We’re one of the oldest state-level “component sections” of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

“This is the best professional organization I have ever belonged to in my 32 years in practice.”
– Jean Olson, LCSW (retired)

About Us

The North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis is a community of dedicated healthcare and mental healthcare providers committed to the competent, effective and ethical use of clinical hypnosis.

NCSCH has long been recognized as the premier organization for training in clinical hypnosis, for the quality of our education and training, as well as for the high caliber of professionals who comprise the membership of the organization. However, we also enjoy high membership retention because of our openness, friendliness, and support for the novice as well as the highly skilled and experienced clinician.

NorthCarolinaHypnosisWe welcome new participants and hope you will consider exploring membership, even as we celebrate the many enduring friendships and collegial relationships that have developed over the past 40 years.

Providing superior training with national and internationally respected speakers and talented clinicians from NC as well, NCSCH is a volunteer-run grassroots organization founded in 1970 by Nicholas Stratas, M.D. and Vladimir B. Bensen, MD, as a component society of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), created by Milton Erickson, Kaye Thompson, and others.


Recent Conferences

Whether internationally recognized teachers, or contributions from some extraordinarily talented minds right here in North Carolina, our continuing commitment is to advance the knowledge and skillful utilization of clinical hypnosis for healthcare and mental health professionals who are inspired to offer the best standard of care possible for health, healing, and well-being.

NC Hypnosis Conference

  • 2015 – Lynn Lyons, LICSW “Beyond Calming Down: Creating and Delivering Effective Hypnotic Interventions for Anxious Children and Adults”
  • 2014 – Joseph Barber, PhD “The Art and Science of Crafting and Delivering Hypnotic Suggestions”
  • 2013 – David Patterson, PhD “Hypnosis in Pain Management and Self-Growth”
  • 2012 – Sheryll Daniel, PhD “Building an Integrative Practice in Clinical Hypnosis: The Hows and Whys of Mind/Body Interaction”
  • 2011 Richard P. Kluft, MD, PhD “Psychoanalysis and Hypnosis: Can Isaac Learn from Ishmael? Can Ishmael Learn from Isaac?”
  • 2010 Steven Jay Lynn, PhD “Frontiers of Clinical Hypnosis: Science and Practice”
  • 2009 Dabney M. Ewin, MD, FACS, ABMH “Rapid Hypnoanalysis Using Ideomotor Signals”
  • 2008 Caroly Daitch, PhD “Affect Regulation Tools: Practical Strategies for Individual and Relationship Therapy”
  • 2007 Jeffrey Zeig, PhD “Hypnosis in Time-Limited Therapy
  • 2006 Ernest Rossi, PhD and Kathryn Rossi, PhD “The Brave New World of Mirror Neurons in Therapeutic Hypnosis, Psychotherapy and Rehabilitation


NCSCH – The Beginnings


Nicholas E. Stratas, M.D. DLFAPA, co-founder NCSCH

During the latter part of 1969, two early members of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Nicholas E. Stratas, MD, Raleigh psychiatrist , and Vladimir B. Bensen, MD, a Raleigh family practitioner met in Dr. Bensen’s house to discuss organizing a North Carolina component of ASCH. Both had experienced the use and importance of the integration of hypnosis into the practice of primary care medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy for simple symptom removal and/or substitution, behavioral change, treatment of medical/psychiatric problems and personal growth and self-management.

Further discussions and interactions with ASCH led to an enthusiastic meeting February, 1970 in Raleigh of the then 15 North Carolina members of ASCH. Personal experiences with the use of hypnosis were shared as well as information about the experience of the founding of the Virginia component in 1958 where Milton H. Erickson, founder and President of ASCH and Editor of the Journal of ASCH had been present. It was decided to go forward to formalize plans for the 32nd component section of ASCH – The North Carolina Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

With the approval and authorization of the national executive committee of ASCH a Charter Meeting was held in Boone, NC in May, 1970. Dr. Bensen was nominated President. Short anecdotal presentations were made and plans for educational meetings were discussed. The purposes of the Society were to bring together professional people who share investigative, scientific and clinical interests in hypnosis in order to provide programs to further, in every ethical way, knowledge and understanding of hypnosis; stimulate research and scientific publication; promote hypnosis as an important tool of ethical medicine; and cooperate with other professional societies that share mutual goals, ethics and interests.

The first annual meeting of the NCSCH was successfully held at the Holiday Inn, an unusually round structure close to the Capital in downtown Raleigh, October 31 and November 1, 1970. The invocation was given by The Rev. James Dunbar Beckwith, BD, Rector, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh. Invited guests speakers were John Hartland, M.D., consulting psychiatrist, 30 year practitioner of hypnosis, author, Editor of the British Journal of Hypnosis and President of the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis and Donald Coulton, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice in Bangor, Maine and President-elect of ASCH. Dr. Hartland spoke on “The Place of Hypnosis in Modern Medicine and Dentistry”, “The Approach to Hypnotherapy Permissive or Otherwise?”, “The Common-Sense Approach to the Problem of Neurosis”, and “The Principles and Construction of Ego-Strengthening Techniques”. Dr. Coulton spoke about “Hypnosis in the United States Today and Tomorrow”. Other speakers presented on the “Clinical Use Hypnosis in North Carolina”. In addition conversations, consultations and demonstrations were held. Presenting in the program, as well as Doctors Hartland, Coulton, Bensen, Eckley and Stratas were William L. Clarke, Jr., MD, Hickory, Brooke R. Johnson, PhD, Boone, Ervin M. Funderburk, DDS, Charlotte, Robert G. Crummie, MD, Fayetteville, O. Douglas Boyce, MD, Gastonia and Roy R. Blanton, EdD, Boone.

At that meeting Dr. Bensen was formally elected as the first President and, George M. Eckley, M.D. a practitioner of Internal Medicine from Statesville, North Carolina as Vice President. Dr, Bensen was later to become North Carolina’s first President of ASCH.

There was good press coverage and the News and Observer of Raleigh did a full-page on hypnosis and an interview of Dr. Hartland and others. The groundwork was laid for future workshops and annual meetings, which subsequently occurred. At that time the ASCH was limited to Doctors of Medicine, Dentistry and Psychology and over 30 were in attendance. Doctors Bensen and Stratas were later active in the change to include other professionals in ASCH.