Words: A Double Edged Sword

  • Posted on: 26 March 2017
  • By: Dr Emma
Blog category: 
Hypnotherapy Harley Street London


"Words: The importance of the right choice of language for effective therapeutic communication"

Meeting of the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine

13th March 2017 1 Wimpole Street, London. (I've been so busy since my return from this meeting, only now am I getting the time to right this up!)

The Royal Society of Medicine is one of the leading providers of accredited postgraduate medical education in the UK and has been doing so since 1805. As a learned society with over 60 speciality sections, it organised over 400 education meetings a year, bringing together leading professionals in their field for accredited education by eminent professionals and for an exchange of ideas.

As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, I belong to the Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Section, along with a very active multidisciplinary group of professionals including doctors, nurses, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and lay hypnotherapists using hypnosis working within the NHS and/or private practice.

50-60 of us attended this meeting, there were 4 lectures covering a range of topics listed below from eminent speakers in their particular field.


  •     To review the importance of the choice of words and phrases used in therapeutic work.
  •     Gain more understanding about how language influences others experience.
  •     Learn the most effective therapeutic techniques appropriate to using hypnosis with children and young people.
  •     Understand how to work effectively using hypnosis with translators.



  •     Opening Address; Dr Martin Wall, RSM and European Society of Hypnosis
  •     The Power of Words: The importance of choosing the right language for each patient. Mr David Straker, Director, Changing Works
  •     Children's Understanding of Hypnosis. Mr David Houghton, Educational and Child Psychologist
  •     The relationship between language and hypnosis: Is Hypnosis in any other language still hypnosis? Dr Nuala Brady, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist
  •     Language sets the scene- hurting or healing with words. Dr Deborah Mairs-Houghton, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
  •     Closing. Dr Martin Wall, RSM, ESH

Personal Highlights

Mr Houghton's lecture was excellent and gave me cutting edge practical learning that can be incorporated immediately into my work with children and young people, including enhanced use of metaphor, fairy tale therapy, utilising pets and hobbies more effectively in hypnosis, using artistic metaphor and drawing within therapy, use of space travel and aliens in therapy, cartoon therapy and enhancing children’s self-regard. By far the best teaching on the use of hypnosis with children I have attended. Thank you Mr Houghton.

Dr Brady too gave an excellent model to follow on the effective and safe use of hypnosis via a translator.

If you have never been to the RSM, it’s hard to imagine the fabulous building and facilities. It’s the most fantastic meeting venue with one of the largest postgraduate biomedical lending libraries in Europe, with over half a million volumes dating back to the 15th century. Every year up to 1,000 new books are added to the collection and the Library subscribes to over 5,000 current journals covering all aspects of biomedical science. Even the ladies loos are fabulously spacious!

Lovely to meet over tea (tea is always good) eminent colleagues devoted to the use of hypnosis within a variety of settings. Private practice can be isolating without such networks of lovely and likeminded people with bright brains and good ideas. I look forward to the next RSM meeting.


Dr Emma Rae Rhead Hypnotherapy
Medical Hypnotherapist and Hypno-Psychotherapist
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
Hypnotherapy Chester, Hypnotherapy Harley Street, Hypnotherapy Liverpool