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Student nurses to be taught hypnotherapy to help manage stress


Student nurses at a Scottish university are to be offered training in self-hypnotherapy to help them alleviate the stress of exams and course work.

The UK’s first ever visiting professor in clinical hypnosis has been appointed by the school of nursing and midwifery at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

Ursula James will help develop new support strategies for students, including hypnotherapy, to alleviate the stress of exams and course work.

The work will be incorporated into the induction process for students in the nursing school and across the rest of the university.

She was approached about the post after delivering a workshop on self-hypnosis for childbirth at the university last year.

Professor James said she was looking forward to “working with students and staff on a number of exciting projects designed to reduce stress, improve personal abilities and enhance skills”.

While at the university, she will also continue her research into the effect of altered states on cognition and help develop full- and part-time MSc courses in clinical hypnosis.

The MSc course, which will be developed throughout next year, will contain modules on smoking cessation, childbirth and weight loss.

Head of nursing school professor Ian Murray 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.”

An expert in her field, Professor James has authored a number of textbooks and currently teaches clinical hypnosis at 11 medical schools.

She also had her own TV series on Channel 5 called “Sex, Lies and Hypnosis”, which used hypnotherapy for relationships and is a patron of the charity Anxiety UK.


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Readers' comments (29)

  • Andrew Johnston

    Keep up the learning, young man. If you are not learning something new everyday, then time for a new job.


    Hasn't the profession as a whole been hypnotised these past 3 years? Perhaps we need a visiting professor of ' slapping round the chops' to stop the apathy.

    Its a good idea, better than drinking or drugs, and a bit cheaper, so roll on.

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  • tinkerbell

    Don't talk to me about drink and drugs.

    I went to see my doctor, i said 'whenever i pass from one country to another i have to get drunk', he said 'you're borderline alcoholic'.

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  • I hope this is a joke? I'd rather Students were taught useful things in University, you know like aseptic technique or how to communicate etc.

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  • Anonymous | 28-Jul-2013 7:45 pm

    Why do you hope it's a joke? Have you looked at your colleagues lately? How well do they cope with the stress levels of their jobs? As has been said earlier, teaching strategies for coping with the job should be considered a good thing. There has been no suggestion that it is being offered instead of normal nursing curriculum. If it makes them more able to cope with what's ahead of them, then all well and good.

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  • Andrew Johnson | 26-Jul-2013 3:40 pm

    Anonymous | 26-Jul-2013 3:05 pm

    Im sorry to hear about your father but you cannot generalise every NQ by your experince.

    Thank you Andrew. It was wrong of me to generalise but in my experience many newly qualified nurses are not being equipped well enough in their training to cope with the basic practicalities of hands on care when they start on a ward.

    I am not blaming them but the education they have that after 3 years leaves them in that position. Hence my comments about time spent being taught hypnotherapy to relieve the stress of exams and course work.

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  • Anon 7.45
    Aeseptic, surely?

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  • redpaddys12 | 30-Jul-2013 9:01 pm

    not my comment but have just looked in Oxford Dictionary as I thought it might be US English. No mention of that but the entries are




    checked with google
    and it is still aseptic but, as you might guess, the Americans write asepsis.

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  • What we learnt in the old days !!

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  • Anonymous | 30-Jul-2013 9:24 pm
    Anonymous | 31-Jul-2013 5:27 pm

    I think that rp12 was trying to be funny. Apparently you missed it.

    Anonymous | 31-Jul-2013 5:27 pm

    Aseptic technique is also learned now. It is a shame that some already qualified nurses feel the need to hark back to the old days through rose-tinted specs and a large dose of denial. I qualified in 1983 when mortality rates were higher and patient outcomes were poorer. Of course our patients were more respectful of nurses and did not question (were not aware of some of the dangerous behaviours which happened around them), which is one of the reasons that you probably believe that times were better. Patients are nicer when they don't challenge you and are meekly compliant. There was a time when patients were allowed to smoke in a ward! Health promotion at it's best, eh?

    The most telling comment here is the very first one from Anonymous | 26-Jul-2013 12:50 pm. I wonder how many were harmed or killed by someone with such a backward, ignorant attitude?

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