Medical illnesses, conditions and procedures

Nicholas A. Covino

in The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780198570097
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Medical illnesses, conditions and procedures


Medical patients present an important clinical opportunity for mental health practitioners. Pediatricians and primary care doctors are, increasingly, the front line interventionists treating depression and anxiety in children, adolescents, and adults. More recently, oncologists, cardiologists, and those who care for patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diabetes see the benefits of psychological care for their patients. The major risk factors for illness and mortality (e.g. anger, nutrition, smoking, and medical adherence) have psychological roots; most illnesses have psychological consequences, and vexing medical complaints (e.g. insomnia, IBS) are heavily influenced by cognitive, affective, and behavioral factors. Psychological interventions that include hypnosis can be useful to patients and providers at each of these points. This article reviews the figured dimensions of health and illness. It presents several hypnosis techniques to assist with the care of the medically ill and further offers a few illustrative case reports.

Keywords: mental health practitioner; medical illness; pediatricians; psychological care; clinical opportunity

Article.  9382 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology

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