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Society of Psychological Hypnosis Division 30 – American Psychological Association
An Introduction to Hypnosis
I. II. III. IV. IV. VI. What is Hypnosis ? Common Myths about Hypnosis Theories of Hypnotic Responding Key Theoretical Controversies in Hypnosis Hypnotic Suggestibility Hypnosis as a Clinical Tool
I. Components of a Hypnotic Procedure 3 . What is Hypnosis ? A. Defining Hypnosis B.
thoughts. 4 • . and behaviors. people are trained in self-hypnosis. Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works. perceptions. in which they learn to guide themselves through a hypnotic procedure.A. Defining Hypnosis • Hypnosis is a procedure involving cognitive processes (like imagination) in which a subject is guided by a hypnotist to respond to suggestions for changes in sensations. feelings. • Sometimes.
B. Two Components of a Hypnotic Procedure • It is useful to think of a hypnotic procedure as consisting of two phases or components: • • Hypnotic Induction Hypnotic Suggestions 5 .
What is a Hypnotic Induction ? • An introduction to hypnosis in which the subject is guided through suggestion to relax. Other hypnotists believe the induction is a social cue that prompts the subject to engage in hypnotic behaviors. 6 • • . concentrate. and/or to focus his or her attention on some particular thing. Some hypnotists believe the purpose of the induction is to induce an altered state of consciousness.
• Cognitive Suggestions – experience changes in sensations. perceptions. thoughts or feelings. • Challenge Suggestions – subject is told he or she will not be able to do some particular thing and then is asked to perform the prohibited behavior.What is a Hypnotic Suggestion ? • • The subject is guided to undergo changes in experience. 7 . Types of Hypnotic Suggestions: • Ideomotor Suggestions – experience a motor movement.
Hypnosis reliably enhances the accuracy of memory.II. Hypnosis enables people to re-experience a past life. Common Myths about Hypnosis • People in hypnosis lose control and can be made to say or do whatever the hypnotist wants. • NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE 8 . • • • • • Hypnosis depends primarily on the skill of the hypnotist. Hypnosis only affects weak-willed or gullible people. People may not be able to come out of hypnosis.
Psychoanalytic Approach Neodissociation Approach Socio-Cognitive Approach Transpersonal Approach 9 . Important Theories of Hypnotic Responding A. C. D. B.III.
These patients suffered from medical complaints like seizures. Eventually.”) • • Freud also believed that Hypnosis allowed him access to memories within the patient’s unconscious mind which had been previously repressed.g. Psychoanalytic Approach: Freud’s Model of Hypnosis • Freud initially utilized hypnosis to help remove psychosomatic symptoms from patients who suffered from what we would now call a somatoform disorder. and paralysis of their limbs that was transient and/or was not thought to be the entirely the result of a general medical condition. (e. Freud learned that he could temporarily or permanently reduce many of these symptoms using direct hypnotic suggestions for the symptoms to be reversed..: “Your arm is calm again and will no longer spasm.A. Freud began using free association instead of hypnosis as a way of accessing the unconscious. muscular spasms. 10 • .
11 • • . The Neodissociation Approach • • A more recent psychoanalytically-oriented theory. • Under hypnosis.B. part of the mind enters an altered state of consciousness. The part of the mind in an altered state of consciousness is very open to hypnotic suggestions. Developed by Ernest Hilgard. A second dissociated part of the mind. later designated as the “Hidden Observer”. remains aware of what is going on during a hypnotic session.
• If queried. 12 .B. Neodissociation • The Hidden Observer Experiments • Discovered in highly hypnotizable subjects during dissociative tasks such as hypnotic deafness and hypnotic pain analgesia. some subjects could nevertheless give realistic accounts of the dissociated experience as if a hidden observer was present within the person.
but does not hold up under examination.” • Ernest R. • “The concept of a totally unified consciousness is an attractive one. Neodissociation • Hilgard’s Neodissociation theory • These dissociations were evidence of separate cognitive subsystems that were operating during the experiment. Hilgard (1994) 13 .B.
14 . rolegoverned.. 1994) as a kind of “narrative process” in which we come to construct our experience as that identity as a “believed-in imagining” (Sarbin. (Spanos & Burgess. and performed” (Lynn et al.A Sociocognitive take on Neodissociation • • The hidden observer is created and enacted by the subject in response to the hypnotic instructions given by the experimenter. 1994) The self or “identity is constructed. 1998).
Not a single theory. but a group of theories. in turn. • Response Expectancy Theory – hypnotic suggestions alter expectations for nonvolitional outcomes (e. then contribute to the experience of those outcomes (Kirsch. pain).g.C. Examples: • Role Theory – people naturally adopt the role behaviors of a hypnotized person. • • 15 . Such expectations . The Sociocognitive Approach • Contends that the principles of social psychology explain behavior during hypnosis. 1990)..
2005). Native American. • Shamanistic Healing Rituals • Exorcism and Demonology • Advanced meditative practices to achieve Mind/Body Unity within Mystical Christianity. 16 . A Transpersonal Approach • Many of humanity’s earliest views of hypnotic phenomena are described by various religious and spiritual traditions in the world. and Hindu Tantra. Jewish Kabbalah.D. Islamic Sufism. Tibetan Buddhism. (Krippner. • This is an important diversity issue since many people around the world hold these beliefs.
Class Demonstration • Chevreul Pendulum 17 .
The State Controversy The Trait Controversy 18 . Two Key Theoretical Controversies in Hypnosis A.IV. B.
This remains a hotly debated issue.A. The State Controversy • Do people enter an altered state of consciousness during hypnosis ? The essence of the dispute between the Neodissociation and Sociocognitive approaches. 19 • • .
The Trait Controversy • Is there a trait that accounts for how much or how little people respond to hypnosis ? • One’s position on the Trait Controversy is unrelated to one’s position on the State Controversy.B. The research evidence strongly suggests that there is a trait that explains how much people respond to hypnosis. • 20 . They are NOT opposite poles of a single dimension or question.
Hypnotic Suggestibility – The Individual Difference Variable • Hypnotic suggestibility is the general tendency to respond to hypnotic suggestions.71. Suggestibility tends to be very stable over time – some researchers found that scores taken 25 years apart were correlated at r = . The number of test suggestions that an individual responds to or passes indicates the person’s level of suggestibility. 21 • . Scores in the population are arrayed in a bell-shaped curve. individual difference variable – people differ in terms of how high or low they fall on suggestibility. It can be measured with scales typically consisting of a hypnotic induction and a series of behavioral test suggestions. • • • It is a trait-like.V.
CBT).. Making Direct Suggestions for Symptom Reduction B. Hypnosis as a Clinical Tool • Hypnosis is generally used in two ways as a clinical tool: A.VII. Using hypnosis as an adjunct to other forms of psychotherapy (e. 22 .g.
surgery. • This is a classic use of hypnosis.. Making Direct Suggestions for Symptom Reduction • Example – A hypnotist suggests to a patient undergoing a painful medical procedure (e.g. spinal tap) that the affected body part (i..A. 23 .e. the back) is numb and insensitive to pain. a lumbar puncture.
The meaning or suffering component of pain is diminished at the anterior cingulate cortex. . Data indicates that the sensory aspect of pain is diminished at the somatosensory cortex.Example: Hypnotic Analgesia • • • Hypnosis can alter and eliminate the psychological experience of pain and also the brain’s neurophysiological processing of pain.
delivered with the unique tone and cadence of hypnosis. 25 . Systematic Desensitization becomes hypnotic desensitization.B. Examples: • • • Progressive Muscle Relaxation becomes hypnotic relaxation.. Presenting Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy plus Hypnosis • Research suggests that using a combination of hypnosis and CBT improves outcomes for about 70% of patients relative to using CBT alone (Kirsch et al. Guided Imagery becomes hypnotic imagery. • Additionally. 1995). and described as being hypnotic in nature. standard CBT techniques can be presented in a hypnotic context by preceding the CBT technique with a hypnotic induction. • • Coping self-statements become coping self-suggestions.
Some Clinical Problems Thought to Be Responsive to Hypnosis • Acute and Chronic Pain • Phobias • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder • Performance Anxiety • Depression • Eating Disorders • Dissociative Identity Disorder • Smoking • Obesity 26 .
depression. and smoking. research strongly indicates that the vast majority of people can benefit from hypnosis interventions. obesity.27 • • • . including pain. Research strongly suggests that hypnotic suggestibility is a trait that accounts for a portion of how much or how little people respond to hypnosis. Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works. hypnosis is now accepted as the valid subject of scientific research and as a useful clinical tool. However. Research indicates that hypnosis is very effective for treating a wide range of clinical problems and symptoms.Conclusion • Once associated with fringe psychology and the supernatural. anxiety.
8. There will be a range of responses. Ask students what this has to do with what you were just discussing. 6. At the beginning of the presentation. 9. Have students place their right elbow on their right thigh and hold the string between their right thumb and index finger so the washer is suspended beneath. 2. Obtain scissors. This should lead naturally to the next topic – hypnotic suggestibility. string. 5. and ½ inch washers at a hardware store. Explain that you will be doing a demonstration in which students will have an opportunity to experience an imaginative suggestion. Ask students to imagine that the washer is beginning to move from left to right. distribute these materials to the class. Have students hold their hand as still as possible. Others will find that their washer moves quite a bit. 3. 7. 4.Instructions for Chevreul Pendulum Demonstration 1. 28 . Some students will show no response at all. Cancel the suggestion by telling students their hands are back to normal. Continue repeating the suggestion until some washers begin to move. Have students cut a 6-inch length of string and tie it to the washer.
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