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.
A new control condition called Wiki is introduced. Key themes of each test suggestion of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C, were matched by a corresponding extract from Wikipedia.org. The authors compared phenomenological reports of participants across 4 conditions: hypnosis split into high and low hypnotizable subgroups, music, and Wiki condition, using the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory. High hypnotizables undergoing hypnosis reported higher altered experience and altered states of awareness than individuals in the Wiki condition, supporting the authors’ hypothesis that the Wiki condition does not evoke an altered state of consciousness (internal dialogue, volitional control, and self-awareness did not differ). Wiki might be a viable control condition in hypnosis research given further examination.
This work was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Funds (OTKA 109187 and K100845).
The aim of this paper is to complement the recently revised American Psychological Association definition of hypnotizability. It (a) lists a few differences in sensorimotor integration between subjects with high and low hypnotizability scores in the ordinary state of consciousness and in the absence of suggestions; (b) proposes that hypnotizability-related cerebellar peculiarities may account for them; (c) suggests that the cerebellum could also be involved in cognitive aspects of hypnotizability; (d) explains why the information derived from studies of sensorimotor and cardiovascular aspects of hypnotizability may be relevant to its definition and useful in orienting further experimental research in the field of hypnosis.
“Channeling” is a phenomenon in which people describe themselves as receiving messages from another personality or dimension of reality. Channeling is often regarded as dissociation, which is a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception. This study explored the interface between channeling and dissociation through a phenomenological analysis. Qualitative data were obtained through interviews with 20 Israeli women who practice channeling. The analysis revealed 3 themes: dissociation, absorption, and control. The channelers’ descriptions correspond with what is coined as “dissociative states” and enable an emic view of the etic definition of dissociation.