Building Bridges of Understanding

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

November 27, 2015
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Notes from the President
Claude Virot PhD
Translator: Maria Escalante
September 2015

It is with great emotion that I address you for the first time as president of the wonderful International Society of Hypnosis of which we are all part. Our organization evolves and grows with energy that everyone puts into it. If we look at the wonderful success of our 20th World Congress in Paris, there is a lot of energy available to build even more new bridges, new links and soon a welcome to new members and new societies. I would like to thank Julie Linden who was our president for 3 years. She worked hard to successfully stabilize the foundations: the By-Laws, the administrative office and website. Everyone will benefit for a long time from her efforts. The life of a living system is made of departures and arrivals. Camillo Loriedo, one of the most loyal supporters of the ISH has just left office. He joined the club of former presidents and I hope that, just as Peter Bloom and Eva Banyai, he is often present at our meetings.

ISH has a wonderful tradition of inviting former Presidents to attend official Board meetings of the society. Camillo has already told me that he would always be there to advise me and help me in my mission. Goodbye to Woltemade Hartman who also has implemented fundamental work on important procedures. Wollie, I hope you will continue to contribute to this project. It is with great pleasure that we welcome two new members to the Board of Directors. Nicole Ruysschaert, Past-President of the European Society of Hypnosis joined us. Her experience and enthusiasm for the development of hypnosis will be valuable. With Enayat Shahidi there is a new country member that joined the office: Iran. It is a wonderful opening to new knowledge and new traditions from which we will all benefit. In addition, with Bernard Trenkle (President-elect), Mark Jensen (Secretary-Treasurer), Franck Garden Brèche (President of the Council of Representatives), Consuelo Casula, Brian Allen, Giuseppe de Benedittis and Katalin Varga, you understand that ISH has an outstanding team of talent and motivation to carry out what I consider a basic mission: to develop hypnosis in order to bring relief everywhere and every time, in an affordable way to those who suffer, and those who need access to efficient care, economically and ecologically.

In order to achieve these objectives, our triennial convention is essential. The 20th Congress, we have all just experienced together in Paris. I had the honor to lead this great success in every respect. I thank the Francophone Federation of Hypnosis and Brief Therapy, its president, Dr. Patrick Bellet, the organizing committee and 34 institutes that are part of CFHTB, who knew all the effort it took to achieve this goal. My responsibility in organizing the Congress imposes on me a reservation on my comments, but simply here are some numbers: 2,500 participants from 56 nations and 320 speakers from 36 nations. All previous records were exceeded and I particularly want to thank Bernhard Trenkle who contributed significantly to this result. We knew that many had been waiting for a world congress in France (the previous dating from 1965) but we had not imagined such a strong participation knowing that the other most important congress organized in France brought together 930 delegates. This shows the dynamic power of the International Letter from the President 2015, Volume 39, No. 3. 2 Hypnosis Society and enthusiasm created by the meeting with colleagues around the world. The team of 90 volunteers, led by Stéphane Radoykov and my son Gregoire, almost all medical students, was very active and effective. This involvement of the future caregivers is a ray of sunshine for the future of hypnosis. All this enriches everyone and helps us to expand and to invite new colleagues to join us in this joyous and creative movement.

We will soon publish the list of countries and the participation of everyone but I want to salute now two countries whose dynamism was particularly noticed. Poland, thanks to Krzysztof Klajs and China, thanks to Xin Fang in fact registered 40 representatives each! These are two new member societies and we hope, in the near future, the ISH also welcomes new societies that will also be active. Contacts are already established with our friends in South America (Brazil, Chile, Argentina) and the Ukrainian Society. Our wish is to meet all of the hypnosis societies at their events and congresses so that we get to know one another better and to take into account each specific hypnotic culture. I thank Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville and Mark Jensen for organizing a day of exchanges on scientific research on Neurosicence and Hypnosis. According to the speakers’ opinion (13) and the audience’s, this first meeting was of a very high level with exciting debates. You will receive a report about this soon. We intend to repeat this experience in Montreal with new themes on basic clinical research.

It is always our wish to create bridges here between laboratory research and practice in the field. These structures and accomplishments require financial means. In this respect the International Society is very healthy thanks to the contributions of societies and individual members. The resources from the World Congresses are also essential and economic success of the Paris Congress will bring greater security and greater flexibility to the ISH. Before talking about the future, I remind you that in a few days you will find videos of all the keynotes of Paris on the website (, and perhaps also some lectures recorded in the great amphitheater during these three days. All our eyes are now focused towards Montreal that will host the 21st World Congress to be organized by the Quebec Society of Hypnosis led by Michel Landry. I wish that the attendance record in Paris will be surpassed. This is possible because I know that each of you will put all your energy into being present there and also will encourage new colleagues to discover the Québécoise land. I also know that economic realities in some of our member countries will be difficult. We will consider the possibility of facilitating access to Congress, perhaps by supporting highly motivated students? Another path might be open. The technology evolves rapidly and we may perhaps experience a retransmission system, much like the Olympics, to allow people to experience this event at a distance. Perhaps it is only a dream, but dreams allow us to build the future, the realities of tomorrow. Together, we will build them and I invite everyone to give us your ideas, your wishes, your dreams… Claude Virot