The American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysts (AAMH) was formed in 1974. Eight medical doctors gathered in Indiana to discuss forming a new professional group solely for the purpose of educating others about using hypnoanalysis. They were full of enthusiasm and wisdom about this exciting form of psychotherapy and had the desire to spread the knowledge of the hypnoanalysis practice among their colleagues in medicine. At first only medical doctors were allowed membership. But after understanding that this was an effective form of psychotherapy, two years later a second category of membership was created for PhD’s. In 1978 Master’s level therapists were added as a membership category. In 1990, a growing sense of inclusiveness led to the expansion of the membership categories to create equality of status based on clinical acumen rather than an artificial hierarchy of degree credentials.
Originally called the “Society” of Medical Hypnoanalysts, membership grew quickly during a renaissance in the study of hypnosis. By 1980 there were 40 members and in 1990 it grew to over 100 members. Then restrictions due to managed care, other changes in practice structure, and continued misunderstanding of hypnosis contributed to a slight decrease in membership. Many of the medical doctors returned exclusively to medicine.
Currently interest in hypnosis is growing again because of advances in a neuroscientific understanding and clinical research. Neuroscience is confirming our clinical understanding of hypnosis and giving us deepening insight into why therapists using hypnoanalysis get what appear to be extraordinary results. Contemporary research in neuroscience has brought renewed interest in hypnosis and how it integrates the mind-body-spirit connection for core healing and transformation.
Memberships are divided between Clinical or Associate, depending on their level of training in our modality. Medical Hypnoanalysis is available to any licensed psychotherapist or counselor regardless of the discipline under which he or she trained.
In 1980 the first issue of Medical Hypnoanalysis was published. It was produced in Memphis, TN by Ray Sexton, MD, Richard Maddock, PhD, John Scott, Sr., PhD and John Scott, Jr., MA (at that time). The Journal continued in publication for twenty years. Other editors have been Dan Zelling, MD, 1985-1991, Samuel Pizzi, PhD, 1991-1997, and Roxanne Lewis, PhD, 1997-2000. The hypnosis academy currently plans to begin publishing in e-journal format.