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July 2001 - English PDF Print E-mail

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 49, Number 3 - July 2001 - English


The History of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Hypnose (Netherlands Society of Hypnosis)
Anne Korsen and Ton Wilken

The foundation and history of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Hypnose (Netherlands Society of Hypnosis or Nvvh) are described. The year 2001 marks the 70th anniversary of the Nvvh's creation. The article describes the accomplishments, leadership, and philosophy of the Society across the decades. Current professional and training directions are discussed.


Information Processing During Hypnotically Suggested Sex Change
Catherine Burn, Amanda J. Barnier, and Kevin M. McConkey

During hypnotically suggested sex change, 36 real (12 virtuoso and 24 high hypnotizable) and 18 simulating (low hypnotizable) individuals listened to a story involving a male and a female character. They subsequently reported their experience and recall of the story. Virtuosos were less likely than highs and simulators to identify with the character consistent with their suggested sex. However, virtuosos recalled more information about the character consistent with their suggested sex than did highs and simulators. The authors discuss the findings in terms of attention and the selective processing of information during hypnosis. They conclude that character identification was not the major factor that influenced the recall of virtuosos and suggest that virtuosos may have processed aspects of the information in a more self-referential way, and thus encoded and recalled it more effectively.


Differentiation of Hypnosis and Relaxation by Analysis of Narrow Band Theta and Alpha Frequencies
John D. Williams and John Gruzelier

Narrow band theta and alpha activity was recorded over anterior and posterior sites before, during, and after hypnosis in high and low hypnotically susceptible subjects (N = 16). In theta, high susceptibles had greater activity posthypnosis, otherwise there were no group differences. These findings common to low and high ssusceptibles suggest that theta is an index of relaxation that continues after hypnosis in highs. In alpha in high susceptibles, posterior power increased from the prehypnosis to hypnosis condition and decreased posthypnosis. Exactly the converse effects were seen in lows. Furthermore, highs had greater alpha power than lows during both prehypnosis and hypnosis conditions, demonstrating an association of alpha with hypnotic susceptibility. The results indicate that whereas theta indexes relaxation, alpha indexes the hypnotic experience and susceptibility.


Hypnotically Induced Emotional Numbing
Richard A. Bryant and May Kourch

This study investigated the utility of a hypnotic suggestion to inhibit emotional response. High and low hypnotizable participants (N = 53) were administered a hypnotic induction, and half the participants were then administered a suggestion for emotional numbing. Participants were then presented with slides depicting neutral or disfigured faces. Participants who received the emotional numbing suggestion reported less responsivity to the disfigured faces than did those in the control condition, and this pattern was stronger for high than for low hypnotizable participants. Highs in the numbing condition displayed less overall distress in their facial expressions in response to the disfigured slides relative to those in the control condition. These findings suggest that hypnotic emotional numbing may be a useful paradigm in which to explore processes in emotion inhibition.


Posthypnotic Responding: The Relevance of Suggestion and Test Congruence
Amanda J. Barnier and Kevin M. McConkey

Thirty real, hypnotized subjects and 34 simulating, unhypnotized subjects were given either a suggestion to respond when they heard a cue (general) or a suggestion to respond when they heard a cue after hypnosis (posthypnotic). Half the subjects were given the cue before hypnosis (hypnotic test) and half were given it after hypnosis (posthypnotic test). Those who were given the cue before hypnosis were also given it after hypnosis. Between- and within-group comparisons were made of subjects' behavioral responses, latencies to respond, and ratings of experiential compulsion. The findings indicated that subjects' behavior and experience were influenced by congruence between information conveyed by the suggestion and the test about when and how they should respond.


Freedom from Smoking: Integrating Hypnotic Methods and Rapid Smoking to Facilitate Smoking Cessation
Joseph Barber

Hypnotic intervention can be integrated with a Rapid Smoking treatment protocol for smoking cessation. Reported here is a demonstration of such an integrated approach, including a detailed description of treatment rationale and procedures for such a short-term intervention. Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at follow-up (6 months to 3 years posttreatment).


Treating Adolescent Conversion Disorders: Are Hypnotic Techniques Re-Usable?
Peter B. Bloom

When treating disabling conversion disorders in hospitalized adolescents, clinicians must act to restore function as rapidly as possible. After attempting to rule out physical causes for the symptoms and trying to find persuasive psychological reasons that the patient will accept and use to resolve the condition, the inpatient staff of a multidisciplinary therapeutic milieu must seek additional approaches to the care of these seriously ill individuals. This clinical forum reports the author's experience treating 2 young patients, a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy, with hypnosis. Therapists of every experience level find hypnotic techniques that work for them in a variety of patients, but are hypnotic techniques really reusable? The author reports what he learned once again.

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