Hypnosis has found a broad range of clinical applications. These include management of many forms of physical pain, reducing anxiety and quitting smoking. However, hypnosis is underutilized as a treatment. Therefore it is important to understand factors affecting people’s willingness to use clinical hypnosis. Little research examines the clinical conditions for which people would be willing to seek hypnosis or the referral sources and advertisements that may most influence them. Further, most research on attitudes toward hypnosis is performed using only college student samples; little is known about differences between college student and community samples. This study begins to address these gaps through a survey administered to 160 undergraduate college students and 98 community participants. Findings indicate that participants report being most likely to seek hypnosis for anxiety or as a complementary treatment to standard medical practices. Participants report that the referral and information source they would find most influential is their primary care physician. When asked to rate phonebook style listings for clinical hypnotherapy services, there were positive main effects for the presence versus absence of noting the clinician’s extended credentials, board certification in clinical hypnosis, and indication of a range of hypnosis services provided. Few differences were found between the student and community groups, save the students were more influenced by extended credentials than were community members. Implications of these findings for the promotion of clinical hypnosis are discussed.
Elkins, Gary Ray, 1952-
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