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July 2004 - English PDF Print E-mail


The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 52, Number 3 - July 2004 - English


Can Anecdotes add to an Understanding of Hypnosis?
Campbell Perry

Abstract: This paper emphasizes the importance of anecdotes, in conjunction with experimental data and careful clinical observation, for an understanding of hypnosis. Anecdotes are presented that bear on (a) individual differences in hypnotizability, (b) the stereotypes of hypnosis, (c) the importance of careful wording in preparing experimental subjects and clinical patients for hypnosis, (d) the notion of hypnosis as involving a partial, but not complete, setting aside of critical judgment, which permits the hypnotized person to engage in fantasy and make- believe, (e) confabulation in hypnotic age regression, (f) the differentiation of hypnotic and therapeutic suggestion, (g) the nature of hypnotic suggestion, and (h) some experiences with the posthypnotic persistence of an uncanceled suggestion.


Brief hypnotherapy of severe depression linked to sexual trauma: A case study
William H. Smith

Abstract: Traumatic events of many sorts result in the now familiar symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many accounts have been published of the helpful role of hypnosis in symptom amelioration when the symptom onset is immediate, or even delayed, following the trauma. For some patients, though, a virtual collapse of adaptive functioning occurs after long periods of relatively symptom-free functioning. For such individuals, the relevance of the earlier trauma to their current problems may not be recognized, by those who treat them or by themselves. This case study is an attempt to illustrate treatment strategies that may be helpful in such cases, based on a good treatment outcome with a seriously ill woman, where hypnosis was an integral part of a brief, but intensive, inpatient treatment program.


An Empirical Test of Woody and Bowers Dissociated Control Theory of Hypnosis
Graham A. Jamieson and Peter W. Sheehan

Abstract: Woody and Bowers dissociated control theory predicts impaired performance on tasks indexing frontally mediated supervisory attentional functions during hypnosis, especially for high susceptibles. This prediction is tested using Stroop task behavioral performance to measure aspects of anteriormediated supervisory attentional function. All measures of anterior-mediated attentional functions significantly declined during hypnosis. Interactions between susceptibility and hypnosis condition showed specific changes among hypnotized high susceptibles. Total Stroop errors (failures of attentional suppression) were significantly higher in hypnosis for high, but not low, susceptibles. Tellegen’s experiential mental set was highest for hypnotized highs. Use of rehearsal strategy (instrumental set) decreased significantly in hypnosis but more so for highs than lows. Results suggest that “absorption” in hypnosis may be a consequence of dissociated anterior attentional control. It is proposed that dissociated control emerges from the functional disconnection of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex.


Functional Brain Imaging and the Induction of Traumatic Recall: A Cross-Correlational Review between Neuroimaging and Hypnosis
Eric Vermetten and J. Douglas Bremner

Abstract: The behavioral and psychophysiological alterations during recall in patients with trauma disorders often resemble phenomena that are seen in hypnosis. In studies of emotional recall as well as in neuroimaging studies of hypnotic processes similar brain structures are involved: thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, medical prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex. This paper focuses on cross-correlations in traumatic recall and hypnotic responses and reviews correlations between the involvement of brain structures in traumatic recall and processes that are involved in hypnotic responsiveness. To further improve uniformity of results of brain imaging specifically for traumatic recall studies, attention is needed for standardization of hypnotic variables, isolation of the emotional process of interest (state), and assessment of traitrelated differences.


A Rasch Analysis of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales, Form C
Gérard W.B. Näring, Kees A.L. Hoogduin, and Charlotte M.P. Keijser

Abstract: The psychometric structure of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (SHSS:C) was tested in a Rasch analysis using data from 279 subjects. The Rasch model is the model of choice because it justifies the use of the sum of the item scores as a measure for the underlying construct. Rasch analysis revealed that use of a single sum score (number of suggestions passed) to express hypnotic ability is not sufficiently justified. However, the omission of the mosquito hallucination and anosmia items (Items 3 and 9) rendered this short 10-item form of the SHSS:C sufficiently compatible with requirements of onedimensionality, local stochastic independence, and equi-discriminability. Hence, the 10-item form justifies use of a sum score.


Posthypnotic Amnesia for Autobiographical Episodes: Influencing Memory Accessibility and Quality
Amanda J. Barnier, Kevin M. McConkey, and Jonathan Wright

Abstract: The authors examined the impact of posthypnotic amnesia on the accessibility and quality of personal memories. High, medium, and low hypnotizable individuals recalled two autobiographical episodes and rated those memories. During hypnosis, subjects were given a posthypnotic amnesia suggestion that targeted one of the episodes. After hypnosis, they recalled and rated their memories of the episodes. The posthypnotic amnesia suggestion influenced the accessibility and quality of autobiographical memory for high and some medium, but not low, hypnotizable participants. The article discusses these findings in terms of investigating and understanding the impact of posthypnotic amnesia on autobiographical memory.


The Impact of Stage Hypnosis on Audience Members and Participants
James MacKillop, Steven Jay Lynn, and Eric Meyer

Abstract: Before and after a stage hypnosis performance, 67 audience members and 6 participants completed the Hypnotic Attitudes Questionnaire (HAQ), the Posthypnotic Experience Scale (PES), and several questions related to attitudes about performing in public. Audience members’ beliefs about hypnosis (HAQ total and factor scores), experience ratings (PES factor scores: pleasantness, anger/irritability, anxiety), and responses to performance-related questions changed in a positive direction after the performance. The participants in the show reported no significant pre- to postperformance changes. However, there were indications that the onstage participants exhibited generally favorable attitudes toward hypnosis and performing before they engaged in the actual performance.

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