At the end of last year, I wrote an article entitled One Thing I Always Look For In A Good Quality Hypnotherapy Book and got a very mixed response.
The article was simply stating that for me, with a hypnotherapy book or a book that I am going to be using to advance my knowledge and skill as a hypnotherapist, it is important for information being presented to be supported by evidence and one way to tell that, is to examine the bibliography and reference list of the book. You can read that article following the above link if you have not already done so.
However, many, many of the replies that I got were asking me about my own favourite books for hypnotherapy tuition and for learning more about the evidence base of the field of therapeutic, clinical and experimental hypnosis. So thought I’d share with you here what I shared with those enquirers.
Quick plug: Want to know what the greatest ever book on the subject of self-hypnosis is?
Adam Eason’s self-hypnosis book of course:
The Science of Self-Hypnosis: The Evidence-Based Way to Hypnotise Yourself
Here is my top ten list of recommended hypnotherapy books, in no particular order:
1. I think one of the better and more comprehensive literature review books is The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis by Barnier and Nash (eds.) It is my first port of call when I am looking for research on specific issues and it is a very well thumbed reference book that makes it a good investment (as with all of these books, being able to use it ongoing makes it a good investment for me).
2. My favourite and currently the best book for the neuroscience perspective for our field in my opinion is Hypnosis and Conscious States Edited by Graham Jamieson. I’d probably read up on the neuroscience perspective before tackling this book as it can take a bit of reading, particularly so if you are completely unfamiliar with some of the academic and brain anatomy terminology.
3. I think The Highly Hypnotizable Person by Heap, Brown and Oakley is exceptional. It gives the most robust analysis of what the literature says about hypnotisability and responsively to hypnosis and much, much more besides.
4. On our diploma level courses, one of the core texts is Hartlands Medical and Dental Hypnosis by Heap and Aravind, it covers the vast majority of what is necessary to get a good education at diploma level.
5. One of the core texts I recommend for my advanced diploma course is the Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis by Lynn, Rhue and Kirsch. It is really extensive and comprehensive.
6. The core text for my CBH courses is The Practice of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy by Donald Robertson.
7. Another book, this time collated, edited and beautifully compiled by Donald Robertson is entitled The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid ‘The Father of Hypnotherapy’ which will show you Braid’s real interpretation and intention with hypnosis and how it is applied. It will show you how many people have since misinterpreted much of his work, and it will also show you how practical and rigorous Braid’s approach was. I think you’ll be amazed at how advanced his work seems and I am certain you’ll see how he influences so many other branches of psychotherapy.
8. The Casebook of Clinical Hypnosis by Lynn Kirsch and Rhue is just excellent because it gives evidence based and real-life clinical applications of hypnosis along with in-depth explanations of everything that is done.
9. Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis by Lynn and Kirsch is one of the smaller books here, but is mighty in the information it offers up.
10. Theories of Hypnosis by Lynn and Rhue on the other hand will take up a huge amount of space on your bookshelf, it is a monster of a tomb. However, currently, I believe this is the only book you’ll ever need if you truly want an exhaustive education in all theories of hypnosis and the evidence base supporting them.
Here’s my pile of these 10 books that I just stacked on my desk:
You’ll notice that Steven Lynn and Irving Kirsch feature aplenty here – as authors, they put smiles on my faces, they are also two of the most prolific researchers and impressive academics in the field of hypnosis, despite the majority of frontline hypnotherapists being unaware of them.
I also have many favourite books which were once important, but have since been superceded and are referred to greatly in more modern texts. For example, Medical Hypnosis V1 & V2 by Lewis Wolberg, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis by Kroger, Hypnosis and Suggestibility by Clark Hull and Hypnosis: A Scientific Approach by Barber were incredible in their day and I own them, but we have better books available today that will inform you even more thoroughly.
All this is without me even starting to look at specialist books that feature how to best work with specific issues and ailments or even examining my favourite books on self-hypnosis! Some other time, eh?
Just a brief article here today, I’ll be back next week. I’ll be off teaching my hypnotherapy diploma course this weekend. I hope you enjoy your weekend too.
Have some of these themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist who is looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.
Pleased to say I have 7 out of the 10 – and the other 3 are now on order 🙂 Enjoying reading Kirsch on false memory in Essentials at the moment.
Delighted to read that 🙂
Best wishes to you Richard, Adam.
I’ve heard hypnoby Dave Elman is highly regarded. What are your thoughts about the book?
My previous comment should read as hypnotherapy. Darn spellchecker. You’d think it would know there’s no such word as hypnoby.
The book ‘Hypnotherapy’ by Dave Elman is liked by many on the field, but it is now dated and adheres to a model of mind and hypnotherapy that are proven to be incorrect – in particular the notion of a subconscious mind. The field of frontline hypnotherapy needs to update it’s preferences and look to the more recent and modern major contributors to the science of this field if we are to progress effectively out of the shadows and fringes. Best wishes to you, Adam.
Great list of books. I thought I have ever good hypnosis book but you have proved me wrong. Special mentions to the Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis, I got that book after I saw it on a list of books that Derren Brown recommended and it is great. Heaps of good research in it.
Isnt it sad that there are not any more than that!! I have had them all for a while- read them all from cover to cover- yes all! – and find myself looking with anticipation for more-but that is the sad fact that the greats out there are of an age now and where are the new inspirational researchers and case book compliers coming from? Is it that we have been too immersed in the ‘Eriksonian “phase? Hopefully with Adam now at the helm of the UK convention it can be gradually guided to encourage more therapists to think deeply and critically at their work- to ask questions, to read- to begin to understand far more about what they profess to know.
Thanks for taking the time to write and say so Linda, much appreciated.
Best wishes to you, Adam.