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October 2000 - English PDF Print E-mail

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Volume 48, Number 4 - October 2000 - English
Special Issue: Epirical Validation of Hypnotic Interventions


Goal-directed fantasy does not explain the training effect of the Carleton Skills Training Package
Agnieszka Niedzwienska

Two treatments to enhance the hypnotic responsiveness of subjects who pretested as low in hypnotic susceptibility were compared. Subjects in one modification treatment (n = 20) received the Carleton Skills Training Package (CSTP). Those in a second modification treatment (n = 20) were administered a partial training that did not include information about imaginal strategies. The authors of the CSTP assume that goal-directed fantasies underlie subjects' feelings of involuntariness, so teaching imaginal strategies is the primary agent of subjective changes after the training. Controls (n = 20) received no treatment. Both training packages enhanced behavioral and subjective response to an equivalent degree. Control subjects' performances were stable across tests. Modest increases in hypnotizability scores following training were related neither to enhancing goal-directed fantasies nor to use of imagery. Other mechanisms, possibly compliance, may underly the CSTP effect.


Autonomic and psychological responses to an acute psychological stressor and relaxation: the influence of hypnotizability and absorption
Robert Zachariae, Michael Martini J¿rgensen, Peter Bjerring, and Gunner Svendsen

This study examined the influence of hypnotizability and absorption on psychological and autonomic responses to an experimental stressor and a relaxation procedure of 13 high and 13 low hypnotizable subjects. Heart-rate variability was the measure of autonomic reactivity. Absorption was found to be the only significant predictor of autonomic reactivity in both experimental conditions. Expectation and previous relaxation training, but not absorption or hypnotizability, predicted perceived relaxation in the relaxation condition. The results suggest that in a nonhypnotic context the influence of hypnotizability on responses to experimental conditions may be less prominent than the influence of absorption. Absorption may be associated with greater awareness of internal physical and psychological processes, and the results support previous clinical findings of positive correlations between absorption, subjective perception of autonomic arousal, and somatic symptom reporting.


Specific Autobiographical Memory Following Hypnotically Induced Mood State
Fiona Maccallum, Kevin M. McConkey, Richard A. Bryant, and Amanda J. Barnier

This study investigated the impact of hypnotically induced mood on the specificity of autobiographical memory. High (n = 24) and low (n = 21) hypnotizable participants were administered a hypnotic induction for sad, neutral, or happy mood and were asked to retrieve specific autobiographical memories in response to positive and negative cue words. Whereas high hypnotizable participants in the sad condition provided fewer specific memories in response to positive rather than negative cues, those in the neutral and happy conditions responded similarly to positive and negative cues. Findings suggest that impaired recall of specific memories may be mediated by state factors associated with sad mood. These results point to the utility of hypnotic mood induction as a means to experimentally investigate the relationship between mood and autobiographical memory.


Descriptive Outcomes of the American Lung Association of Ohio Hypnotherapy Smoking Cessation Program
Karen Ahijevych, Ruth Yerardi, and Nancy Nedilsky

Hypnosis smoking cessation treatment is one type of program available to smokers. This paper describes a large sample from such a program, which has not been previously reported. During 1997, 2,810 smokers participated in single-session, group hypnotherapy smoking cessation programs sponsored by the American Lung Association of Ohio. A randomly selected sample of 452 participants completed telephone interviews 5 to 15 months after attending a treatment session. Twenty-two percent of participants (n = 101) reported not smoking during the month prior to the interview. Use of other smoking cessation strategies since the treatment session were assessed. Interestingly, only 20% of participants who used pharmaceutical products to assist with smoking cessation took them for the recommended treatment duration. Hypnotherapy smoking cessation treatment offers an alternative cessation method, which may meet the unique needs of certain individuals.


Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Therapy: Where Are We Now?
William J. Matthews

Ericksonian approaches to psychotherapy and hypnosis have had a significant impact on many clinical practitioners over the last 2 decades. This article reviews the current empirical research with regard to the efficacy of these treatment approaches as well as for the key Ericksonian assumptions of: (a) belief in an altered state of consciousness and the existence of specific markers indicating an altered state; (b) the superiority of indirect suggestion over direct suggestion; and (c) that client hypnotizability is a function of the hypnotist's skill. The current literature provides empirical support neither for efficacy nor for these key assumptions. The article concludes with a discussion of the need for empirically based research to test the efficacy of Ericksonian therapy and its core components, lest this approach become isolated from the scientific hypnosis and therapy communities.

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