About Me

John Mohl
Candidate for President-Elect
Division 30

Twitter: @JohnCMohl
Email: John.Mohl[at]bucks.edu

About Me and My Perspectives on Hypnosis

Discovering Hypnosis, Hoping to Discover More

My first real exposure to hypnosis, other than what was seen on Saturday morning cartoons, occurred while perusing through a psychology textbook back when I was in elementary school. I saw a picture of Ernest Hilgard conducting a cold pressor test on a hypnotized subject, and read that she was experiencing little to no discomfort. I knew then that I wanted to pursue hypnosis in some capacity.

That pursuit led me to experimental hypnosis, as I have been immensely curious about hypnosis and its phenomena. I am especially interested in how the experience of hypnotic phenomena can personally benefit those who capable of experiencing them. I have authored or co-authored research that has been published in each of the three major hypnosis journals, and I have supervised and sponsored several student-led empirical projects. I have dedicated my professional efforts to Division 30 as well, having served as Treasure and four times as Convention Program Chair/Co-Chair (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).

How I View Hypnosis

Like many of the younger scholar-practitioners in the professional hypnosis world (at least based on my perception on it), I am largely non-committal on the state/non-state debate of hypnosis. From the state perspective, I see how hypnosis is a dissociative process in some people who experience very stark changes in phenomenology. From the non-state view, I understand how hallucinations, delusions, and other hypnotic phenomena, which are quite fascinating to members of the general public (and psychologists alike!), can be explained by relatively simple psychological processes such as imagination, positive set, and the demands of the environment. In a way, I see hypnosis as both: a distinct and necessary state for some in some cases, and not for some in other cases.

Hypnosis Researchers and Clinicians Have a Special Secret…It’s Called Hypnosis

I would hypothesize that the typical college student is likely to get more exposure to hypnosis through a stage performance in their student union center than in any psychology course. While stage hypnotism, performed in a relatively tasteful and respectable way, may leave an audience with a better perspective on hypnosis overall, it is no substitute for a serious scientific examination of the matter. Intro to psychology curricula are loaded with many different concepts and principles, and the typical teacher may be left giving hypnosis cursory coverage, if at all. This is unfortunate, because the potential effective uses of hypnosis, especially in therapy, are largely unknown to general public. Organizations such as Division 30 must work hard to ensure that hypnosis does not fade into obscurity in the world of psychology. This is what I will work to accomplish should I become President of Division 30.

The Non-Hypnosis Side of Me (or: My Non-Hypnosis Ego State)

I teach Introduction to Psychology and equivalent courses to high school and college students in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. In addition to Division 30 and the APA, I have been a member of Divisions 1, 2, 3, 526, and 32, as well as the Association for Psychological Science and the Eastern Psychological Association.  I live in Bucks County with my wife and two children. I enjoy bowling, biking, coaching track & field, and playing trivia games.