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  1. An Introduction to Hypnosis

  2. An Introduction to Hypnosis I. What is Hypnosis ? II. Common Myths about Hypnosis III. Theories of Hypnotic Responding IV. Key Theoretical Controversies in Hypnosis IV. Hypnotic Suggestibility VI. Hypnosis as a Clinical Tool

  3. I. What is Hypnosis ? A. Defining Hypnosis B. Components of a Hypnotic Procedure

  4. A. Defining Hypnosis • Hypnosis is a procedure involving cognitive processes (like imagination) in which a subject is guided by a hypnotist to respond to suggestions for changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. • Sometimes people are trained in self-hypnosis, learn to guide themselves through a hypnotic procedure. • Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works.

  5. B. Two Components of a Hypnotic Procedure • It is useful to think of a hypnotic procedure as consisting of two phases or components: • Hypnotic Induction • Hypnotic Suggestions

  6. What is a Hypnotic Induction ? • An introduction to hypnosis  the subject is guided through suggestion to • Relax • Concentrate • Focus his or her attention on some particular thing. • Some hypnotists believe  purpose of the induction is to induce an altered state of consciousness. • Others believe it is a social cue that prompts the subject to engage in hypnotic behaviors.

  7. V. Hypnotic Suggestibility – The Individual Difference Variable • Hypnotic suggestibility is the general tendency to respond to hypnotic suggestions. • Can be measured with scales typically consisting of a hypnotic induction + a series of behavioral test suggestions.

  8. V. Hypnotic Suggestibility – The Individual Difference Variable • The number of test suggestions that an individual responds to or passes indicates the person’s level of suggestibility. • It is a trait-like, individual difference variable • People differ in terms of how high or low they fall on suggestibility. • Scores in the population are arrayed in a bell-shaped curve. • Suggestibility tends to be very stable over time – researchers found that scores taken 25 years apart were correlated at r = .71. (correlations = 0.0 -1.0 )

  9. Let’s see if you are capable of relaxing and focusing…

  10. What is a Hypnotic Suggestion ? • The subject is guided to undergo changes in experience. • Types of Hypnotic Suggestions: • Ideomotor Suggestions – experience a motor movement. • Challenge Suggestions – subject is told he or she will not be able to do some particular thing and then is asked to perform the prohibited behavior. • Cognitive Suggestions – experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts or feelings.

  11. II. Common Myths about Hypnosis:People in hypnosis….. • …lose control and can be made to say or do whatever the hypnotist wants. • …may not be able to come out of hypnosis. Hypnosis… • … only affects weak-willed or gullible people. • …reliably enhances the accuracy of memory. • …enables people to re-experience a past life. • …depends primarily on the skill of the hypnotist. • NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE!!!

  12. III. Important Theories of Hypnotic Responding • Psychoanalytic Approach • Neodissociation Approach • Socio-Cognitive Approach • Transpersonal Approach

  13. A. Psychoanalytic Approach: Freud’s Model of Hypnosis • Freud initially utilized hypnosis to help remove psychosomatic symptoms; • Patients suffered from what we would now call a somatoform disorder. • Patients suffered from medical complaints: • seizures • muscular spasms • paralysis of their limbs that was transient and/or was not thought to be the entirely the result of a general medical condition.

  14. Freud’s Model of Personality • Divided into 3 parts- Id, • Ego, and Superego; • Believed that hypnosis • allowed him access to • memories within the • patient’s unconscious mind • which had been previously • repressed (blocked);

  15. Freud’s Model of Hypnosis continued… • Learned that he could temporarily or permanently reduce many of these symptoms using direct hypnotic suggestions for the symptoms to be reversed. • “Your arm is calm again and will no longer spasm.” • Eventually Freud used free association instead of hypnosis as a way of accessing the unconscious.

  16. B. Hilgard’sNeodissociation Approach • Recent psychoanalytically-oriented theory. • Developed by Ernest Hilgard. • Theory: Under hypnosis, part of the mind enters an altered state of consciousness. • A second dissociated part of the mind--designated the “Hidden Observer”-- remains aware of what is going on during a hypnotic session. • Part of the mind in an altered state of consciousness = very open to hypnotic suggestions.

  17. B. Neodissociation – ‘Hidden Observer’ Experiments Discovered in highly hypnotizable subjects during dissociative tasks such as hypnotic deafness and hypnotic pain analgesia. If queried some subjects could nevertheless give realistic accounts of the dissociated experience as if a hidden observer was present within the person watching the whole time!

  18. B. Hilgard’sNeodissociation Theory • These dissociations = evidence of separate cognitive subsystems that were operating during the experiment. • “The concept of a totally unified consciousness is an attractive one, but does not hold up under examination.” • Ernest R. Hilgard (1994)

  19. A Socio-cognitive take on Neodissociation(Criticisms of Hilgard’s approach) • “Hidden Observer” – was created by the subject in response to the hypnotic instructions given by the experimenter. (Spanos & Burgess, 1994) • Self or “identity is constructed, role-governed, and performed” (Lynn et al., 1994) as a “narrative process” in which we come to construct our experience as that identity as a “believed-in imagining” (Sarbin, 1998).

  20. C. The Socio-cognitive Approach • Principles of social psychology explain behavior during hypnosis. • Not a single theory a group of theories. • Examples: • Role Theory – people naturally adopt the role behaviors of a hypnotized person. • Response Expectancy Theory – hypnotic suggestions alter expectations for nonvolitional outcomes (e.g., pain). Such expectations  then contribute to the experience of those outcomes (Kirsch, 1990).

  21. D. A Transpersonal Approach • Many of humanity’s earliest views of hypnotic phenomena are described by various religious & spiritual traditions in the world. (Krippner, 2005). • Shamanistic Healing Rituals • Exorcism and Demonology • Advanced meditative practices to achieve Mind/Body unity within mystical aspects of: • Christianity • Tibetan Buddhism • Native American • Islamic Sufism • Jewish Kabbalah • Hindu Tantra.

  22. D. A Transpersonal Approach • An important diversity issue since many people around the world hold these beliefs.

  23. Class Demonstration • Chevreul Pendulum

  24. VII. Hypnosis as a Clinical Tool • Used 2 ways as a clinical tool: • Making Direct Suggestions for Symptom Reduction; • Using hypnosis as an adjunct to other forms of psychotherapy (e.g., CBT).

  25. Check out this amazing video • here

  26. A. Making Direct Suggestions for Symptom Reduction • Ex. – A hypnotist suggests to a patient undergoing a painful medical procedure ; (e.g., surgery, a lumbar puncture, spinal tap) that the affected body part (i.e., the back) is numb and insensitive to pain. • This is a classic use of hypnosis.

  27. Gate Theory of Pain Pain reduction through hypnosis.

  28. Example: Hypnotic Analgesia • Hypnosis can alter and eliminate the psychological experience of pain and the brain’s neurophysiological processing of pain. • Data indicates that the sensory aspect of pain is diminished at the somatosensory cortex. • The suffering component of pain is diminished at the anterior cingulate cortex.

  29. Pain research • Research shows that pain can be hypnotically induced in the brain. • What does that tell us about the nature of pain?

  30. B. Presenting Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) + Hypnosis • Research suggests: Combining hypnosis & CBT improves outcomes for 70% of patients relative to using CBT alone! (Kirsch et al., 1995); • Additionally: Preceding the CBT technique with a hypnotic induction, delivered with the unique tone and cadence of hypnosis, is successful; • Ex.: • Progressive Muscle Relaxation becomes hypnotic relaxation. • Guided Imagery  hypnotic imagery. • Systematic Desensitization  hypnotic desensitization. • Coping self-statements  coping self-suggestions.

  31. Some Clinical Problems Thought to Be Responsive to Hypnosis • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder • Acute and Chronic Pain • Phobias • Performance Anxiety • Depression • Eating Disorders • Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) • Smoking • Obesity

  32. What about Placebos? Why do they work? • The power of placebos is fascinating…but why does it happen?

  33. Conclusions • Once associated with fringe psychology and the supernatural hypnosis is now accepted as the valid subject of scientific research and as a useful clinical tool. • Psychologists hold a wide variety of opinions on how to define hypnosis and on how hypnosis works.

  34. Conclusions • Research strongly suggests that hypnotic suggestibility is a trait that accounts for a portion of how much or how little people respond to hypnosis. • However, research strongly indicates that the vast majority of people can benefit from hypnosis interventions. • Research indicates that hypnosis is very effective for treating a wide range of clinical problems and symptoms (pain, anxiety, depression, obesity, and smoking).

  35. The End!

  36. Instructions for Chevreul Pendulum Demonstration • Obtain scissors, string, and ½ inch washers at a hardware store. • At the beginning of the presentation, distribute these materials to the class. Have students cut a 6-inch length of string and tie it to the washer. • Explain that you will be doing a demonstration in which students will have an opportunity to experience an imaginative suggestion. • Have students place their right elbow on their right thigh and hold the string between their right thumb and index finger so the washer is suspended beneath. • Have students hold their hand as still as possible. • Ask students to imagine that the washer is beginning to move from left to right. Continue repeating the suggestion until some washers begin to move. There will be a range of responses. Some students will show no response at all. Others will find that their washer moves quite a bit. • Cancel the suggestion by telling students their hands are back to normal. • Ask students what this has to do with what you were just discussing. • This should lead naturally to the next topic – hypnotic suggestibility.