The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 54, Number 4 - October 2006 - English
Does the More Vivid Imagery of High Hypnotizables Depend on Greater Cognitive Effort? A Test of Dissociation and Social-Cognitive Theories of Hypnosis
Pamela Sadler and Erik Z. Woody
Abstract: In an investigation of the role of cognitive effort in hypnotic responding, high and low hypnotizable participants produced emotionally neutral imagery in response to effortful versus effortless hypnotic suggestions. Heart-rate increase served as an objective index of cognitive effort, and subjective ratings of imagery vividness, absorption, effort, and control were collected. Compared to lows, high hypnotizable participants experienced their imagery as more vivid and absorbing, yet their heart rates indicated no higher level of cognitive effort than lows. Compared to effortless wording, effortful wording of suggestions increased cognitive effort in lows, as indexed by heart-rate increase, but had no effect on the effort expended by highs. Ratings of subjective control were strongly correlated with subjective effort for lows but unrelated for highs. These results support the dissociated-control theory of hypnosis rather than the dissociated-experience or social-cognitive theories.
Types of Suggestibility: Relationships Among Compliance, Indirect, and Direct Suggestibility
Romuald Polczyk and Tomasz Pasek
Abstract: It is commonly believed that direct suggestibility, referring to overt influence, and indirect suggestibility, in which the intention to influence is hidden, correlate poorly. This study demonstrated that they are substantially related, provided that they tap similar areas of influence. Test results from 103 students, 55 women and 48 men, were entered into regression analyses. Indirect suggestibility, as measured by the Sensory Suggestibility Scale for Groups, and compliance, measured by the Gudjonsson Compliance Scale, were predictors of direct suggestibility, assessed with the Barber Suggestibility Scale. Spectral analyses showed that indirect suggestibility is more related to difficult tasks on the BSS, but compliance is more related to easy tasks on this scale.
Hypnosis to Manage Anxiety and Pain Associated with Colonoscopy for Colorectal-Cancer Screening: Case Studies and Possible Benefits
Gary Elkins, Joseph White, Parita Patel, Joel Marcus, Michelle M. Perfect, and Guy H. Montgomery
Abstract: This study explored using hypnosis for pain and anxiety management in 6 colonoscopy patients (5 men, 1 woman), who received a hypnotic induction and instruction in self-hypnosis on the day of their colonoscopy. Patients’ levels of anxiety were obtained before and after the hypnotic induction using Visual Analogue Scales (VAS). Following colonoscopy, VASs were used to assess anxiety and pain during colonoscopy, perceived effectiveness of hypnosis, and patient satisfaction with medical care. Hypnotizability was assessed at a separate appointment. The authors also obtained data (time for procedure, number of vasovagal events, and recovery time) for 10 consecutive patients who received standard care. Results suggest that hypnosis appears to be a feasible method to manage anxiety and pain associated with colonoscopy, reduces the need for sedation, and may have other benefits such as reduced vasovagal events and recovery time.
Satisfaction with, and the Beneficial Side Effects of, Hypnotic Analgesia
Mark P. Jensen, Kristin D. McArthur, Joseph Barber, Marisol A. Hanley, Joyce M. Engel, Joan M. Romano, Diana D. Cardenas, George H. Kraft, Amy J. Hoffman, and David R. Patterson
Abstract: Case study research suggests that hypnosis treatment may provide benefits that are not necessarily the target of specific suggestions To better understand satisfaction with and the beneficial “side effects” of hypnosis treatment, questions inquiring about treatment satisfaction and treatment benefits were administered to a group of 30 patients with chronic pain who had participated in a case series of hypnotic analgesia treatment. The results confirmed the authors’ clinical experience and showed that most participants reported satisfaction with hypnosis treatment even when the targeted symptom (in this case, pain intensity) did not decrease substantially. Study participants also reported a variety of both symptom-related and nonsymptom-related benefits from hypnosis treatment, including decreased pain, increased perceived control over pain, increased sense of relaxation and well-being, and decreased perceived stress, although no single benefit was noted by a majority of participants.
Examining Sympathetic Nerve Activity with Microneurography During Hypnosis: Untangling the Effects of Central Command
Richard C. Robinson, Harold Crasilneck, J. P. Garofalo, and Travis Whitfill
Abstract: Using microelectrode recordings of postganglionic sympatheticaction potentials, the authors studied the effects of hypnotic suggestion on sympathetic outflow targeted to skin during static handgrip exercise. All subjects performed sustained handgrip at 33% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for 2 minutes during 3 consecutive trials. Two subjects randomly assigned to a hypnosis condition received suggestions that the 2nd trial was more difficult and the last trial was less difficult than the first trial. Two subjects randomly assigned to the control condition received no hypnosis or suggestions about task difficulty. In the nonhypnosis condition, skin sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) increased by 6% from baseline during the 2nd trial and 13% from baseline during the 3rd trial. In the hypnosis condition, skin SNA increased by 25% during the 2nd trial (suggestion of increased difficulty) and returned to baseline during the 3rd condition (suggestion of decreased difficulty). Therefore, the impact of central command on skin SNA is suggested by these results.
Neurophysiologic and Long-Term Effects of Clinical Hypnosis in Oral and Maxillofacial Treatment: A Comparative Interdisciplinary Clinical Study
Stephan Eitner, Manfred Wichmann, Stefan Schultze-Mosgau, Andreas Schlegel, Anna Leher, Josef Heckmann, Siegfried Heckmann, and Stefan Holst
Abstract: This prospective comparative clinical study evaluated the effectiveness of clinical hypnosis and its long-term effect in oral and maxillofacial treatment. A total of 45 high- and low-anxious subjects were evaluated by subjective experience and objective parameters, which were EEG, ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, respiration rate, salivary cortisol concentration, and body temperature. During and subsequent to the operative treatment, hypnosis led to a significant reduction of systolic blood pressure and respiration rate and to significant changes in the EEG. The subjective values of the parameters evaluated existing anxiety mechanisms and patterns and possible strategies to control them, whereas the objective parameters proved the effectiveness of hypnosis and its long-term effect.
Reassessment of Hypnotic Symptom Removal by Freud and Bernheim
Thomas S. Ball
Abstract: As demonstrations of clinical efficacy, cases reported by Freud and Bernheim reveal an intrinsic advantage of hypnotic symptom removal over therapies requiring extended periods to achieve significant outcomes. They also lend support to Weitzenhoffer’s survey of therapeutic results achieved during the classical (pre-1900) period.
Enhancing Thought Suppression with Hypnosis
Richard A. Bryant and Subodha Wimalaweera
Abstract: Much research indicates that attempts to suppress thoughts lead to increased accessibility of those thoughts, especially when additional cognitive load is present. On the premise that hypnosis may permit more effective management of cognitive load, it was hypothesized that hypnosis may enhance more effective thought suppression. The present research examined whether the obstacle of cognitive load could be bypassed using hypnosis to facilitate successful thought suppression. Thirty-nine high and 40 low hypnotizable participants were hypnotized and received either a suppression instruction or no instruction for a memory of an embarrassing experience and subsequently completed a sentence-unscrambling task that indexed accessibility of embarrassing thoughts. Whereas lows instructed to suppress displayed a delayed increase in suppressed thoughts, highs did not. These findings support the proposition that hypnosis facilitates thought suppression.