Today’s interview features one of the nation’s foremost hypnotists who is also the associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University Medical School.
In this episode, Dr. David Spiegel talks about how hypnosis can help people not only quit smoking and lose weight, but also relieve chronic pain and reduce people’s dependency on medications.
David earned his Bachelor’s at Yale College and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1971. His mother and father were psychiatrists and his father started practicing hypnosis just before World War II.
David now has more than 45 years of clinical and research experience studying psycho-oncology, stress and health, pain control and hypnosis. In addition to his role as the Willson Professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford, he is also the director of the Center on Stress and Health and the medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
David has published 12 books, including one with his father. He has written more than 380 scientific journal articles and 167 book chapters on topics ranging from hypnosis to psychosocial oncology to trauma to psychotherapy.
Last year David was featured in Time magazine about the therapeutic uses of hypnosis. In terms of the nation’s escalating opiate problem, David has gone on record saying that hypnosis can and should be used instead of painkillers in many cases.
“There are things we could be doing that are a lot safer, cheaper and more effective,” said David, “but we’re not because as a society we have the prejudice that hypnosis is voodoo and pharmacology is science.”
David’s research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Dana Foundation for Brain Sciences.
David is the past president of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.