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n. the use of hypnosis in psychological treatment, either in brief psychotherapy directed toward alleviation of symptoms and modification of behavior patterns or in long-term reconstructive psychotherapy aimed at personality adaptation or change. Hypnotherapy may use one or a combination of techniques, typically involving the administration by a properly trained professional of therapeutic suggestions to patients or clients who have been previously exposed to hypnotic induction. Although discussions of its clinical applications engender controversy, there is scientific evidence that hypnotherapy can be applied with some success to a wide range of health problems (e.g., hypertension, asthma, insomnia, bruxism), chronic and acute pain management, habit modification (e.g., overeating, smoking), mood and anxiety disorders (e.g., some phobias), and personality disorders. There is also some positive evidence demonstrating its effectiveness as an adjunctive therapy. Also called clinical hypnosis. See also automatic writing; direct suggestion; dream suggestion; Ericksonian psychotherapy; hypnoanalysis; hypnotic regression.

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Psychology term of the day

April 17th 2024



n. a technique that utilizes apparatus to record aspects of muscle activity. Some devices record the small electric potential that accompanies contraction of the muscle fibers. A myograph is an instrument that records the extent, force, or duration of isotonic contractions or the tension and duration of isometric contractions. A myogram is a graphic record of the velocity and intensity of muscle contractions. —myographic adj.