The question of hypnotherapy and religion often comes up during discussions of client-centred hypnotherapy. What are the important issues that may be of concern to a client who has a personal relationship with God? How can this relationship enhance the hypno-therapeutic process? Paul G. Durbin, PhD., a United Methodist Minister, who is Director of Pastoral Care at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital and holds the rank of Brigadier General in the Louisiana National guard, responds to these questions in this chapter.
One may ask, “Why does a person of religious faith need hypnosis?” I believe that question can be responded to be referring to a statement of Jesus in John 10:10 (KJV), “I come that they may have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Hypnosis is one of the gifts of God which helps people experience the more abundant life.
Jesus said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18 (KJV). Jesus called his followers to “preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2 (KJV) These verses and others indicate that Jesus meant for his church to have a healing mission.
Obeying the commission of Jesus to heal the sick and in corporation with a doctor, the pastor can use hypnosis to reduce pain, to lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and to hasten the healing process. By properly using hypnosis, we can heal the broken-hearted, bring deliverance to those on captivity to pain, give sight to the emotionally and spiritually blind and set at liberty those who are bound by unwanted habits.
The first recorded use of hypnosis is found in the book of Genesis 2:21-22 (ASV), “So the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which God took from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man.” In this incident, God used hypnosis as an anaesthesia so that Adam felt no pain during the removal of his rib. Since that time, hypnosis has been used in almost every age and culture under a variety of names.