Jim Beck, PhD, CH



  • PhD (Social Epidemiology), MS (Epidemiology/Social Psychology), BS (Psychology)
  • Certified Hypnotist, National Guild of Hypnotists, International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association
  • Certificate in Pain Management, American School of Clinical Hypnosis International
  • Certificate in Advanced Hypnosis, OMNI Hypnosis
  • Certificate in Medical Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy for Health

Contact Me

For an appointment, or if you have a question, please call me at 919-270-3180 and leave a message with a good time to call you if I am not available to answer.

About Jim

I grew up in Florida but, wanting to experience more than one season during the year, I came north to Chapel Hill for college and graduated with a PhD degree in 1969.  As someone with a background in psychology, I was fascinated in mind-body associations and how hypnosis might enhance mental and physical health but work and family obligations did not allow me to pursue that interest seriously.  I was married with a child about to arrive and there was a need to earn a living as soon as my education was completed. I took my first academic position in Louisville, KY, then moved to Lexington, KY, followed by a move to Springfield, IL to teach in a medical school. From there we moved to Iowa City, IA, and I became a faculty member in a dental school. In 1985 I was recruited back to Chapel Hill and have been here now for more than thirty years as a Distinguished Professor at UNC School of Dentistry. Our family has continued to expand… and we have four sons and six grandchildren.

About fifteen years ago, I mistyped a search term on the computer and up popped “hypnosis.”  I quickly realized the field had progressed greatly since I had last looked. After some home study, I undertook formal hypnosis training with the goal of helping people who feared the dentist and dental treatment.  I have been in practice as a consulting hypnotist for over 13 years, mostly evenings and weekends.

Areas of Expertise

While I have worked with a wide variety of issues, I have a special interest in:

1. Anxiety and fears. When I mention that I work in a dental school, I get a range of reactions.  People often tell me that they are afraid of dentist, sometimes to the point of not going to the dentist at all. Fear of the dentist is just one of a multitude of different fears (flying, clowns, heights, spiders, being in a closed-in space (claustrophobia), among others. These fears change how they live their lives, but they can be gone very quickly (often in one or two appointments).

2. Motion sickness. Many people suffer from some form of motion sickness, usually riding in some type of vehicle, but others can suffer from being where something like the ocean is moving around them. Like fears, motion sickness (that is not organically caused by a middle ear problem) can be gone very quickly.

3. Pain management. Pain that pops up quickly is usually there for a reason. It is telling you that something is wrong and needs attention. However, when the pain continues for a long time after the original problem is solved, it has no medical reason to continue and becomes chronic pain. Hypnosis is known to be useful in helping to manage pain without the use of medicines. I enjoy helping people reduce or eliminate pain that has no medical reason to be there.

4. Autoimmune conditions. There are a large number of diseases and conditions that are classified as having some type of mental/emotional component. Examples are fibromyalgia, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Hypnosis has been found to be helpful in reducing or eliminating symptoms as well as associated pain.

5. Enhanced healing. Our minds are very powerful, and it has been shown that positive suggestions to patients about healing after upcoming surgery result in patients having a quicker recovery. I have had some success in helping patients with both soft tissue and hard tissue (bones) injuries heal more quickly. This is a new area and the rate of success is currently not known. I am interested in seeing clients with these types of injuries in order to increase our knowledge and am willing to greatly reduce the fee for those interested.