Trance as a Tool: Dr. David Spiegel on the History and Evidence Based Benefits of Hypnosis

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Like people who are highly hypnotizable, [they] have more of these absorbing experiences. They get lost in the beauty of a sunset or listening to music. So yes, hypnosis is a normal part of the range of our ability to focus and become absorbed – David Spiegel

On this episode of our podcast, we delve into the fascinating world of hypnosis, with a focus on demystifying this phenomenon and separating myths from scientific reality. We explore its role in modern therapy and personal well-being.

Dr. David Spiegel is one of Stanford University’s leading psychiatrists, with more than 45 years of clinical experience, and has pioneered over 400 research papers on the power of self-hypnosis. Educated at Harvard and Yale, he is the Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr Speigel has written thirteen books and is also the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Reveri Health, which offers a clinically backed hypnosis app of the same name.

In our conversation, we cover a wide array of topics, including:

  • The definition and understanding of hypnosis.
  • A short history of hypnosis, its mystical origins, and its current scientific standing.
  • Distinctions between clinical and theatrical hypnosis.
  • Debates over the tools and techniques used in hypnosis.
  • The controversial subjects of brainwashing and memory recovery.
  • Current research and understanding of the neural mechanisms of hypnosis.
  • The various types of hypnosis and their applications.
  • The relationship between EMDR and hypnosis.
  • The effectiveness, suitability, and therapeutic potential of hypnosis.
  • The Reveri app, co-founded by Dr. Spiegel
  • My own experience with the app and how it helped with my fear of airplane turbulence.

Resources / Links 

Curious about experimenting with hypnosis yourself? Want to see if it can help you with your stressors or phobias? My listeners can use the following code to get Reveri free for 30 days: (tap link from mobile) – and let me know how it works for you!


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