Fromm, Erika; Oberlander, Mark I.; Gruenewald, Doris (1970). Perceptual and cognitive processes in different states of consciousness: The waking state and hypnosis. Journal of Projective Techniques and Personality Assessment, 34, 375-387.

Hypnosis was assumed to influence perceptual and cognitive functioning in the direction of increased primary process ideation and adaptive regression. The Rorschach test was administered to 32 Ss in the waking state and under hypnosis in counterbalanced order. Hypnosis was induced by a standardized procedure. Ss received identical instructions for the Rorschach in both conditions. Protocols were scored according to Holt’s system for manifestations and control of primary process. Hypnotic Rorschachs showed an increase in primary process manifestations, but no changes in defensive and coping functioning, and no overall changes in the Adaptive Regression Score. However, the nature of the data was found to be influenced by Ss’ sex and level of adjustment.

The authors used High hypnotizables (SHSS>9) in this investigation.

Hunt, Sonja M. (1969). The speech of the subject under hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 209-216.

Attempts to objectify changes taking place in the speech of 12 undergraduates under hypnosis as compared with their waking speech. A series of open-ended questions was asked in the waking and hypnotized states and the responses compared. Results indicate that the latency of response may be longer, the rate of speech slower, and the number of words in the response fewer under hypnosis. The rate of speech of E, however, also differed significantly between Ss in waking and hypnotized conditions. It was therefore not possible to attribute the speech changes only to the hypnotized state. They could have arisen from E”s differential verbal treatment of hypnotized and waking Ss. The need for future research and its nature are discussed. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Graham, K. R.; Patton, Ann (1968). Retroactive inhibition, hypnosis, and hypnotic amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 68-74.


Kline, Milton V. (1968). Sensory hypnoanalysis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 16, 85-100.


Barber, Theodore Xenophon (1957). Hypnosis as perceptual-cognitive restructuring: I. Analysis of concepts. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 5 (4), 147-166.

1. ‘Trance’ involves a selective and relative inattention to internal and external stimulation.
2. Hypnosis involves one type of ‘trance’ behavior but hypnosis differs from other types of ‘trance’ in that it is an interpersonal relationship in which one person, the operator, restructures the ‘perceptions’ and conceptions of the other person, the subject.
3. The operator _can_ restructure the thoughts and ‘perceptions’ of the ‘good’ hypnotic subject because (a) the subject is relatively detached and inattentive to his self and his surroundings and (b) the subject is ‘set’ — he is ready and willing — to accept the operator’s words as true statements and to ‘literally think as the operator wants him to think.’
4. ‘Perceptual-cognitive restructuring’ and not ‘suggestion’ is the essential element in hypnosis.
5. We can begin to understand hypnosis and the phenomena of hypnosis by one general principle: the hypnotic subject behaves differently because he ‘perceives’ and conceives differently. The behavior of the hypnotic subject is in strict accordance with his altered conceptions of his self and his surroundings” (p. 162).

Beigel, Hugo B. (1953). Hypnosis as an instrument in psychological experimentation. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1, 13-17. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts, 53: 6385)

Author’s Summary – In this paper various areas of psychological research were pointed out in which expermentation with hypnotized subjects has been or could be employed to advantage. It is held that there are several problems which offer no point of attack unless hypnosis is used and several others which, in view of their complexity, cannot be effectually approached by the classic method of experimentation. Specifically mentioned were the areas of thinking, learning, perception, apperception, imagination, and emotion, in which the hypnotic experiment proves valuable when either amnesia for preceding experiences, isolation from concomitant influences, or the introduction of an as-if situation is necessary. While it is undeniable that some of the experiments cited need improvement if their results are to be considered reliable — a remediable shortcoming they share with most first experiments — it is also evident that the use of hypnosis in experiments offers an approach to some areas that have thus far been inaccessible. Needless to say, hypnosis should not be used when similar results can be as readily obtained by the customary experimental method, but as Gidro-Frank and Bull (10) state, our scant knowledge of the nature of the hypnotic state should not bar it from use as a scientific tool. Still the only one available technique to solve a problem. It must be added, however, that the experimenter must be thoroughly familiar with the technique but also to their physical and mental health.

Israeli, Nathan (1953). Experimental study of projection in time: I. Outlook upon the remote future–extending through the quintillionth year. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 1 (2), 49-60.

Author’s Summary – This report on research now under progress is concerned with time projection and with hypnotic imagination and dreams of projection into varying remote future periods extending to the very distant quintillionth year. The work proceeded in stages including (a) orientation to the general procedure, (b) hypnotic future autobiographic material (age progression), (c) going successively from one future period to another from the end of the 21st century through the quintillionth year — devoting usually one experimental session to any future period. This paper reports on the self-ratings for hypnosis depth reached by the subjects, their description of life, things, and events, in connection with each projection into a future period, and their visual or nonvisual imagery.
1. Self-ratings for hypnosis depth show with one insignificant exceptional instance that all subjects were always at least at the trance-level or in a deeper hypnotic stage. Individual differences in level reached were indicated with a general trend towards more profound trance in later sessions. The deeper levels on the scale used were not described by the experimenter. Each subject gave those levels his own interpretation in setting up his own scale.
2. The time projections are to be explained in terms of changing space-time framework, social topographic reorientation, recentering, and non-conventional time centering.
3. Hypnotic suggestion to imagine and dream about being suddenly transported and projected into a specified future period is followed by rapid recentering as the subjects follow out the suggestions.
4. Although no specific instructions or sets of suggestions were included about the nature of their anticipations, the description of life, things, and events of any future period was on a predominant impersonal level, with the personal aspects in the background. Nonetheless, the suggestion of transportation and projection into a future period leads to various changes in one’s present-situation perceptions, imagery, space-time framework, and system of concepts and beliefs. With a change in time reference, the description of life, things, and events is adjusted to the era or epoch specified. This involves description of technological, biological, psychological, and anthropological changes. The extinction of mankind is anticipated in the very remote future by some subjects. The earth and the moon are expected to disappear by collision or otherwise.
5. Individual analysis shows that the descriptions of the different future periods approximately fit into patterns and are not discontinuous. An individual subject’s descriptions beginning with the first future period and taking in all the other periods show constructive or catastrophic trends or cyclical variation between both extremes. Descriptions of life, things, and events of each future period in the main change in a constructive or in a catastrophic direction. They are continuous but with certain discontinuities and incoherence.
6. A geocentric orientation and a heliocentric preoccupation are invariant and predominant. The subjects are unable to abandon their basic planetary orientation or schemata.
7. Colored imagery includes mainly the primary colors. They comprise both expanse colors and surface colors. Auditory imagery is quite frequent. There are also references to olfactory, tactile, and kinesthetic imagery. Thermic imagery becomes increasingly prominent in the more remote future periods when the sun’s heat is described as more intense. Imagery changes with the outlook patterns and appears to have personal, structural, and social determinants. One subject’s imagery was macropic


Spanos NP. De Groh M. Structure of communication and reports of involuntariness by hypnotic and nonhypnotic subjects. Perceptual & Motor Skills 1983;57(3 Pt 2):1179-86

We hypothesized that phrasing a communication to move the arm as either a suggestion, a directive, or an instruction would differentially affect subjects’ interpretations of the movement. 45 hypnotic and 45 nonhypnotic subjects who responded positively to a suggestion tended to describe the movement as involuntary both on open-ended questionnaires and later on an explicit involuntariness scale. Subjects given a directive to move the arm, or an instruction to reach for a pencil, rarely described their experience as involuntary on the open-ended questionnaires but sometimes rated it as involuntary on the scale. The ratings of involuntariness by subjects given suggestions seem likely to reflect interpretations made concurrently with the movement suggested. However, such ratings by subjects given directives or instructions are likely to reflect retrospective interpretations cued by the instrument used to assess subjects’ experiences.

Vandenberg, Brian (1998). Infant communication and the development of hypnotic responsivity. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 46 (4), 334-350.

The research on the development of hypnotic responsivity indicates that it emerges, ex nihilo, sometime after the age of 3. The measures used to assess hypnotic responsivity rely on complex verbal instructions, thus precluding investigation of infancy. Recent research on infancy, however, suggests that the ontogenesis of hypnotic responsivity is likely to be found in fundamental human capacities that emerge in the first weeks and months of life. The aims of the article are threefold: (a) to demonstrate that infants possess capacities on the nonverbal plane of communication that are analogous to those required for hypnosis; (b) to identify situations in infancy that are analogous to the hypnotic context; and (c) to examine dispositional and relational attributes in infancy that may account for later individual differences in hypnotic responsivity.

Erickson, James C. (1994, October). The metaphors of pain and therapy. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Francisco.

Metaphors of Pain may be: 1. Anatomically or physiologically descriptive. 2. Extremely common, especially in chronic pain syndromes. 3. Unrecognized by many therapists. 4. Often pithy, succinct phrases (like puns). “Pain in the neck, pain in the butt” may reflect symbolic meaning of the pain, which if attended to may benefit the patient.
Head and neck pain metaphors include such things as “a headache, a pain in the neck, grit your teeth, and grin and bear it” (related to bruxism and TMJ syndrome). Also pertains to post-rhinoplasty pain in the nose.
Back pains: upper thoracic pain “a load on my shoulders” like Atlas carrying the world. Or “a cross to bear” which implies uncomplaining, but bearing a heavy burden. Low back pain – a “weak spine,” or “spineless.” With laminectomy, a “yellow streak up the back.”
Dermatitis: Pruritis or dermatitis when “something gets under the skin.”
Chest pains when “sick at heart.”
Nagging, nasty situation is a “thorn in my side.”
“A stab in the back” when wronged by society or a person. “Pain in the ass” may be a spouse or a situation. [Other material provided by the speaker is not reported here.]

Dabic-Jeftic, Mirjana; Barnes, Graham (1993). Event-related potentials (P300) during cognitive processing in hypnotic and non-hypnotic conditions. Psychiatria Danubina, 5 (1-2), 47-61.

In this study authors investigated to find out if there were any specific changes of event related potentials in subjects before hypnosis, entering hypnosis, in deep hypnosis and leaving hypnosis, and to compare mental activities of subjects such as capability of correctly calculating and remembering the exact number of unexpected stimuli delivered by stimulator with their verbal or nonverbal reports during any of the conditions investigated. The methodology was of testing the cognitive evoked potentials elicited by auditive stimuli, using the oddball paradigm. Obtained results show that the most constant values of shortest latency and highest amplitudes of the cognitive waves, especially P300 were found during deep hypnosis. All five subjects in the investigation answered with the exact number of delivered target stimuli only after deep hypnosis. Conversely, in all other conditions their answers were approximate to the correct number of delivered target stimuli. (Author abstract.)

In this experiment, 5 adult volunteers were told to attend to one of two tones delivered through headphones. The tones were randomly delivered but one occurred 85% of the time (the ‘frequent, non-target tone’) and the other occurred 15% of the time (the ‘rare, target tone’). The subjects were to notice, remember, and count the target tone. Measures were taken during five periods: pre-hypnosis, entering hypnosis, deep hypnosis, leaving hypnosis, and post-hypnosis.
Some subjects had extensive hypnosis experience prior to the experiment; others had little.
The EEG P300 wave was sensitive to condition. Latency of P300 was significantly shorter in deep hypnosis compared with other periods. Higher amplitude of P300 also occurred during deep hypnosis compared with other periods. (Notes taken from secondary reference, Ericksonian Newsletter.)

Kraft, Tom (1993). Using hypnosis with cancer patients: Six case studies. Contemporary Hypnosis, 10, 43-48.

Hypnosis can be used in a number of different ways for helping patients suffering from cancer. As well as pain relief, hypnosis may be used to correct insomnia that does not respond to sleeping tablets; for the reduction in skin irritation and dyspnoea when these are due to organic causes, and for treatment-related over-eating. Some patients will use hypnosis in a symbolic way. When this occurs, just as in dream interpretation, it is important to ask the patient for associations, so that these symbols can be understood. Hypnosis can be an extremely useful addition to the medical armamentarium, and should be employed as an adjunct to standard forms of cancer treatment. This paper reports six case studies in which hypnosis was used to help cancer patients.

Isenberg, S. A.; Lehrer, P. M.; Hochran, S. (1992). The effects of suggestions and emotional arousal on pulmonary functions in asthma: A review and a hypothesis regarding verbal mediation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 54, 192-216.

This paper reviews the empirical literature on the relation between asthma, suggestion, and emotion, and proposes the hypothesis that these effects are mediated parasympathetically. The literature indicates that, among asthmatics, suggestion can produce both bronchoconstriction and bronchodilation, and that stress can produce bronchoconstriction. The proportion of asthmatic subjects showing bronchoconstriction to both suggestion and stress averages 35%-40% across studies, but, because of methodological considerations, might be conservatively estimated as closer to 20%. The effect is smaller for suggestion of bronchodilation, and is very short-lived among nonasthmatics. No clear connection has been found between these responses and such subject variables as age, gender, asthma severity, atopy, or method of pulmonary assessment, although some nonsignificant tendencies appear. Most studies in this literature used small n”s and did not systematically examine various somatic, environmental, and demographic factors that could influence results. A hypothesis is presented regarding vagal mediation of psychological effects on the airways, as well as possible alternative mechanisms, and recommendations for future research to evaluate these hypotheses.

Schacter, Daniel L. (1992). Understanding implicit memory. American Psychologist, 47 (4), 559-569.

Dissociations between implicit and explicit memory have attracted considerable attention in recent memory research. A central issue concerns whether such dissociations require the postulation of separate memory systems or are best understood in terms of different processes operating within a single system. This article presents a cognitive neuroscience approach to implicit memory in general and the systems-processes debate in particular, which draws on evidence from research with brain-damaged patients, neuroimaging techniques, and nonhuman primates. The article illustrates how a cognitive neuroscience orientation can help to supply a basis for postulating memory systems, can provide useful constraints for processing views, and can encourage the use of research strategies that the author refers to as cross-domain hypothesis testing and cross-domain hypothesis generation, respectively. The cognitive neuroscience orientation suggests a complementary role for multiple systems and processing approaches.

Implicit memory is an unintentional, nonconscious form of retention that can be contrasted with explicit memory, which involves conscious recollection of previous experiences” (p. 559). The author provides examples of memory dissociations, some of them from neuropathology and some from experimental psychology.
Different brain systems may account for some of the dissociations. For example, there are “studies of patients who show relatively intact access to perceptual-structural knowledge of words or objects, despite severely impaired access to semantic knowledge of the same items. … Similarly, studies of lexical processing using positron emission tomography (PET) indicate that visual word form information and semantic information are handled by separate brain regions. … These kinds of observations suggest the existence of a perceptual representation system (PRS)” (p. 561). .
“Marsolek et al. (1992) drew on independent evidence from cognitive neuroscience concerning the characteristics of the hemispheres to argue that a left hemisphere subsystem computes abstract word form representations that do not preserve specific features of particular inputs, whereas a right-hemisphere subsystem computes perceptually specific word form representations (in the present terminology, both could be viewed as PRS subsystems)” (p. 562)..
“Our approach to auditory implicit memory was guided by neuropsychological studies of patients who exhibit dissociations between access to form and semantic information in the auditory domain that are similar to those discussed earlier in the visual domain. … More specifically, patients with so-called word meaning deafness are unable to understand spoken words (e.g. Ellis & Young, 1988). However, they can repeat spoken words quite well and show some ability to write words to dictation, thus suggesting that they can gain access to stored auditory word from representations. … Rather more frequently encountered are patients with transcortical sensory aphasia (e.g. Kertesz, Sheppard, & MacKenzie, 1982), who exhibit spared abilities to repeat spoken words and write them to dictation, together with impaired comprehension. In these patients, however, the comprehension deficit is also observed in other modalities, thus indicating damage to the semantic system itself.
“These dissociations point toward the existence of a PRS subsystem that handles information about auditory word forms separately from semantic information (cf. Ellis & Young, 1988)” (p. 565)..
“Various investigators have argued that auditory processing differs in the two hemispheres: The left hemisphere relies on categorical or abstract auditory information and operates primarily on phonemes, whereas the right hemisphere relies more on ‘acoustic gestalts’ and operates primarily on prosodic features of speech, including voice information… In addition, studies of normal subjects using dichotic listening techniques have shown a left-ear (i.e., right-hemisphere) advantage for certain types of voice information, in contrast to the usual right-ear advantage for speech” (p. 566).

Brown, Peter (1991). The hypnotic brain: Hypnotherapy and social communication. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Notes are taken from a review of this book: Diamond, Michael (1993). Book review. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 57 (Winter), 120-121.
Brown “posits that because the fundamental matrix of the human brain is metaphoric, hypnosis results from skillful matching of metaphorical communication with the brain’s biological, rhythmic alterations. The most significant feature of trance experience is thereby located in the hypnotist-subject interaction” (p. 120).
“The middle section [of the book is comprised largely of] literature reviews in support of Rossi’s (1986) ultradian rhythm theory of hypnosis and Lakoff and Johnson’s (Johnson, 1987; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) experientialist theory of conceptual thought” (p. 120). The final section includes “research evidence on medical uses of hypnosis, a theory of dissociation and multiple personality disorders, and an uncritical discussion of Milton Erickson’s naturalistic hypnotherapeutic approach … [and also] a brief discussion of the social-cultural functions of possession states among the Mayotte culture” (p. 120).

Rhue, Judith W.; Lynn, Steven Jay (1991). Storytelling, hypnosis and the treatment of sexually abused children. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 39 (4), 198-214.

The present article describes an assessment and therapy program for sexually abused children using hypnotherapeutic techniques which center on storytelling. Storytelling presents the therapist with an opportunity to use comforting suggestions, symbolism, and metaphor to provide the emotional distance necessary to deal with the trauma of abuse. Hypnotherapy proceeds in a stepwise fashion from the building of a sense of safety and security; to imaginativge sharing; to the introduction of reality events; to the final step of addressing complex emotional issues of loss,
trust, love, and guilt brought about by the abuse.

Spiegel, David (1991, August). New directions in traumatic stress research. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco.

Trauma is the experience of being made into an object of someone else’s rage. It is a sudden discontinuity in experience: our physical and mental state can be changed radically. The experience of loss of control is what is most horrifying, more than fear of death. Guilt, (blaming oneself) helps deny the loss of control. People who experience trauma distance from the information but the cortex maintains the traumatic memories.
Author reviewed literature on effective interventions with trauma victims. 1. Harbor & Pennebaker: Contrast how earthquake victims can talk about it but rape victims often are isolated. The importance of having someone listen raises the question of usefulness of only writing about the trauma. 2. Greenberg: Studied 103 trauma cases; employed a clever methodology, using 2 control groups (but it is difficult for the imaginary control group to be free of associating to their own traumas). I believe the health findings, but it troubles me that there were intrusions (thoughts); the control group utilization [of health services?] went up. 3. Kilpatrick: It is important not to blame the victim for being traumatized. But there may be some people who for sociological or other reasons do not get out of dangerous situations. 4.Terri Orbach: There is a process of “going public” about the trauma, like in Alcoholics Anonymous disclosures. Trauma victims create an account and they go to someone else to tell about it.
Summary of what seems important about treatment: There are three means of working with trauma, with thinking, writing, and talking. If you just think but don’t talk, assault rate goes up (Pennebaker); and if you don’t talk with someone else you feel worse physically. In simply writing about the trauma, there may be an increase of mental intrusions, or avoidance. What seems to be beneficial is not just making sense to oneself about the experience cognitively, but the traumatized person must get feedback from another individual that they are not transformed as a person.

Ovens, H.; Talbot, Y.; Harris, F.; Newman, B. (1990). Hypnosis training enhances communication skills. Medical Teacher, 12 (3-4), 357-361

Found in a controlled study that family medicine residents who went through an introductory hypnosis workshop made more comments on their patients’ nonverbal behavior, helping to reveal a patient’s hidden agenda.

Kirmayer, Laurence J. (1988). Word magic and the rhetoric of common sense: Erickson’s metaphors for mind. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 36 (3), 157-172.

Milton Erickson did not produce a systematic theory of psychotherapy. His talent was as a storyteller, inventing metaphors and more extended healing fictions for his patients. A great many of Erickson’s cases did not involve hypnosis in any conventional sense of the term. He used a wide range of persuasive rhetorical forms to encourage behavioral change in his patients. Nevertheless, taken together his work represents a significant shift in paradigm from prevailing schools of psychotherapy. Erickson captured the power of word magic in the language of common sense. This coupling of magical power with folk psychology accounts for much of his current popularity. Attempts to experimentally test his techniques are likely to be unsuccessful because these techniques were unique inventions tailored to the individual idiosyncrasies of patient and context. Although regularities in his work can be found, Erickson’s most important contributions are not techniques but changes in the values or ethos under which psychotherapy is conducted.

This paper focuses Erickson’s implicit models of mind and the values they carry. “It is here that Erickson made his most significant contribution to the general practice of psychotherapy . Erickson avoided systematization. His writing is unusually anecdotal, even for psychotherapy (Erickson, 1980; Vol IV, passim). Erickson’s writing format consists of ‘thin’ case descriptions, freely recycled in parable or homiletic form to serve his immediate rhetorical purpose. … For Erickson, flexibility and eclecticism were not signs of a lack of coherence but a spirited rejection of rigid dogma that needlessly limited therapeutic possibilities” (pp. 158-59).
Erickson used language of the common man rather than a technical vocabulary, even when speaking of ‘hypnosis’ or ‘trance’ or ‘the unconscious.’ He called his approach ‘naturalistic’ and viewed hypnotic phenomena as an extension of normal experience and behavior. His common sense descriptions of events and techniques are easily understood in general terms. “Erickson took magic and dressed it in the familiar clothes of common sense. Some of his less critical followers, however, seem intent on taking common sense and dressing it in the cloak of magic” (p. 163).
Erickson used metaphors as a way of actively involving the patient in conceptual, affective, and sensory qualities of experiences, i.e. as a “tool for thought” (p. 164).
In attempting to understand Erickson’s psychotherapy, one must note his “elastic use of the word ‘hypnosis.’ Sometimes Erickson uses the term narrowly with a focus on the elicitation of trance or dissociative phenomena, but more often he uses it broadly to mean any state of absorption” (p. 165). For him, this was “_a state of special awareness characterized by a receptiveness to ideas_” [Erickson, 1985, p. 223, emphasis in original]. By this he does not mean exclusively the classic suggestion effect where motor acts are experienced as involuntary (Evans, 1967). … The hypnotic subject exhibits a “_special willingness to examine ideas for their inherent values_ [p. 224, emphasis in original]. … For Erickson, any move in the direction of increased absorption is an instance of hypnosis. Dissociation accounts for a great deal but not all of hypnotic behavior” (p. 165). That is why he used the word hypnosis to describe heightened attention that might occur when someone is surprised. But in fact, his published cases include many other kinds of interventions, such as reframing, symptom prescription, etc.–forms of influence and persuasion used by many therapists who do not consider themselves working with hypnosis.
Erickson also emphasized that hypnosis enables one to work with ‘the unconscious.’ “Ordinarily, we view our consciousness as the causal agent of doing while our unconscious is the place where things just ‘happen to us.’ Erickson reversed this attribution, emphasizing the unconscious as the agent of active control working for the benefit of the patient while consciousness adopts the attitude of ‘wait and see.’ This leads consciousness into reverie–the state where images and events move of their own accord, animated by emotion, before the ‘passive audience’ of consciousness” (p. 167). So Erickson viewed hypnosis as liberating the unconscious. There was healing potential in helping the ego to relinquish “rigid control over the creative and benevolent processes of the unconscious” (p. 168). From this theoretical position, the patient and therapist are seen as allies and psychotherapy is a collaboration; there is no need for the Freudian concepts of resistance and defense.
“Erickson’s metaphors for hypnotherapy link it with normal processes of learning and imagining. His image of the unconscious as a storehouse of creative potential supports a non-pathologized view of man amid all his troubles and craziness. In contrast to psychiatry’s current preoccupation with nosology, and the emphasis of psychoanalysis on the dimensions of human frailty, Erickson adopted a non-pathologizing attitude. He did not deny his patient’s difficulties but neither was he excessively fascinated by them. He recognized that healing depends not on cataloguing deficiency but on fully mobilizing the person’s intelligence, imagination, and integrity. This message of therapeutic optimism was balanced by his own example of the benefits and limitations of hypnotherapeutic practice” (p. 170).

Kuttner, Leora (1988). Favorite stories: A hypnotic pain-reduction technique for children in acute pain. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 30, 289-295.

For young children (aged 3 to 6-11) with leukemia, a hypnotic trance consisting of a child’s favorite story was found to be statistically more effective than behavioral distraction and standard medical practice in alleviating distress, pain, and anxiety during painful bone marrow aspirations. Measured by a behavioral checklist and judgment ratings by physician, parent, nurse, and observers, the favorite-story hypnotic technique had immediate therapeutic impact on these young patients, and the reduction in distress, pain, and anxiety was sustained on subsequent medical procedures. Self-report measures, however, were nonsignificant.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; Cross, Wendi P.; Lepage, Mark; Coristine, Marjorie (1986). Glossolalia as learned behavior: An experimental demonstration. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 21-23.

60 Ss listened to a 60-s sample of glossolalia (defined to them as pseudolanguage) and then attempted to produce glossolalia on a 30-s baseline trial. Afterward, half of the Ss received two training sessions that included audio- and videotaped samples of glossolalia interspersed with opportunities to practice glossolalia. Also, live modeling of glossolalia, direct instruction, and encouragement were provided by an experimenter. Both the trained subjects and untreated controls attempted to produce glossolalia on a 30-s posttest trial. About 20% of subjects exhibited fluent glossolalia on the baseline trial, and training significantly enhanced fluency. Seventy percent of trained subjects spoke fluent glossolalia on the posttest. Our findings are more consistent with social learning than with altered state conceptions of glossolalia.

Coe, William C.; Scharcoff, J. A. (1985). An empirical evaluation of the neurolinguistic programming model. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33 (4), 310-318.
The neurolinguistic programming hypothesis that most people have a preferred way of dealing with the world — a primary representational system — was tested. 50 Ss were evaluated for sensory modality preference in 3 ways: (a) they chose among written descriptions using either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic wording (preference); (b) their eye movements were recorded during an interview; and (c) their verbal responses were scored for sensory predicates. The results did not support neurolinguistic programming theory in that preference of 1 modality on 1 measure did not relate to the same modality on the other measures as would be expected if primary representational systems were characteristic of the sample. Other studies have shown mixed results. The conclusion seems warranted that a good deal more empirical support is needed before the positive therapeutic claims of neurolinguistic programming proponents can be taken seriously.

Spanos, Nicholas P.; de Groh, Margaret; Weekes, John R. (1984). Involuntariness and attributions: A reply to Zamansky and Bartis. [Comment/Discussion] .

The authors take the position “that hypnotic subjects (like almost everyone else) retain control over their behaviour (Spanos, 1982). These subjects sometimes define (i.e., interpret) their responses as involuntary, because this interpretation is sometimes fostered and legitimated by contextual demands. However, interpretations of involuntariness do not mean that purposeful, goal-directed actions have been somehow transformed into automatic, nonvoluntary happenings” (p. 54).

Chertok, Leon (1982). The unconscious and hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30 (2), 95-107.

This paper reviews Soviet approaches to the unconscious and to hypnotic phenomena, before examining psychoanalytic theories of hypnosis which are generally based on transference. The author believes the existing theories are inadequate, arguing that there is a psychophysiological dimension to hypnosis; but what unconscious processes does this conceal? Psychoanalysis opened one road to the unconscious, but affect, nonverbal communication, and psychophysiological process are still uncharted territories towards which hypnosis may yet prove to be another royal road.

The author concludes, “hypnosis and the unconscious … are closely linked. Historically, experiments on posthypnotic suggestion were in fact the starting point for the discovery of the unconscious. Posthypnotic suggestion is in effect one of the most irrefutable proofs that psychical contents can influence behavior, albeit eluding the subject’s consciousness.
“In this paper, the present author provides a description of Soviet researchers’ conceptions of the unconscious, and of the point of view from which they approach hypnotic phenomena. Psychoanalytic theories of hypnosis are then presented, which are essentially based on transference. It is shown why this notion seems to the present author powerless to account for the specific nature of the hypnotic relationship. There is, in effect, a psychophysiological dimension to hypnosis. It lies at the crossroads between the instrumental and the relational dimension. But nothing is known about what unconscious processes hide at the psychophysiological level. Psychoanalysis has brought to light the laws governing the functioning of unconscious representations. But the realm of the affect, the nonverbal communication, and bodily processes still remain beyond our knowledge. This is a hidden side of the unconscious, in relation to which hypnosis may serve as another ‘royal road'” (pp. 104-105).

Hong, G. K.; Skiba, A. H.; Yepes, E.; O’Brien, R. M. (1982). Effects of ethnicity of hypnotist and subject on hypnotic susceptibility. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30 (1), 23-31.

The effect of ethnic similarity of hypnotist and hypnotic S on hypnotic susceptibility was examined in a 2-part study. The first part of the study compared the performance of Anglo versus Chinese hypnotists on Anglo versus Chinese Ss. In the second half of the study, Anglo and Hispanic Ss and hypnotists were compared using the same Anglo hypnotist-S control group. In total, 112 volunteers were administered the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A, of A. M. Weitzenhoffer and Hilgard (1959), with 16 Ss (8 males and 8 females) in each condition. A 2 x 2 ANOVA was performed on the data for each part of the study. Ethnic similarity of hypnotist and S was found not to enhance hypnotic susceptibility. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to the assumed superiority of homoethnicity in psychotherapy

Dosamantes-Alperson, Erma (1981). Experiencing in movement psychotherapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 4, 33-44.

Experiencing is a process variable in psychotherapy which deals with the manner with which individuals use their internal, ongoing bodily-felt flow of experience to gain self-awareness and to communicate about themselves. A consistent finding across research process studies in psychotherapy is that successful clients start, continue, and end therapy at higher experiencing levels than do less successful clients. The implication of this finding for all therapists, irrespective of their theoretical framework, is that they need to help their clients process the content they raise in therapy at a high level of experiencing throughout the course of therapy. This paper discusses and demonstrates several body movement based procedures that enhance clients’ experiencing level while working within the context of experiential movement psychotherapy, a form of psychotherapy which emphasizes the acquisition of personal meanings by clients from any of the following three experiential and expressive modalities: body movement, kinetic imagery, or verbal communication.

Ericsson, K. Anders; Simon, Herbert A. (1980). Verbal reports as data. Psychological Review, 87 (3), 215-251.

Proposes that verbal reports are data and that accounting for them, as well as for other kinds of data, requires explication of the mechanisms by which the reports are generated, and the ways in which they are sensitive to experimental factors (instructions, tasks, etc.). Within the theoretical framework of human information processing, different types of processes underlying verbalization are discussed, and a model is presented of how ss, in response to an instruction to think aloud, verbalize information that they are attending to in short-term memory (STM). Verbalizing information is shown to affect cognitive processes only if the instructions require verbalization of information that would not otherwise be attended to. From an analysis of what would be in STM at the time of report, the model predicts what could be reliably reported. The inaccurate reports found by other research are shown to result from requesting information that was never directly heeded, thus forcing Ss to infer rather than remember their mental processes. (112 ref)

Zeig, Jeffrey K. (1980). Symptom prescription and Ericksonian principles of hypnosis and psychotherapy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 23, 16-22.

The technique of symptom prescription is used by therapists with diverse theoretical backgrounds. Using three historical case examples, the use of symptom prescription is explored from the perspective of three principles of hypnosis and psychotherapy espoused by Milton H. Erickson: (1) meeting the patient within his frame of reference, (2) using the patient’s own behavior and understandings to make small therapeutic modifications, and (3) eliciting the cure from the patient in a manner that allows the opportunity for patient-initiated change.

Schumann, John H.; Holroyd, Jean; Campbell, Russell N.; Ward, Frederick A. (1978). Improvement of pronunciation under hypnosis: A preliminary study. Language Learning, 28, 143-148.

This paper reports an experiment which was designed to determine whether foreign language pronunciation could be improved through hypnosis. Twenty subjects were first given the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotizability to familiarize them with the state of hypnosis. In the second session each subject was individually tested on his/her ability to pronounce Thai words under three conditions: Baseline, Hypnosis, and Post- Hypnosis. For each experimental condition the subjects heard and repeated the stimulus items on one of three lists of 15 Thai words. The subjects’ responses were later evaluated by a native Thai linguist. The results indicate that deeply hypnotized subjects (as defined by self-reported depth) performed significantly better than less well hypnotized subjects.

Guiora (1972) suggested that pronunciation of a foreign language is more difficult than vocabulary, syntax, and grammar skills because it requires modifying a basic method of self-identification, the way one sounds. He introduced a concept of language ego, analogous to body ego” (p. 143). During hypnosis subjects were evaluated for subjective estimate of hypnotic depth by asking them to “visualize themselves on a stairway in which the top (zero) represented their normal waking state and the bottom (ten) a very very deep relaxed state of hypnosis, and to report the number of the step on which they stood” (p. 146). Thus, “it was not assumed that administration of an induction assured a hypnotized subject, nor was it assumed that subjects rated highly hypnotizable were in a deep trance at the time Thai words were being spoken” (p. 146).

Buckner, Linda G.; Coe, William C. (1977). Imaginative skill, wording of suggestions and hypnotic-susceptibility. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 27-36.

3 groups of 20 s based on preselected imaginative capacity were administered either a hypnotic susceptibility scale containing item wording that suggested a goal-directed fantasy or one that did not. Preselected imaginative ability did not predict hypnotic susceptibility or the production of goal-directed fantasies during hypnosis. However, Ss who received the hypnotic scale containing item wording that suggested goal-directed fantasies reported more goal-directed fantasies than Ss who received the other scale. Limitations of the study are discussed and the causal role of goal-directed fantasy in hypnotic responsiveness is questioned.