Emergency room use of hypnosis.

Myths about hypnosis have interfered with its use in emergency settings. Specifically, included are myths about who induces the hypnotic state, the length of induction time, and the traumatized patient’s inability to concentrate on a focal point. It is suggested, however, that altered states of awareness occur rapidly and spontaneously in the patient who has experienced acute trauma and/or pain. Two cases are presented that illustrate spontaneous trancelike states occurring in traumatic situations. The cases also show how the recognition of these altered states can facilitate the patient’s care and treatment in an emergency setting.

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