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From Surviving to Thriving: Applying the Science of Positive Psychology to Ignite Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy for Well-Being

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Presented by the Office of Continuing Education and The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Recorded on May 14, 2021

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 1.5 CEs for Psychologists, and 1.5 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSW, and LMFTs

Workshop Description:

Hypnosis has demonstrated to be effective for a breadth of physical and psychological concerns and has been primarily utilized for symptom reduction. However, there is an increased interest for interventions to not only provide clinical symptom relief, but also nourish positive functioning and amplify strengths. Positive psychology is the scientific study of the positive aspects of psychological functioning to enhance subjective and objective well-being. Positive psychology interventions (PPI) involve identifying and reinforcing strengths, savoring positive experiences, and pleasurable behaviors that increase meaning, connection, and well-being in life. PPI are brief, versatile, and easily incorporated into existing interventions. Similarly, hypnotherapy is a therapeutic modality that is integrative in nature, readily synthesizes positive psychology approaches, and may increase well-being via hypnotic relaxation. Created by Elkins (2014), Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy (HRT) is a well-defined, evidence based model of hypnotherapy that can be used alone or easily be incorporated with other therapeutic modalities. HRT is theoretically well suited to synergize PPI and enhance well-being, given that the unconscious is seen as a source of inner strength.  

This experiential workshop will invite clinicians to approach the 10 principles of Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy from a positive psychology perspective. The fundamental theory, research, and applications of positive psychology and Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy will be presented to enhance well-being. Brief clinical vignettes and clinical anecdotes will be incorporated to facilitate learning and generate discussion. The 10 steps of HRT self-hypnosis will be demonstrated to enrich the experiential learning of the concepts presented. A document will be shared outlining the steps of HRT self-hypnosis for well-being and an electronic copy of the PowerPoint presentation slides will be provided.  

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory to intermediate-level workshop, participants will be able to: 

1) Describe the theory of Positive Psychology and identify three Positive Psychology interventions that are aimed at increasing well-being in clients.  

2) Identify the 10 principles of Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy to ensure the intervention is successfully administered to increase well-being in clients.  

3) Identify the 10 steps of self-hypnosis and describe the applicability for improving well-being for both the clinician’s and client’s well-being. 

Professional Bio of Presenter Elizabeth E. Slonena, Psy.D., Post-Doctoral Psychologist, CBT Counseling Centers:

Elizabeth Slonena, Psy.D., is a post-doctoral psychologist at The CBT Counseling Centers, a group private practice in Asheville, North Carolina. She is a Licensed Psychological Associate in the state of North Carolina. Dr. Slonena’s education and training includes completing a two-year postbaccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institute of Health (investigating ketamine for treatment resistant depression) and graduating from Baylor University’s clinical psychology doctoral program under the mentorship of Dr. Gary Elkins in 2020. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina specializing in sexual trauma and LGBTQIA care. She is a co-author of 13 peer-reviewed articles and is the co-creator of Brief Mindful Hypnosis, a novel treatment for stress reduction and inner resilience. Dr. Slonena strives to cultivate community and celebrate diversity in the next generation of clinical hypnotherapists and holds leadership roles in the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis Marketing Committee and Mentorship Program. She is also a Content Advisor for Thrive360, a virtual reality wellness app that combines positive psychology principles with hypnosis and mindfulness interventions. Additionally, Dr. Slonena maintains a thriving therapy practice in Asheville, North Carolina.  

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach.

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 1: Program is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or science.

Registration and Fees:

Community members: $65.00

SCEH Members/TCSPP Faculty and staff: $55.00

Students: $15.00


Elkins, G. (2014). Hypnotic relaxation therapy: Principles and applications. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.  

Elkins, G. R., Barabasz, A. F., Council, J. R., & Spiegel, D. (2015). Advancing research and practice: The revised APA Division 30 definition of hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 57(4), 378-385.  

Na, H. (2019). Hypnotic relaxation therapy to enhance subjective well-being among college students: A pilot study [Doctoral dissertation, Baylor University]. Baylor University Libraries. Retrieved from 


Target Audience: Hypnosis practitioners, psychologists, LCSWs, MFTs, LCPCs, all mental health disciplines, health care professionals, graduate students welcome.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to [email protected]. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.