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Mindfulness and Hypnosis

The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience

6 September 2011


Winner of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (SCEH) Arthur Shapiro Award for Best Book on Hypnosis, this book explores how mindfulness and hypnosis in a clinical context work to help foster change.

In recent years mindfulness has become integrated into many clinicians' private practices, and become a staple of hospital and university based treatment programs for stress reduction, pain, anxiety management, and a host of other difficulties. Clinicians are now routinely encouraging their clients to focus, be aware, open, and accepting, and thereby derive benefit from the mindfulness experience.

How has mindfulness, a treatment tool that might easily have been dismissed as esoteric only a few short years ago, become so widely accepted and applied? One obvious answer: Because it works. The empirical foundation documenting the therapeutic merits of mindfulness is already substantial and is still growing. This is not a book about documenting the therapeutic merits of mindfulness, however. Rather, this book is the first of its kind to address how and most importantly why guided mindfulness meditations can enhance treatment. The focus in this book is on the structure of guided mindfulness meditations and, especially, the role of suggestion in these processes. Specifically, one of the primary questions addressed in this book is this: When a psychotherapist conducts guided mindfulness meditations (GMMs) for some clinical purpose, how does mindfulness work?

In posing this question other questions arise that are every bit as compelling: Do GMMs contain structural elements that can be identified and amplified and thereby employed more efficiently? How do we determine who is most likely to benefit from such methods? Can GMMs be improved by adapting them to the needs of specific individuals rather than employing scripted "one size fits all" approaches?

Discussing the role of suggestion in experience and offering the author's concrete suggestions for integrating this work into psychotherapy, this book is a practical guide to hypnosis, focusing, and mindfulness for the clinician.


"Yapko has made significant contributions to hypnosis over the years. We believe that in comparing hypnosis to mindfulness, he has sharpened the focus of his insightful vision to help us see clearly the nature and mechanisms of hypnosis. . . . We highly recommend this book." — American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

"This book is both provocative and practical…Readers unfamiliar with this topic may finish this book eager to apply ‘guided mindfulness meditation’ to imagination, memory, and other human potentials that clinicians attempt to foster…Recommended." — CHOICE

"[I]nsightfully describes the vital and inevitable role of suggestion and goal orientation." — Human Givens Journal (UK)

"With courage and creativity, Dr. Yapko explores the intersection of mindfulness and hypnosis and finds many fresh insights and techniques that will benefit psychotherapists and anyone interested in the inner world. His book embodies many of the virtues of his two subjects: it is accepting and also prescriptive, spacious and focused, receptive and penetrating. His writing is clear, open-minded, concise, and practical - and sweeps the reader along with an exuberance that shines through his scholarship." — Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

"Michael Yapko has created a classic. Not only does this latest book discuss the similarities and differences between hypnosis and mindfulness, it does so in such a knowledgeable, insightful, and well-documented manner that it is likely to become a reference book for years to come.... [O]ne of his best works yet." — The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

"Attune to the lively way in which Michael Yapko eases guided mindfulness meditation (GMM) and hypnosis into the 21st Century, elucidating fundamental structures and interpersonal processes. Become ever mindful of entrancing ways to apply GMM and hypnosis in clinical practice. For the tyro; for the expert." — Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D., Director Milton Erickson Foundation

"[A] call to those in the field of mindfulness to recognize that the wealth of knowledge gleaned from decades of hypnosis research can provide practitioners the ability to improve the efficacy of guided mindfulness meditation…. [A]n important book as well as an informative one. It is an essential read for clinical practitioners and for anyone with an interest in mindfulness." — PsycCritiques

"[A] fascinating, thorough, thought provoking look at mindfulness-based treatment as viewed through the lens of clinical hypnosis. By carefully examining phenomena such as suggestion and dissociation, Dr. Yapko illuminates important aspects of guided mindfulness meditations that might ordinarily escape the awareness of clinicians using these tools. His fresh perspective, presented in clear, accessible language grounded in years of clinical experience, will stir important debates that promise to help mindfulness-oriented clinicians think much more deeply and carefully about their work." — Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, author of The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Life

"Yapko’s latest book is a gem…[W]ith valuable nuggets of clinical wisdom, tied to state-of-the science information on most every page, I felt a tinge of regret when this book came to an end; surely one of the highest compliments I can pay an author." — Steven Jay Lynn, Ph.D., ABPP Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Binghamton University (SUNY)

"My best recommendation for Mindfulness and Hypnosis is that while reading it, I felt as if I were in a master class with Michael Yapko. A class not to be missed." — New York Milton H. Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis (NYSEPH)

"[A] treasure chest of inspiration and a must read for every aspiring Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist…. In his usual style he goes straight to the point and explains his rationale simply and clearly, without obfuscating and without over reaching…. There is much here to inspire, and a wealth of practical material for those already practicing and for those just starting out." — The Hypnotherapy Team blog

Also By: Michael D. Yapko View all by author...



165 x 244 mm • 256 pages


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