About this event

  • Date and time Mon 21 Sep 2020 from 9:00am to 12:30pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine

This online conference will examine and provide an update on functional neurological disorders (FNDs) in respect of aetiology, diagnosis, management, evidence and treatment options for these intriguing but distressing conditions.  

This is a multidisciplinary conference that will bring together clinicians and academics from different medical specialties who have an interest in solving the mysteries surrounding functional conditions, which so far have eluded the medical profession.  

This conference will provide you with:

  • Current research into the diagnosis, aetiology and treatment options for functional neurological disorders 
  • How hypnotic techniques can be of value in the  management of pain  
  • An awareness of the potential benefits of hypnosis in relation to both research and the management of functional neurological symptoms

We would like to thank our sponsor British Society of Clinical & Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH) for their support of this webinar. Please note that the scientific programme and content has not been influenced in any way by the sponsor.

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Key speakers

Valerie Voon

Dr Valerie Voom

Clinical Fellow, Neuropsychiatrist and Senior Principal Investigator,  University of Cambridge, UK

Speaker's biography

Dr Voom's research group focuses on neural mechanisms underlying disorders of compulsivity and addictions using multimodal techniques with a specific focus on neuromodulation.

Allan Cyna

Dr Allan Cyna

Senior Consultant Anaesthetist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide, Australia

Speaker's biography

Dr Cyna is also the Chair of the Communication in Anaesthesia Special interest group (Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists - ANZCA), Course Director of the South Australian Society of Hypnosis training course and President of the Australian Society of Hypnosis.  Following his PhD on the effects of hypnosis on pain, he has developed a special interest in using hypnotic communication as an adjunct to anaesthesia care and pain management – particularly with children suffering burns. Dr Cyna has published widely including as Editor in Chief of the Handbook of Communication in Anaesthesia & Critical Care.

Mark Edwards

Professor Mark Edwards (MBBS, BSc(Hons), PhD, FRCP, FEAN)

Professor of Neurology at St George’s University of London and The Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Service, St George’s University Hospital, UK

Speaker's biography

Professor Edwards is a specialist clinical and research interest in Movement Disorders and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). He did his PhD with Professor John Rothwell and Professor Kailash Bhatia at the UCL Institute of Neurology, studying the pathophysiology of genetic dystonia. During this period he was involved with the development of a novel and now widely used technique for transcranial magnetic stimulation: theta burst stimulation.


Following completion of neurology training he became a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at UCL and the National Hospital for Neurology. Here he developed an NIHR funded research program and specialist diagnostic and treatment service for patients with FND. After moving to St George’s in 2015 he expanded this work to develop one of the first integrated diagnostic and treatment services for FND alongside continued research work into the pathophysiology of the disorder and development and testing of novel treatments, including the first randomised trial of specialist physiotherapy for functional movement disorders. He is also an active part of the specialist movement disorders and deep brain stimulation team at the Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Centre, and continues electrophysiological and psychophysical research work into the pathophysiology and treatment of movement disorders in general.


He has published over 250 peer reviewed publications and is author of the Oxford Specialist Handbook of Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders.


He is President of the Association of British Neurology Movement Disorders Group, International Executive Committee member of the International Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Society, Board and Founding Member of the Functional Neurological Disorder Society, Associate Editor of the European Journal of Neurology, and medical advisor for FNDHope, the UK Dystonia Society and the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine. He is the winner of the Jon Stolk Award for Movement Disorders research from the American Academy of Neurology, the David Marsden Award for Dystonia research, the Queen Square Prize and the Uschi Tschabitscher prize for research from the European Academy of Neurology.

Jason Price

Dr Jason Price

Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Speaker's biography

Dr Price is a qualified Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and Clinical Psychologist. He is currently the clinical lead for a Dissociative Neurological Symptoms Disorder service and stroke neuropsychology service in the NHS. He is also the Chair of the Policy Unit of the Division of Neuropsychology (The British Psychological Society) , with therapeutic interests in cognitive neuroscience, Clinical Hypnosis, EMDR, ACT and Motivational Interviewing.


View the programme

Welcome and Introduction

Dr Deborah Mairs-Houghton, President, Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Chair: Dr Valerie Voon, Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellow, Neuropsychiatrist and Senior Principal Investigator, University of Cambridge
Functional neurological disorder: A contemporary overview

Professor Mark Edwards, Consultant Neurologist, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The nature of hypnosis for Dissociative Neurological Symptom Disorder

Dr Jason Price, Consultant, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hypnosis for pain management: The evidence 

Dr Caron Moores, Consultant Anaesthetist, Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool

Questions and answers session
Atypical suggestibility in FND: Implications for diagnosis, treatment and mechanisms 

Dr Devin Terhune, Cognitive Neuroscientist and University Professor, University of London

Little words BIG impact in the management of pain utilising hypnosis

Dr Allan Cyna, Senior Consultant Obstetric and Paediatric Anaesthetist, Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia

The power of belief in symptom formation and treatment

Dr Quinton Deeley, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, National Autism UnitAdult ADHD Service, and Behavioural Genetics and Autism Assessment Clinic

Questions and answers session
Closng remarks

Dr Deborah Mairs-Houghton

End of the meeting




Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations.

Special rates for difficult times 
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s COVID-19 online events are available free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

All webinars will be available for registered delegates 30 days after on Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be  distributed  in future on various internet channels. 

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