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Hypnosis Clinical Resources

SCEH hypnosis clinical resources

This page contains useful hypnosis resources for clinicians. If you are a Society member and have something to contribute to the Society's Hypnosis Clinical Resources page, see the Invitation to Contribute below.


EHS: Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (with Video Demonstration)

Hypnosis Mind-Body Perspectives 


Hypnosis, Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Preparation for Medical Procedures

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SCEH member Gary Elkins, PhD, ABPP, ABPH, has generously provided the first resource we will include on this page.  Gary is the author of the Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS), a measure that correlates at 0.86 with the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, and can be administered in 30 minutes. See below to access a downloadable version of the EHS and view a training video providing instructional guidelines for administration. 


EHS: Elkins Hypnotizability Scale

Author: Gary Elkins, PhD, ABPP, ABPH

All persons have the ability to experience some aspects of hypnosis as it involves a focus of attention and response to hypnotic suggestions. However, there are individual differences in hypnotic abilities. Hypnotizability refers to “an individual’s ability to experience suggested alterations in physiology, sensations, emotions, thoughts, or behavior during hypnosis” (Elkins, Barabasz, Council, & Spiegel, 2015). Hypnotizability is a relatively stable trait which can be accurately measured over time. It is important that clinicians who use hypnotherapy understand hypnotizability and have the knowledge and skill needed to assess the hypnotic ability of their patients.

The Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS; Elkins, 2014; Elkins, 2016) is a well-validated and highly reliable measure of hypnotizability for use in research and clinical practice (Elkins, Johnson, Johnson, & Sliwinski, 2015; Kekecs,  Bowers, Johnson, Kendrick, & Elkins, 2016).  It involves a standardized hypnotic induction and deepening suggestions, followed by hypnotic suggestions of increasing difficulty. The items of the EHS includes suggestions for: (1) Arm Heaviness/Arm Immobility; (2) Arm Lightness/Arm Levitation; (3) Mental Imagery/Dissociation; (4) Rose Smell/Olfactory Hallucination; (5) Positive Hallucination; and (6) Post-Hypnotic Amnesia. A range of scores from 0-12 can be obtained from the EHS with estimates of low, medium, high, and very high hypnotizability. The average time for administration of the EHS is approximately 25-30 minutes. The average rating of pleasantness of the EHS (on a 0-10 scale) is 8.97, which strongly indicates that the EHS is likely to be experienced as very pleasant by the majority of people. Information on the development of the EHS, rationale, constructs, reliability, and validity can be found in these Springer Publishing source publications: Elkins, G. (2014). Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.; Elkins, G. (2017). Handbook of Medical and Psychological Hypnosis: Foundations, Applications, and Professional Issues, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co. and Elkins, G. & Olendzki, N. (2018 release) Mindful Hypnotherapy: The Basics for Clinical Practice, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.

Click here to access or download the Elkins Hypnotizability Scale.

Video Demonstration of the EHS

Click below to view a video demonstration. This video demonstration of the EHS provides administration and scoring criteria. It is demonstrated at a somewhat slower pace for teaching purposes. The full EHS transcript is also included for use by qualified professionals.

Key References

Elkins, G. (2017). Handbook of medical and psychological hypnosis: Foundations, applications, and professional issues, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.

Kekecs, Z., Bowers, J., Johnson, A., Kendrick, C., & Elkins, G. (2016). The Elkins Hypnotizability Scale: Assessment of reliability and validty. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 64(3), 285–304. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2016.1171089

Elkins, G., Barabasz, A. F., Council, J. R., & Spiegel, D. (2015). Advancing research and practice: The revised APA Division 30 Definition of Hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 63(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2014.961870

Elkins, G., Johnson, A. K., Johnson, A. J., & Sliwinski, J. (2015). Factor Analysis of the Elkins Hypnotizability Scale. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 63(3), 335–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2015.1031550

Elkins, G. (2014). Hypnotic relaxation therapy. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.

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SCEH member Don Moss has generously provided a recent presentation he gave on Hypnosis Mind-Body Perspectives.

Hypnosis Mind-Body Perspectives

Presentation by Donald Moss, PhD, Dean, Graduate College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences, Saybrook University, Pasadena, CA.

The presentation was part of a Symposium for the New Generations Conference, Budapest, Hungary, May 2019. The presenter advocates for psychophysiology as a framework for research and practice in hypnosis and hypnotically-assisted psychotherapy. His presentation introduces both the science of psychophysiology and the clinical discipline called applied psychophysiology. Neurophysiological monitoring provides valuable perspectives on neural and physiological correlates of hypnosis and psychotherapy. Mind-body practices such as meditative breathing enhance the patient’s openness and receptivity. Physiological monitoring provides a “window into the soul” – alerting patient and psychotherapist to not yet conscious affect and distress reactions. Frequently patients who are resistant to therapist interpretations seem to accept and adapt new insights that come from the physiological display. Like reading a scale, the feedback seems objective and more medical, and patients often accept the feedback, and work to make sense of what the feedback might mean. Physiological monitoring can also serve in trance ratification, giving credibility to hypnotic process.

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SCEH members Donald Moss and Eric Willmarth are happy to share their article, in the Annals of Palliative Medicine, on the topic "Hypnosis, Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Preparation for Medical Procedures.”

Hypnosis, Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Preparation for Medical Procedures

Author: Donald Moss, PhD and Eric Willmarth, PhD

This article, published in the Annals of Palliative Medicine, may be useful for physician education and hypnosis classes.  The article is available in Open Access at http://apm.amegroups.com/article/view/27360 

Invitation to Contribute to This Page

Society Members are invited to contribute to the SCEH Hypnosis Clinical Resources page.

Do you have any useful patient hypnosis handouts, links to podcasts or training videos on hypnosis related topics, or other material you might be willing to share on the Society's Hypnosis Clinical Resources page? 

If so, please send the resource with a cover letter to SCEH Immediate Past President and Education Chair, Don Moss at [email protected]. The SCEH Education Committee will screen the material and make final decisions on postings.  Thank you.











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