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January 2008 - English PDF Print E-mail


The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 56, Number 1 - January 2008 - English

 

Heart Rate Variability as a Quantitative Measure of Hypnotic Depth
Solomon Gilbert Diamond, Orin C. Davis, and Robert D. Howe

Abstract: The authors investigated whether heart-rate variability can serve as a device for real-time quantitative measurement of hypnotic depth. This study compared the continuous self-rated hypnotic depth (SRHD) of 10 volunteers with heart rate, amplitude, and frequency changes from a time-frequency analysis of heart-rate variability (HRV). The authors found significant linear relationships between SRHD and the high-frequency (HF) component of HRV. Specifically, SRHD was correlated negatively with HF frequency and positively with HF amplitude. Unexpectedly, the average temporal trend in SRHD fit well (R2 = .99) to the step response of a first-order system with a 4-minute time constant. The findings suggest that the reactivity of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, reflected in HRV could become part of a real-time, quantitative measure of hypnotic depth.

 

Healthy Narcissism and Ego State Therapy
Shirley McNeal

Abstract: The term narcissism is usually pejorative and associated with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. However, some degree of narcissism can be viewed as essential when considering the ingredients of a healthy personality. The ego-state literature contains references to the maturation of ego states, the creation of helpful ego states, transformation of the function of ego states, and the strengthening of healthy ego states as components of the development of a “harmonious family of self.” For an individual to develop healthy narcissism and eventually self-esteem, it’s assume that these ego state interventions are involved and produce changes in internal psychic structure. This article explores theories and therapy regarding the development of healthy narcissism, self-esteem, and a well-functioning sense of entitlement. Case material is summarized to illustrate how ego state therapy can be an important part of this process.

Hypnosis and Thought Suppression—More Data: A Brief Communication
Richard A. Bryant and Natasha Sindicich

Abstract: This study hypothesized that hypnosis would enhance thought suppression by minimizing the effect of cognitive load. Twenty-eight high and 29 low hypnotizable hypnotized participants received the cognitive load of learning a 6-digit number. Participants then received either a suppression instruction or no instruction for a personal memory of a failure experience. Thought suppression effectiveness was indexed by measures of self-report monitoring, competition of scrambled sentences, and facial electromyography. Low hypnotizable participants who received the suppression instruction displayed postsuppression rebound on the sentence unscrambling task. In contrast, high hypnotizable participants did not display any rebound effects. These findings support the proposition that hypnosis facilitates thought suppression.

 

Examining Hypnosis Legislation: A Survey of the Practice in Israel
Alex Aviv, Gilboa Dalia, Golan Gaby, and Peleg Kobi

Abstract: Hypnosis as a therapeutic technique bears potential risks when carried out inexpertly. Because of this, Israel was the first to legislate hypnosis. This study examines the current state of clinical hypnosis practice in Israel. A questionnaire was sent to 470 licensed hypnotists and 1250 unlicensed professionals; 478 (25.7%) of the 1720 potential respondents returned the questionnaires. Of these, 249 (51.8%) were licensed hypnotists, and 232 (48.2%) were unlicensed. Of the unlicensed professionals, 45% reported practicing hypnosis; 50% of them practice hypnosis with adolescents and 41.2% with children. Many of them practice hypnosis in public clinics (71.6%). Of the licensed professionals, 94.4% reported practicing hypnosis in the course of their clinical work. The authors conclude that great number of unlicensed hypnotists carry on clinical practice of hypnosis and suggest steps to increase the efficiency of the law as part of a regulatory system.

 

Hypnosis as an Adjunct Therapy in the Management of Diabetes
Yuan Xu and Etzel Cardeña

Abstract: Although diabetes is one of the most serious global health problems, there is no real cure yet for it. The conventional insulin treatment programs aimed at life quality improvement do not take into account the psychological aspects of the disease. Because diabetes has important psychological components, it seems reasonable to consider hypnosis as an adjunct therapy for diabetes. This paper examines the empirical literature on the effectiveness of hypnosis in the management of diabetes, including regulation of blood sugar, increased compliance, and improvement of peripheral blood circulation. Despite some methodological limitations, the literature shows promising results that merit further exploration. Multimodal treatments seem especially promising, with hypnosis as an adjunct to insulin treatments in the management of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes for stabilization of blood glucose and decreased peripheral vascular complications.

 

Language, Mysticism, and Hypnotizability: A Brief Communication
Peter J. Adams

Abstrract: People attempting to communicate religious and mystical experiences tend to use the same language strategies employed in inducing hypnotic trance. Both incorporate vague language that provides receptive listeners the opportunity to insert their own content. This study examines whether people who have had mystical or religious experiences are also more likely to respond to the language of hypnosis. Eighty-one participants completed the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A and the Hood Mysticism Scale. Participants were divided into three equal groups based on “high,” “ambiguous,” and “low” mysticism scale scores. The high group scored significantly higher on hypnotizability compared to the low group. The relationship between openness to mystical and religious experience and susceptibility to hypnotic suggestion warrants further investigation.

 

Responding and Failing to Respond to Both Hypnosis and a Kinesthetic Illusion, Chevreul's Pendulum.
Robert A. Karlin, Austin Hill, and Stanley Messer

Abstract: In this study, participants who failed to exhibit pendulum movement in response to Chevreul’s Pendulum (CP) instructions had lower Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A (SHSS:A) scores and reported experiencing less subjective response to hypnosis than did their counterparts who exhibited CP movement. However, intensity scores on Shor’s Personal Experiences Questionnaire (PEQ) did not differ between pass and fail CP groups. Additionally, pass CP participants showed positive correlations between PEQ and hypnotizability scores, while fail CP participants showed negative correlations among these measures. These findings are consistent with the notion that CP failure may reflect a situation-specific unwillingness to become imaginatively involved rather than a general inability to do so. Additional analyses revealed that 5 of 10 participants who had failed the CP task scored 0 or 1 on the SHSS:A, while only 3 of 65 Pass CP participants scored 0 or 1.Genetics and Neuroimaging of Attention and Hypnotizability May Elucidate PlaceboAmir RazAbstract: Attention binds psychology to the techniques of neuroscience and exemplifies the links between brain and behavior. Associated with attentional networks, at least 3 brain modules govern control processes by drawing on disparate functional neuroanatomy, neuromodulators, and psychological substrates. Guided by data-driven brain theories, researchers have related specific genetic polymorphisms to well-defined phenotypes, including those associated with different attentional efficiencies and hypnosis. Because attention can modulate both cognitive and affective processes, genetic assays together with neuroimaging data have begun to elucidate individual differences. Findings from genetic assays of both attention and hypnotizability pave the way to answering questions such as how highly hypnotizable individuals may differ from less-hypnotizable persons. These exploratory findings may extend to the identification of placebo responders.

 

Genetics and Neuroimaging of Attention and Hypnotizability May Elucidate Placebo
Amir Raz

Abstract: Attention binds psychology to the techniques of neuroscience and exemplifies the links between brain and behavior. Associated with attentional networks, at least 3 brain modules govern control processes by drawing on disparate functional neuroanatomy, neuromodulators, and psychological substrates. Guided by data-driven brain theories, researchers have related specific genetic polymorphisms to well-defined phenotypes, including those associated with different attentional efficiencies and hypnosis. Because attention can modulate both cognitive and affective processes, genetic assays together with neuroimaging data have begun to elucidate individual differences. Findings from genetic assays of both attention and hypnotizability pave the way to answering questions such as how highly hypnotizable individuals may differ from less-hypnotizable persons. These exploratory findings may extend to the identification of placebo responders. 

 

 
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