Hypnosis C. Alexander Simpkins PhD Annellen M. Simpkins PhD What is Hypnosis? People have been asking this question since the time of the Greeks The only thing everyone agrees on is that one definition of hypnosis has not been agreed on The phenomena of hypnosis are subject to many variables that influence how they are responded to and expressed. But thanks to more methods of examining hypnosis, including imaging the brain, we are learning more all the time! Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) Viennese physician Vital energy like magnetism that could be made to act on the human body. It could be influenced by the practitioner to bring about cures of disease, both mental and physical He came into conflict with the medical establishment because of his claims. Today we are revisiting magnetism without mysticism through treatment of conditions by magnetism This slowed the initial progress of experimentation James Braid (1795-1860) One of earliest researchers who altered the course that Mesmer had initiated Medical doctor who gave hypnosis the name He believed Mesmer had made errors in how he conducted his experiments with patients Used careful observation of individual subjects to demystify hypnosis and categorize its effects For example, experiment with sharpening senses Hypnotized person, blindfolded, could locate someone in crowd with sense of smell Developed the theory of hypnosis as focused attention, still an important view Jean Martin Charcot (1835-1893) Some consider him the founder of neurology as distinct discipline Created the Salpetriere School of Hypnosis Scientific approach Used narrow subject pool: female patients with hysterical symptoms Defined hypnosis as hysteria But did reveal a link between mental states and exhibited symptoms Also gained acceptance by scientific community Freud studied with Charcot and translated his writings Charcot Examining a Brain The Nancy School Liebeault (1823-1904) Provided free medical hypnosis to thousands of people suffering from physical and mental conditions Bernheim (1840-1919) Studied with Liebeault and developed the view that hypnosis is suggestion Suggestion is influence exerted by a suggested idea on the mind i.e. the ability to respond to an idea Freud studied with Liebeault and Bernheim and translated Bernheim’s book, Hypnosis and Suggestion in Psychotherapy Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) Russian physiologist Studied hypnosis extensively Believed in the power of the word as a signal to bring about a response Hypnosis became foundational in Russian psychology He did careful neurological measurements Defined hypnosis as scattered sleep: excitation and inhibition First International Statistics of Susceptbility Largest hypnosis study performed in 1892 8705 subjects 15 countries Each kept track of success in inductions Measuring many aspects of susceptibility 1892 Study Findings Susceptibility Findings: 75% susceptible 25% Deep, 50%Moderate 25% Mildly No differences among different races or countries No sex differences Children more susceptible More intelligent more susceptible More imaginative more susceptible This research dispelled myth that hypnosis is for the weak-minded By 1888 there were more than 1172 books written on hypnosis and hundreds of studies Other Important Labs Clark Hull (1884-1952) Lab at Yale Research applied John Stuart Mill’s method of difference comparing hypnotized and nonhypnotized Tested hypnotic phenomena Used normal subjects Adapted the technology of his day inventively for experiments Measuring postural sway from suggestion with a simple sensor connected to the shoulder that reacted to movement and record it on paper Stanford Lab Ernest Hilgard (1904-2001) and Josephine Hilgard Researched using college students Did careful, scientific work Extensive work on many hypnotic phenomena Found pain responses were there but subjects didn’t feel pain Developed Stanford Susceptibility Scale Did much to promote respect for hypnosis Firmly believed that through the study of hypnosis we could come to better understand such cognitive processes as attention, memory, learning, etc Ernest & Josephine Hilgard Milton H. Erickson (1904-1980) Dedicated to hypnosis his whole life Known for his clinical work but also a skilled researcher Developed naturalistic methods to study hypnosis unobtrusively as well as studying it in the lab Early fruit study Concluded hypnosis takes place in the mind of the subject and the less the hypnotist interferes, the stronger the effects Developed the indirect method of hypnosis Milton H. Erickson MD Theories of Hypnosis Many theories Each has some merit Think of them as models that can be useful Only problem when a theory is a “nothing but” theory House analogy Theories of Hypnosis Fixation of Attention On one idea with monotony Partial Sleep Scattered inhibition and excitation Suggestibility Response to the idea Ideodynamic processes Neo-Dissociation Reduction of executive control by consciousness Social-Role Theory Role playing Expectancies Altered State of Consciousness Trance or alteration of consciousness Unconscious functioning Literalness because not thinking about them--just thinking them Experimental Hypnosis To capture it well, must respect the phenomena being studied Research needs to use the same procedures for all subjects As a result, may be using crude procedures People respond differently Fails to take enough time to induce a good trance People vary May not distinguish between induction and utilization Clinical Hypnosis Distinguishes induction and utilization Take time to learn how to go into trance Then use it for change Direct vs Indirect Pain relief Vast research on applications for purposes Obstetrics, anxiety, pain control, depression, fears, habit control, moods to name a few Research Project to Test Indirect Compared Hypnosis using Ericksonian Therapy (ET) & Brief Dynamic Therapy (BDT) Simpkins & Simpkins, 2008 Comparison study of two very different approaches to brief therapy ET: no direct discussion of problem BDT: Discussion and analysis of problem Research Continued 2 Groups: ET & BDT 4 Tests: for 4 dimensions 1-CPSAS - Social/interpersonal 2-HSCL- Internal/experiential 3-TC - Target complaint 4-GI - Global improvement Results Both methods equally effective for changing the target complaint Implications of Results Not always necessary to address a problem directly in order to resolve it Indirect hypnosis activate inner processes for specific as well as nonspecific changes Clinical Hypnosis involves Relationship Although takes place in the mind of the subject, it is best activated through a trusting relationship Don’t usually follow advice from someone you mistrust In self-hypnosis, learn to trust one’s own inner self When people have problems, sometimes mistrust self sometimes for good reason Learn through self-hypnosis to know when to trust and how to develop inner capacities Learning to Experience Hypnosis Open attitude Curiosity Allowing responsiveness May be subtle Like flickers between boxcars of a passing train Utilizing the natural abilities you have and building on them Relax and enjoy!
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