In Memoriam: E. Thomas Dowd, Ph.D., ABPP 1938-2018

The community of hypnosis has lost a great leader in advancing cognitive hypnotherapy and evidence based clinical practice of hypnosis. Edmund Thomas Dowd, born in Minneapolis on November 19, 1938, died suddenly at his home on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Tom Dowd spent the first 31 years of his life in Minnesota, where he met his wife Therese, had his two children, and earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Tom spent the majority of his professional career as an academician and traveled around the world presenting and training others in hypnosis and cognitive psychotherapy. Tom was a tenured Professor in the Department of Psychology at Kent State University where he had served as Director of the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology, Department Chair, and the Chair of the University Faculty Senate. He taught courses in Professional and Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology Practicum, Introduction to Psychotherapy, and Psychological Interventions. He served as Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly and had served as Director of the Counseling Psychology Programs at both the University of Nebraska and at Kent State University.

In addition, Tom was the author of nearly 200 publications and 7 books including the ground-breaking book, Cognitive Hypnotherapy (Dowd, 2000). The model developed by Dr. Dowd combined concepts and techniques drawn from the work of Aaron T. Beck and Milton H. Erickson along with concepts from theories of human cognition and implicit knowledge. His other books included: Case Studies in Hypnotherapy (Dowd & Healy, 1986), Hypnotherapy: A Modern Approach (Golden, Dowd, & Freidberg, 1987); Clinical Advances in Cognitive Psychotherapy (Leahy & Dowd, 2002); and The Psychologies in Religion: Working with Religious Clients (Dowd & Nielsen, 2006 ).

Throughout his life Tom was always willing to be of service. He served on numerous boards and committees locally, nationally, and internationally. At the time of his death he was serving as the President of the Society for Psychological Hypnosis (American Psychological Association, Division 30). In addition, he had served as President and on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology (ABCT), a specialty of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). In 2016 he was presented the Russell J. Bent Award for Distinguished Service and Contributions to the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Upon retirement as a Professor from Kent State University, he transitioned exclusively into private practice where he was a Senior Psychologist at Rainier Behavioral Health in Tacoma, Washington and Professor Emeritus of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. Tom maintained an active private practice and continued to see clients and have a tremendous impact on healing and helping others until his death. He traveled around the world conducting workshops on cognitive-behavioral therapy and cognitive hypnotherapy.

In his personal life, Tom was known as a compassionate, quirky, adventurous, wise, and sensitive person. He was generous to the core and always willing to help others. He was committed to supporting his family; he and his wife Therese moved to Tacoma, Washington in 2014 to be close to their children and their families. He loved to live life to the fullest, enjoyed a good glass of wine, was an aficionado of opera and classical music – he could literally “name that tune” for almost any classical music piece in five notes or less. He was both open-hearted and open-minded and as a voracious reader was committed to life-long learning. He had a dedicated meditation practice, enjoyed spending time in his garden, and loved exploring new places in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. His family, his friends, his students, his patients, his readers, and his colleagues will mourn his absence.

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.

Feasibility of Music and Hypnotic Suggestion to Manage Chronic Pain

The authors investigated the feasibility and possible effects of hypnotic suggestion and music for chronic pain. Ten people completed the 2-week intervention that consisted of daily listening to hypnotic suggestions combined with music. Averaged subjective pain intensity, pain bothersomeness, overall distress, anxiety, and depression decreased from baseline to endpoint. Participants rated pre- and postlistening pain intensity and pain bothersomeness decreased for each session. Information provided during end-of-study interviews indicated all participants were satisfied with treatment and felt they benefited from being in the study. Means and standard deviations are reported for outcome measures and a case study is provided. This preliminary study supports the use of a combined hypnotic suggestion and music intervention for chronic pain.

Correlates of the Multidimensional Construct of Hypnotizability: Paranormal Belief, Fantasy Proneness, Magical Ideation, and Dissociation

Hypnotizability is a multifaceted construct that may relate to multiple aspects of personality and beliefs. This study sought to address 4 known correlates of hypnotizability to aid in its understanding. Eighty undergraduates completed the Magical Ideation Scale (MIS), the Creative Experiences Questionnaire (CEQ), the Australian Sheep-Goat Scale (ASGS), and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and then were administered the Creative Imagination Scale (CIS). All 5 scales were significantly correlated. Participants higher in hypnotizability scored higher on the CEQ and the MIS. The findings demonstrate the influence of fantasy proneness and magical thinking on hypnotizability and support the theory that hypnotizability is a complex interaction of multiple traits.

Factor Analysis of the Elkins Hypnotizability Scale

Assessment of hypnotizability can provide important information for hypnosis research and practice. The Elkins Hypnotizability Scale (EHS) consists of 12 items and was developed to provide a time-efficient measure for use in both clinical and laboratory settings. The EHS has been shown to be a reliable measure with support for convergent validity with the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C (r = .821, p < .001). The current study examined the factor structure of the EHS, which was administered to 252 adults (51.3% male; 48.7% female). Average time of administration was 25.8 minutes. Four factors selected on the basis of the best theoretical fit accounted for 63.37% of the variance. The results of this study provide an initial factor structure for the EHS.

Advancing Research and Practice: The Revised APA Division 30 Definition of Hypnosis

This article describes the history, rationale, and guidelines for developing a new definition of hypnosis by the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association. The definition was developed with the aim of being concise, heuristic, and allowing for alternative theories of the mechanisms (to be determined in empirical scientific study). The definition of hypnosis is presented as well as definitions of the following related terms: hypnotic induction, hypnotizability, and hypnotherapy. The implications for advancing research and practice are discussed. The definitions are presented within the article.

Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy for Reduction of Hot Flashes in Postmenopausal Women: Examination of Cortisol as a Potential Mediator

Hypnotic relaxation therapy (HRT) has been shown to reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women and breast cancer survivors. While the biological mechanism by which HRT reduces hot flashes is unknown, it has been speculated that reduction of stress mediates the intervention’s effectiveness. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of HRT on a known biomarker of stress (cortisol) and changes in cortisol as a mediator. Sixty-two postmenopausal women received hypnotic relaxation therapy for hot flashes and completed measures of hot flashes in addition to providing cortisol samples at baseline and endpoint. HRT resulted in significantly decreased early evening salivary cortisol concentrations. However, changes in salivary cortisol concentrations did not mediate the effects of HRT.

Hypnotizability, Not Suggestion, Influences False Memory Development

Hypnotizability influences the development of false memories. In Experiment 1, participants heard a positive or negative suggestion regarding hypnosis and then listened to 8 Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm lists in a hypnotic state. Neither hypnosis nor prehypnotic suggestion affected memory. Highly hypnotizable participants were more accurate in recall and recognition. In Experiment 2, suggestions were delivered in the form of feedback. Participants heard a positive or negative suggestion about their performance prior to either the encoding or retrieval of 8 DRM lists. Neither accurate nor false memories were affected by the suggestion. Highly hypnotizable individuals recognized fewer critical lures if they received a negative suggestion about their performance. These results highlight the unusual role of hypnotizability in the creation of false memories.

Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy for Treatment of Hot Flashes Following Prostate Cancer Surgery: A Case Study

This case study reports on a 69-year-old African American male who presented with hot flashes following a diagnosis of prostate cancer and subsequent prostatectomy. Measures include both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flash frequency and sleep quality. The intervention involved 7 weekly sessions of hypnotic relaxation therapy directed toward alleviation of hot flashes. Posttreatment self-reported hot flashes decreased 94%; physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 100%; and sleep quality improved 87.5%. At week 12, both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flashes decreased 95% and sleep quality improved 37.5% over baseline, suggesting hypnotic relaxation therapy may be an effective intervention for men with hot flashes following treatment for prostate cancer.