Hypnotherapy 'should be adopted more widely'

Hypnotherapy should be used more frequently as a treatment, with it being particularly useful for pain relief.

This is according to Dr Peter Naish, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University and President-elect of the Hypnosis Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, who stated that it works as more than a placebo effect.

Speaking to the Today programme on Radio 4 on June 6 2011, he explained that cancer nurses could become trained in hypnotherapy.

Dr Naish added that it could help to save the NHS money, while the general public will start to see it as a "normal" treatment.

He explained that hypnotherapy should not be seen as "weird" and people should not feel like they have to use unqualified and unverified practitioners from telephone directories.

John Castleton, Chartered Counselling Psychologist, said: “Hypnosis has been an area of public and professional interest for centuries and, as the BPS said in 2001, “Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium".

"When used appropriately, hypnotherapy is a useful addition to a practitioner’s “tool kit” and brings together a range of psychotherapeutic techniques that can assist with personal development, emotional difficulties and, research has shown, some health conditions.

"There are now many organisations (such as the National Council for Hypnotherapy) that are trying to improve the quality of training and practice. The Department of Health recommends that members of the public, and those who commission services, consult Hypnotherapists who are registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners."

The Division of Counselling Psychology’s Annual Conference takes place from July 14-16 at the Thistle Hotel, Bristol. Go to http://dcop-conference.bps.org.uk/ for more information.