I am writing regarding your article, "Mind Over Matter," by Barbara Sklar [April 1995]. It is admirable that Barbara desires to relieve the pain and anxiety that her patients feel. The article suggests that hypnotherapy is a 100 percent safe and positive experience.
I am concerned about the safety and long-term effect of hypnotherapy. Some problems inherent in hypnosis are troubling the most knowledgeable experts in the field. Your readers need to be aware of the fact that harmful complications can accompany hypnosis. Some who have been hypnotized have had their personalities permanently altered. In spite of much scientific research, no one really knows what hypnosis is or how it really works.
As a Christian, I believe that Almighty God warns us in His Word about such psychic experiences. Please read Leviticus 19:26-31, Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:9-14, Isaiah 8:19, Isaiah 44:24-25, Galatians 5:19-21, and Revelation 21:8. God desires His people to come to Him with their problems, needs, fears, and anxieties rather than turn to occultic practitioners. Whenever a person allows his conscious state to be altered, he opens himself to satanic forces.
Authors Martin and Deidre Babgan, in their book "Hypnosis," examine the similarities between certain occultic practices and hypnotism methods. They conclude that there are so many unanswered questions about its usefulness and so many potential dangers associated with its usage, people would be wise to shun hypnosis. This, too, is my conclusion.
Brenda Hickey, RDH
Hollis, New Hampshire