Impact of a Hypnotically-based Intervention on Pain and Fear in Women Undergoing Labor

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a hypnotically based intervention for pain and fear in women undergoing labor who are about to receive an epidural catheter. A group of 155 women received interventions that included either (1) patient rocking, gentle touching, and hypnotic communication or (2) patient rocking, gentle touching, and standard communication. The authors found that the hypnotic communication intervention was more effective than the standard communication intervention for reducing both pain intensity and fear. The results support the use of hypnotic communication just before and during epidural placement for women who are in labor and also indicate that additional research to evaluate the benefits and mechanism of this treatment is warranted.

Explorer in Hypnosis

Written in 1957, this paper was Jay Haley’s first attempt to organize his impressions of Milton Erickson. The article captures the essence of Erickson: the man, his early concepts of the trance state, his flexibility in trance induction, and his delight in working with those considered “resistant subjects.” In this early paper, Jay Haley clearly recognizes Erickson’s potential impact on therapy and clinicians around the world. This paper reminds readers of the importance of therapeutic relationship and the power of effective communication.

An Interactional Explanation of Hypnosis

In this paper, the author offers what he sees as a new approach to understanding or defining hypnosis. Drawing from his work with Gregory Bateson, John Weakland, Don Jackson, and Bill Fry, Haley emphasizes the relational communicative aspect of trance. Noting the inherent difficulty of studying subjective experience, Haley highlights again the importance of communication and the therapist-patient relationship.