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April 2005 - English PDF Print E-mail

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 53, Number 2 - April 2005 - English


Trance and Trickster
Stanley Krippner

Abstract: This paper makes the case that hypnotic phenomena are liminal in nature and that hypnotic practitioners (such as Milton Erickson) share many traits with traditional societies’ “tricksters.” The ambiguous nature of hypnosis has been apparent since the days of Mesmer’s animal magnetism. Hypnotized people often report hallucinations that confound their ordinary distinctions between reality and illusion, external and internal processes, and many other binary oppositions, including time and space as well as mind and body. In addition, hypnosis can obscure the distinction between fact and fiction in one’s memory, as is evident in the “recovered memory” controversy. The role played by imagination is central to both indigenous rituals and hypnosis, and hypnosis is a multifaceted phenomenon requiring explanation at multiple levels. Some investigators and practitioners have missed the importance of the social context in which hypnosis occurs, while others have come close to destroying the most interesting and useful hypnotic phenomena under the guise of objectivity.


Reflections on Some Unresolved Issues in Hypnosis
Theodore Sarbin

Abstract: Reflections guided the author in the preparation of this paper. Having worked in and around the construction “hypnosis” for two thirds of a century, he can claim the privilege of offering reflections rather than presenting new data or revised theories. His reflections include some autobiographical accounts that help illuminate how he came to construe the conduct traditionally subsumed under the hypnosis label as the enactment of a social role mediated by skill in imaging.


Direct and Indirect Scales of Hypnotic Susceptibility: Resistance to Therapy and Psychometric Comparability
Betsey R. Robin, V. K. Kumar, & Ronald J. Pekala

Abstract: Groups of participants were randomly assigned to receive either direct hypnotic procedure using the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility: Form A (HGSHS:A) or its indirect counterpart, the Alman-Wexler IndirectHypnotic Susceptibility Scale (AWIHSS). Prior to hypnosis, participants completed the Inventory of Childhood Memories and Imaginings (a measure of fantasy proneness) and the Therapeutic Reactance Scale (TRS, a measure of resistance to therapeutic directives). The Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory was completed in reference to a 2-minute sitting-quietly period embedded in the hypnotic procedure. Although results generally suggest that the two scales are alternate measures of hypnotizability, some differences were observed: (a) item difficulty levels differed on 4 of the 12 items; (b) subjects reported greater altered awareness with the direct method; and (c), contrary to the results of previous research, although the more resistant subjects showed a tendency toward higher hypnotizability scores with the HGSHS:A, the less resistant subjects responded better with the AWIHSS.


Motor Imagery in Hypnosis: Accuracy and Duration of Motor Imagery in Waking and Hypnotic States
Brigitte Konradt, Salim Deeb, and Oskar-Berndt Scholz

Abstract: This study assessed response times and accuracy of motor imagery in waking and hypnotic states and to related responses to hypnotic experiences. The Vividness of Motor Imagery Questionnaire (VMIQ) was administered to 47 participants. A mental walking task was then performed in the waking state. In hypnosis, the same task was included within an imaginary journey after a hypnotic induction. An interaction effect showed for condition (awake vs. hypnosis) and distances. The further the participants had to walk in imagination, the longer they took. For all combinations, participants took significantly longer in hypnosis (p < .001) and were significantly less accurate in hypnosis in reproducing the difference between the different distances (p < .001). A relationship between motor imagery and hypnotic responding appeared to be shown. Results support a state-trait-conception of imagery.


Control Conditions in Hypnotic Analgesia Clinical Trials: Challenges and Recommendations
Mark P. Jensen and David R. Patterson

Abstract: Case studies and controlled clinical trials indicate that hypnotic analgesia can effectively reduce pain in patients with a number of different chronic pain conditions. However, because none of the studies published to date have included a credible control condition that adequately controls for expectancy effects, at this point we cannot conclude that hypnotic analgesia treatment has a specific effect on chronic pain beyond that that might be produced by a credible placebo intervention. This paper (a) describes the types of control conditions that have been, or might be, used in clinical trials of hypnotic analgesia for chronic pain, (b) reviews their strengths and weaknesses, and (c) concludes with specific recommendations that investigators should consider when designing clinical trials of hypnotic analgesia.


Hypnotic Analgesia for Chronic Pain in Persons with Disabilities: A Case Series
Mark P. Jensen, Marisol A. Hanley, Joyce M. Engel, Joan M. Romano, Joseph Barber, Diana D. Cardenas, George H. Kraft, Amy J. Hoffman, and David R. Patterson

Abstract: Thirty-three adults with chronic pain and a disability were treated with hypnotic analgesia. Analyses showed significant pre- to posttreatment changes in average pain intensity that was maintained at three-month follow-up. Significant changes were also found in pain unpleasantness and perceived control over pain but not in pain interference or depressive symptoms. Hypnotizability, concentration of treatment (e.g., daily vs. up to weekly), and initial response to treatment were not significantly associated with treatment outcome. However, treatment-outcome expectancy assessed after the first session showed a moderate association with treatment outcome. The findings support the use of hypnotic analgesia for the treatment of pain in persons with disabilities for some patients but not the use of pretreatment measures of hypnotizability or treatmentoutcome expectancy for screening patients for treatment.

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