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EP20 Workshop 08 - Exploring Hypnosis and Therapeutic Dissociation: The Role of Detachment Across Therapies as a Precursor to Meaningful Change - Michael Yapko, PhD

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Topic Areas:
Hypnosis |  Workshops |  Dissociation
Evolution of Psychotherapy |  Evolution of Psychotherapy 2020
Michael Yapko, PhD
Course Levels:
Master Degree or Higher in Health-Related Field
2 hours
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 09, 2020
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What makes it possible for someone to get so absorbed in subjective experience that they experience a significant reduction or even elimination of pain? How does encouraging someone to view their hurtful thoughts “as if clouds in the sky floating away from you” make it easier to dramatically reduce emotional reactivity to those thoughts? 

Clinicians are often trained to be aware of the negative effects of dissociation (e.g., fugue states, psychogenic amnesia, etc.) through their clinical training, but some of the most vital elements of any good therapeutic intervention will feature dissociation. After all, every client has to detach from whatever it was he or she was doing, thinking or feeling that was hurtful in order to begin doing, thinking or feeling something else that is healthier and more adaptive. The field of clinical hypnosis has been studying the phenomenon of therapeutic dissociation intensively for over a century since it is the foundation for producing remarkable hypnotic phenomena. 

In this workshop, we will witness some of these impressive human capabilities and consider the merits of positive applications of dissociation as a catalyst for meaningful change across a wide array of therapeutic approaches.


Educational Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify and suggest multiple forms of therapeutic dissociation
  2. To define and discuss the role of dissociation in hypnotic responding.
  3. Participants will be able to describe at least one recent neuroscientific study about the brain mechanisms associated with dissociation and automaticity.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*




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Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D. (professional psychology, clinical specialization), is internationally recognized for his innovative work in applied clinical hypnosis, developing brief psychotherapies, and the strategic treatment of depression. He has been invited to present his work in more than 30 countries across six continents. He is the author of 15 books, including his most recent, The Discriminating Therapist. He is a recipient of numerous awards for his many contributions to the field, including the Milton H. Erickson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.