Notes from the President
Claude Virot PhD
As the calendar turns to 2018 I wish you and your families, associations and patients the best of happiness and health. I also wish our International Society of Hypnosis success in its fundamental objectives: to provide better care through hypnosis for all those who suffer, to promote the practice in each country and to watch over the ethical dimension of therapeutic acts.
In order to achieve these objectives, it is essential to better understand hypnosis and better evaluate the benefits provided by fundamental and clinical studies. For this reason we believe that gathering before the congress in Montreal will be invaluable. By bringing together the best current scientists in basic and clinical research, we will be able to identify the major orientations for studies over the next 5 or 10 years. The aim is that each of these studies, which are often long and costly, should form part of a coherent whole in order to answer the questions we ask ourselves for greater effectiveness.
This is also what the national and international authorities like the WHO are asking us to do. The ISH has created a committee led by Prof. Giuseppe de Benedittis (elected by the ISH Council of Representatives) to formally recognize hypnosis as one of the major therapeutic practices to support its development and dissemination. Indeed, if each of us knows how hypnosis helps our patients, whether we are psychiatrists, psychologists, general practitioners, anaesthetists, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, etc., it is necessary to prove it. A great deal of research work is carried out and published every year, but to date it is too scattered to have the necessary convincing power. Better focusing the energies of researchers will be one of ISH’s fundamental missions in the coming years.
Focusing is the heart of our daily art. Focusing attention to generate this particular form of consciousness that relieves and heals, this consciousness that is part of the heritage of each one of us and that we can no longer use in certain phases of our life. Milton Erickson compared it to a huge resource and solution store. Nice metaphor but still ; What is consciousness? What is this specific consciousness that we activate in hypnosis? How does this consciousness enable us to heal mental suffering as well as physical suffering? Is it matter, neurons, circuits, mediators…? Is it in the brain, in the body, in each cell, in DNA? Is it a kind of vital energy that animates every living being from conception to death? We have many beautiful mysteries to unravel. Through our hypnotic practice of activating this consciousness, we are using it every day, and even if we don’t understand it enough, we are probably the most competent caregivers to talk about and study it. This gives us a special mission for the future: to participate in the knowledge of consciousness in order to make humanity benefit from it. Much like the Renaissance anatomists and then physiologists, physiologists have allowed much of the medical and surgical progress we know today. It may be necessary to imagine consciousness as an organ with dimensions and functions to be known and respected. Even if this organ would be very different from a liver or muscle, such a concept might remind everyone that consciousness can be damaged by words or attitudes. That it must be respected, protected and cared for. That those who have the right to touch the body must have very high skills and an absolute ethic.
In this course of the future, there will be much talk about neurosciences, quantum philosophies and quantum processes to “give body to the mind”. A complex and exciting journey! A course of which a very soon stage will be the 21st World Congress of Hypnosis in Montreal from August 22nd to 25th, 2018.
President of the
International Society of Hypnosis