Alumnus Discovers the Value of Hypnosis Treatment in Work after Antioch
AUNE alumnus, Frederick W. Green, III, PsyD, class of 2015, admits the path to his present position as Outpatient Psychologist for the Gunderson Health System in La Crosse, WI, was anything but planned: “It’s really like a dream job that I didn’t know existed. My classmate Tom Ledoux, PsyD, class of 2014, ended up being recruited by a supervisor he had at Cambridge Health Alliance. When he started, I was still in Vermont working at a VA facility. I could not believe how well the system paid and supported psychologists! Pretty amazing. SO when the right position opened up, he recruited me and now we have a bit of an east coast migration in Wisconsin.”
Once a professional musician, writing and recording songs, Green still uses many of the skills he learned then in his present career in psychology: “Being a musician really teaches you to listen carefully and respond to other instruments and musicians. It also helps you become aware of how your own playing affects the band, and you learn to adapt to others’ styles.”
While Green admits that a sense of “social justice” was already “kind of woven into my perspective,” he credits Antioch for preparing him well for the workforce: “I get complimented on both the breadth of clinical understanding I have and the depth of knowledge about my psychodynamic theoretical orientation. I really think that is due to the great professors at Antioch.” He even credits his practicum studies at Antioch as laying the seed for his current research: “My first training site was Antioch’s Psychological Services Center and the level of comfort really helped me gain confidence. In fact, I recall Vic Pantesco, Ed.D. planting the seed of the effectiveness of hypnosis during one of many in-service trainings!”
His focus while studying at AUNE was exploring the psychosocial and spiritual factors among those who had healed from chronic Lyme disease. “This was a very personal study for me as I was very sick with Lyme disease when I started at Antioch,” Green confesses. “It was cool to sublimate my difficulties into a better understanding of what it takes to heal from such a devastating disease.” And how did it go? Green continues, “I found very interesting themes on the power of the mind-body connection and how psychological well-being plays a part in healing from chronic illness.”
Besides his duties with Gunderson at the hospital, he also provides outreach to under-served clinics and has plans to start teaching at one of the local colleges later this year. But it’s Gunderson’s support of his research interests in evidence-based hypnosis treatments for IBS, chronic pain, and smoking cessation that really excites Green.
“I didn’t have any idea that hypnosis would become one of my big things, and now I’m receiving funding to publish a number of papers on it. I also get really interesting referrals from PCPs and psychiatrists when there is a confusing overlap between medical and psychological pathologies that hypnosis and hypnoanalysis may be able to help.” So what’s next for Green in this area? “I hadn’t even considered that would be where I was headed when I went to my first hypnosis conference two years ago. So I continue to feel excited about the possibilities and opportunities this field has to offer.”
As far as the current trends and what he’d like to see change in his profession Green takes a populist approach: “I’d like to see our field get more in touch with mainstream consumers. People still use the term ‘psychiatrist’ as someone who provides psychotherapy. Obviously research shows that psychotherapy is often as effective (or more) as medication, but the average person gets their information from television or the internet, and our research is not being supplied to the mainstream. I really hope we can start to advertise psychotherapy so the general public understands that it is an effective option.”
Any advice for the next generation of Antiochians looking to follow his lead?
“I’d say that if you’re considering a doctoral program, make sure you really want to do it first. In my experience, those that struggle do so because they are somewhat ambivalent that this career is for them. If you are sure that it’s for you, then it can be a lot of fun. There are days when I think ‘Wow, I can’t believe they pay me to do all of these interesting and fun things!’ There are also days when things can be really tough and I think, ‘What the hell was I thinking when I decided to enter into this field?’ The former happens MUCH more often though. But I guess the point is it’s a challenge, but mostly fun and rewarding.”
But for now, Green is living and working the dream in Wisconsin: “The quality of life is great – right on the Mississippi, so my lifelong dream of owning a boat and watching Red Sox games on it is coming true! That’s my other piece of advice. Be a Red Sox fan. No matter what Ted Ellenhorn and Jim Fauth tell you. Be a Red Sox fan.”