knowledge of hypnosis, how it works, and it can influence behaviour change 
  • to demonstrate an awareness of the key issues and processes involved in determining hypnotic susceptibility, preparing a client or group, developing rapport, and script development
  • to be aware of the main principles involved in fundamental hypnotic procedures (i.e., induction, deepening, suggestion, post-hypnotic suggestions, alerting, and self-hypnosis)
  • to establish how hypnosis can be applied to performance domains

Facilitators: Dr Jamie Barker CPsychol & Dr Marc Jones CPsychol

Dr Jamie Barker is a Chartered Psychologist, and HPC registered sport and exercise psychologist. He has an array of experience of working in elite sport including professional cricket, football, and golf. To this end, he currently serves as a consultant for the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Staffordshire County Cricket Club, and Nottingham Forest Football Club. A large proportion of Dr Barker's work has been based around developing sport psychology education programmes (e.g., coach, player, and parent), individual intervention programmes, and team building interventions. Dr Barker also has experience of working in business settings where he has applied sport psychology principles to leaders and managers of large corporations. The main focus of his research over recent years has been about exploring the effects of hypnosis on important psychological factors relative to sport performance. Dr Barker has both published and presented at international conferences on hypnosis.

Dr Marc Jones is a a Chartered Psychologist, and HPC registered sport and exercise psychologist with experience of working as a consultant with a number of athletes across a range of sports ages, and abilities.  Much of this work has involved delivering training sessions to groups of athletes or teams on sport psychology. Dr Jones also has experience of delivering sessions in organisational settings on the psychology of elite performance by drawing on the principles and practice from elite sport.  As part of his practice Dr Jones has used hypnosis as an intervention and has been involved in a research programme with Dr Jamie Barker to explore the efficacy of hypnosis in enhancing confidence in sport. To date, Dr Jones has over 35 scholarly publications in sport and exercise psychology, and has published four books. Dr Jones is also the award leader for the BPS accredited distance-learning MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology run by Staffordshire University.

Booking information


  • DSEP members: £60 + VAT
  • Society members: £80 + VAT
  • Society non-members: £100 + VAT

How to book:


Please note: online bookings will close 24 hours prior to the event. Please call +44 (0)116 2529512 for availability after this point.

Alternatively, to pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are unable to accept invoice requests less than 6 weeks before the event date.

Tue, 17/04/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology & BPS Learning Centre