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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
I. What is Hypnosis ? A. Defining Hypnosis B. Components of a Hypnotic Procedure
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.
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
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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!!!
III. Important Theories of Hypnotic Responding • Psychoanalytic Approach • Neodissociation Approach • Socio-Cognitive Approach • Transpersonal Approach
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.
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);
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.
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.
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!
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)
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).
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).
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.
D. A Transpersonal Approach • An important diversity issue since many people around the world hold these beliefs.
Class Demonstration • Chevreul Pendulum
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).
Check out this amazing video • here
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.
Gate Theory of Pain Pain reduction through hypnosis.
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.
Pain research • Research shows that pain can be hypnotically induced in the brain. • What does that tell us about the nature of pain?
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.
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
What about Placebos? Why do they work? • The power of placebos is fascinating…but why does it happen?
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.
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).
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.