Plenary Address given by Dr. Michael Yapko
ASCH Annual Conference in  San Antonio, Texas, March, 2019.

(1 hour and 5 minutes in length.)

Below is a description of Michael’s plenary address. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication regarding the authorization to post the video on our website. Consequently, the video is no longer available for viewing here. Our apologies.

ASCH will be posting the video on their website ( sometime in the near future as an e-learning opportunity for a fee. An audio version is immediately available through Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording ( as #30042 Plenary #1 “Where’s the Strength in Ego Strengthening?”

Again, our apologies for this inconvenience.

The term “ego-strengthening,” although nearly a half-century old, has been widely adopted by practitioners of clinical hypnosis who still use it to describe the goals of increasing patient self-confidence and self-esteem. Virtually every therapy strives to empower patients, generally by suggesting shifts in their perceptions about themselves and also about what is and isn’t controllable, especially as they relate to troublesome symptoms and issues. Perceptions of powerlessness can influence the onset and course of anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders, as well as treatment compliance and quality of response to medical interventions. Thus, we as practitioners need to better understand where the strength is in ego-strengthening suggestions given during hypnosis. The strength isn’t in the suggestions themselves… so where, then, is it? This plenary address will provide a consideration of the process of empowering patients through hypnosis.

As it turns out, Michael’s suggestions to stop using the term “ego-strengthening” proved to be quite controversial. He pointed out that the use of older psychodynamic concepts and terminology were already in sharp decline across clinical training programs and that there were better, more current ways of describing how hypnosis empowers people than by suggesting it is through strengthening the ego, an obsolete and theory-bound term.

Not one to shy away from any controversy that can help modernize the field and move it forward, Michael gave attendees a lot to think about. We think you’ll enjoy watching his plenary address.

If you are interested in the audio version of this plenary (#30042 Plenary #1: Where’s the Strength in Ego Strengthening?) along with other presentations from the 2019 ASCH conference, they are available for purchase through Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording