Dr. Eric Ostrov




  Despite its use by stage magicians and other entertainers, hypnotism is a serious treatment modality. There is nothing magical about it. Through hypnotic induction techniques, you can learn to how to relax in almost any circumstance. There is a great deal of research showing its use in pain reduction, alleviating insomnia, and reducing cravings for example for nicotine or food. It is a natural intervention and does not come with harmful side effects as so many medications do. Having learned the techniques, you can use them anywhere – to sleep in an airplane, to relax before an exam, to reduce pain in a dentist’s chair.

  • Other stress reduction techniques include thought stopping, seeking interpersonal support and physical exercise. Each person has a different response to each technique and Dr. Ostrov can help you determine which is best for you.
  • Cognitive therapy was developed by Dr. Albert Ellis and Dr. Aaron Beck decades ago. It is widely used to help people with adjustment problems by helping them see how errors in thinking and perceiving are contributing to their problems.
  • Interpersonal therapy also is widely used and stems back to the work of Virginia Sapir and other interpersonally oriented psychotherapists. It helps people cope by working on how they deal with other persons and helps them with relationships in and outside of the family.
  • Life review focuses on your going back over your life to understand where you came from, the decisions you made, your triumphs and letdowns. This approach is in the tradition of Erik Erikson who described various stages of life including in adulthood gaining a perspective about how, as you get older, you want to live the rest of your life.
  • Philosophical therapy is a more recent development in the psychotherapy field. It focuses on using insights provided by renowned philosophers such as Jean Paul Sartre who had much to say about living what he called and “authentic” and chosen life.
  • Use of herbs as well as various vitamins often is not scientifically supported. Nevertheless there is a body of research that shows the effectiveness of certain interventions.

Disclaimer: Use of psychological techniques does not in any way contradict or preclude use of physicians to deal with genuine medical problems. If one is depressed due to a medical condition – an underactive thyroid for example – psychotherapy will not help. If sleep apnea is causing insomnia, hypnotism may not help. Dr. Ostrov encourages every client to get a thorough medical checkup to explore the possibility that there is a medical solution to his or her problems. For many problems, however, medical solutions simply are not sufficient or effective or they involve unacceptable side-effects or risks. An example is use of stomach surgery to deal with obesity, which involves life-threatening risks and is only recommended in cases of morbid obesity. Again there are no side effects or physical risks in the use of psychological interventions. Risks of using herbs and vitamins are minimal.

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