American Psychological Association Division 30

Division 30: Society of Psychological Hypnosis is devoted to exchanging scientific information, advancing appropriate teaching and research, and developing high standards for the practice of hypnosis. Areas of interest of the membership are diverse, including topics such as mind/body connections; dissociation; and hypnosis with women, children, and adolescents. Current initiatives of the division include advancing applications of hypnosis in behavioral medicine, professional and public education, and establishing clinical hypnosis as a certifiable proficiency. The division presents awards for distinguished career contributions, outstanding convention papers and the E. R. Hilgard Dissertation Award. Members receive Psychological Hypnosis, the division’s bulletin, quarterly. The bulletin includes articles on current research and practice, announcements and the annual convention program.

Society of Psychological Hypnosis

The Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association, Division of Psychological Hypnosis promotes professional education and the exchange of scientific information and develops standards of care.

Definition and Description of Hypnosis

In 2014, the Div. 30 Executive Committee prepared the following official definitions related to hypnosis:

  • Hypnosis: A state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.
  • Hypnotic Induction: A procedure designed to induce hypnosis.
  • Hypnotizability: An individual’s ability to experience suggested alterations in physiology, sensations, emotions, thoughts or behavior during hypnosis.
  • Hypnotherapy: The use of hypnosis in the treatment of a medical or psychological disorder or concern.

While there are substantial variations in theoretical understanding of these phenomena, the above definitions were created with an interest in simplifying communication regarding hypnotic phenomena and procedures within and between fields of research and practice, and so are intentionally largely atheoretical. This page will be updated to include additional discussion of the theoretical perspectives which allow greater insight into the nature and functioning of hypnosis.