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Clinical hypnosis introduced to support students


Students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen will soon benefit from modern hypnosis techniques to reduce stress and help improve their grades.

L to R: Professor Ian Murray, Professor Ursula James and Professor Tracy Humphrey.The use of clinical hypnosis is being introduced at the university by new Visiting Professor Ursula James who is an internationally renowned expert in the field.

Professor James recently accepted the position of Visiting Professor in Clinical Hypnosis at RGU, the first appointment of its kind in the UK, and is also a visiting teaching fellow at Oxford University Medical School.

She was approached by RGU after working with Professor Tracy Humphrey to deliver a workshop on self hypnosis for childbirth at the university’s Faculty of Health and Social Care in November last year.

Staff at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery will work with Professor James to develop new support strategies for students, including hypnotherapy, to alleviate the stress of exams and course work which will also be incorporated into the induction process.

Whilst at RGU, Professor James will continue her research into the effect of altered states on cognition and the bio-medical markers of stress. She said: “I am honoured to accept the position of Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University and look forward to working with students and staff on a number of exciting projects designed to reduce stress, improve personal abilities and enhance skills.

“There is a fantastic ‘can-do’ attitude at RGU and as part of my appointment I aim to improve the professional standards in hypnosis and develop further research in this field. RGU is the perfect place to do this.”

Experts at the university are also working with Professor James to develop an MSc in Clinical Hypnosis which will include specific modules on smoking cessation, weight loss and child birth. The course, which will be developed over the next year, will be taught both full-time and part-time, utilising a blended learning approach.

It will also be possible to sign up for the modules as stand-alone courses and those already trained in clinical hypnosis will be able to use their existing qualifications to access the MSc via Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL).

Professor Ian Murray, RGU’s Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, welcomed Professor James’ appointment which he said is a great addition to the school’s depth of talent and expertise.

He said: “Clinical Hypnosis is an exciting area of medical practice and we are delighted Professor James has joined our team. We look forward to working with her to develop new courses for the university as well as innovative ways of alleviating stress and improving student performance.”

Professor James currently heads a team which teaches clinical hypnosis at 11 medical schools in the UK including Oxford and Cambridge. As well as authoring a number of books including ‘The Clinical Hypnosis Textbook,’ she also had her own TV series on Channel 5 called ‘Sex, Lies and Hypnosis’ which used hypnotherapy for relationships.

She is also the Patron of Anxiety UK and the National Centre for Domestic Violence and is actively engaged in research into the applications of altered states of awareness for enhancing performance and reducing anxiety. 

Release by
Ross Anderson
Communications Officer | Health and Sport