Editorial, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (IJCEH) is the leading international journal with a focus on hypnosis research and practice. Under the editorship of Dr. Arreed Barabasz the journal has grown in quality and expanded in readership. It is an honor and a privilege to begin my term as Editor of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. The present (January, 2018) issue and the following issues of April and July were prepared under the editorship of Dr. Barabasz. This is my opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Barabasz for making the transition to my editorship as smooth as possible and for his support. As the new Editor, I will endeavor to continue the growth, high quality articles, increasing impact factor, and relevance to the international community of hypnosis practitioners and dedicated researchers. The journal will actively recruit quality submissions on an international scale and seek to advance scientific knowledge and inform clinical practice.

Hypnosis research has already provided much empirical support for applications of hypnosis interventions in multiple areas including medical, dental, and psychological disorders. Also, well validated scales now exist for measurement of hypnotizability and there is an expanding body of scientific knowledge regarding the potential cognitive, social, interpersonal, and neurophysiological mediators of hypnosis. Further, researchers and clinicians have investigated the potential of integration of hypnosis with cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, interpersonal, and mindfulness (third wave) interventions. Hypnosis is now recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as an area for further research and funding. All of these achievements speak positively to the important future of hypnosis in science and practice.

The journal will continue with a strong and engaged Board of Editorial Consultants and will expand upon this to bring in additional editorial consultants with identified areas of expertise Quality contributions will be sought and welcomed from various perspectives and including theoretical papers, experimental designs, exploratory studies, randomized clinical trials, and well-designed case studies. Competent clinical practice is informed by the best available research and research that is clinically relevant is of most benefit. The journal will continue to build on these foundational concepts.

Hypnosis is More Effective than Clinical Interviews

Occurrence of Trauma in Fibromyalgia

To determine whether hypnosis is more effective than conventional interviewing to find traumatic life events in patients with fibromyalgia, we carried out a within-subject experimental design with complete intragroup counterbalancing. Thirty-two women under care in a public primary care center gave 2 identical interviews, with an interval of 3 months, in which the occurrence of traumatic life events was explored, once in a state of wakefulness and once in a state of hypnosis. The state of consciousness was evaluated using 3 measures: bispectral index, skin conductance level, and pain intensity. In the hypnotic state, the patients expressed 9.8 times more traumatic life events than in the waking state, a statistically significant difference with a large effect size.

Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Valencia Scale of Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Hypnosis–client Version in a Portuguese Sample

Research literature about hypnosis highlights the importance of clients’ attitudes and beliefs toward hypnosis because they promote hypnotic responses and may predict the effectiveness of hypnotic interventions as well as minimize iatrogenic effects for clients. This study analyzes the factorial structure and psychometric properties with confirmatory methodology of the Valencia Scale of Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Hypnosis–Client Version, using a Portuguese sample. We expected to replicate the results obtained in previous research conducted with samples from various countries. The Portuguese sample comprised 1,977 participants. We found a structure of 8 factors, with an adequate internal consistency and test–retest reliability. Results are similar to those found in exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses with samples from other countries.

Efficacy of Self-hypnosis on Quality of Life For Children with Chronic Pain Syndrome

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of self-hypnosis in a therapeutic education program (TEP) for the management of chronic pain in 26 children aged 7 to 17 years. Outcomes of the study were a total or a partial (at least 1) achievement of the therapeutic goals (pain, quality of sleeping, schooling, and functional activity). Sixteen patients decreased their pain intensity, 10 reached all of their therapeutic goals, and 9 reached them partially. Self-hypnosis was the only component of the TEP associated with these improvements. The current study supports the efficacy of self-hypnosis in our TEP program for chronic pain management in children.

Ability of Hypnosis to Facilitate Movement Through Stages of Change for Smoking Cessation

On the basis of the transtheoretical model of change, we hypothesized that hypnosis would facilitate significantly greater movement through the stages of change toward smoking cessation in contrast to psychoeducation. Thirty participants were pretested for hypnotizability using the Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS). Participants’ readiness for change was assessed using the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment scale (URICA). The EHS relaxation induction was used to induce hypnosis. Hypnotic suggestions addressed motivation and ambivalence. The URICA was administered following the intervention and at a 10-day follow-up. Two-factor split-plot ANOVAs showed significant changes within groups on the contemplation subscale (p = .002), action subscale (p = .00007), and the number of cigarettes smoked per day (p = .003).

COMT Genotype and Sensory and Sensorimotor Gating in High and Low Hypnotizable Subjects

We investigated the association between hypnotizability, COMT polymorphism, P50 suppression ratio, and prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle response (ASR) in 21 high (HH) and 19 low (LH) hypnotizable subjects. The frequency of Met/Met carriers of COMT polymorphysm was higher in HH than in LH group (33.3% versus 10.6%, p = .049). Increased ASR amplitude and latency and decreased prepulse inhibition at 120 ms lead interval were found in the HH compared to the LH group. The effect of COMT genotype on prepulse inhibition was observed in LH group only. No between-group differences in P50 measures were found. The obtained results suppose the participation of dopamine system in mechanisms of hypnotizability and different allocation of attentional resources in HH and LH subjects.

Polymorphism of Opioid Receptors μ1 in Highly Hypnotizable Subjects

The possible cooperation between hypnotizability-related and placebo mechanisms in pain modulation has not been consistently assessed. Here, we investigate possible genetic bases for such cooperation. The OPRM1 gene, which encodes the μ1 opioid receptor—the primary site of action for endogenous and exogenous opioids—is polymorphic in the general population for the missense mutation Asn40Asp (A118G, rs1799971). The minor allele 118G results in decreased levels of OPRM1 mRNA and protein. As a consequence, G carriers are less responsive to opioids. The aim of the study was to investigate whether hypnotizability is associated with the presence of the OPRM1 polymorphism. Forty-three high and 60 low hypnotizable individuals, as well as 162 controls, were genotyped for the A118G polymorphism of OPRM1. The frequency of the G allele was significantly higher in highs compared to both lows and controls. Findings suggest that an inefficient opioid system may be a distinctive characteristic of highs and that hypnotic assessment may predict lower responsiveness to opioids.