Attentional and emotional shifts are examined following a hypnotically suggested out-of-body experience (OBE). Two hypotheses were testes: 1) that the OBE is maintained by blocking the perception of body-relevant stimulation at a sensory level; 2) that a hypnotically produced OBE is an emotionally neutral or even pleasant experience. Fourteen hypnotic subjects and 15 simulating Ss were administered a standardized induction followed by suggestions for an OBE. Geometric figures were then presented to the body but not to the “awareness.” Although hypnotic Ss reported that they could not see the information, they still correctly “guess” the identity of the figures beyond chance levels. Thus, body-relevant information was obviously not blocked at a sensory level, but was kept out of awareness by some other mechanism. In addition, a significantly greater number of hypnotized than simulating Ss reported the OBE to be troubling and unpleasant, despite explicit suggestions for a positive experience. The potentially disturbing nature of OBEs and ways to minimize risk of negative affect are discussed.

Perry, Campbell (1984). Dissociative phenomena of hypnosis. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12, 71-84.

Janet’s concept of dissociation, Freud’s notion of the Censor and Hilgard’s multiple controls of consciousness are considered in relation to the hidden observer (HO) phenomenon. A review of reports of recent research, including that of the author and co- workers, indicates that the hidden observer effect occurs only in 40-50% of high susceptible subjects. It is speculated that subjects who show Hidden observer have maintained some contact with reality whilst those high susceptibles who do not show hidden observer are more deeply involved in hypnosis.

Author describes a series of experiments in their laboratory. Ss are double screened to select highly hypnotizable people, and accepted into the research only if they pass the amnesia item of SHSS:C and most of the other 11 items of that scale. Ss are told that hypnosis is a procedure which permits subjects to exercise various skills or abilities such as relaxation, imagination, imagery, absorption and selective attention–that everyone has some of these skills to varying degrees, and that hypnosis is one of many techniques (including yoga, etc.) for bringing out these skills and abilities. All sessions are videotaped for the Experiential Analysis Technique (EAT). The Hidden Observer (HO) procedure was modified so that E touched the S’s shoulder lightly at the start of the item, and a second time to terminate the item. Whereas Hilgard used cold pressor pain, they used a mildly unpleasant shock provided by a Take-Me-Along electric stimulator.
Replying to Spanos and Hewitt (1980) in which data was interpreted as implying that the HO is an artifact of demand characteristics, “It struck me then, and still does, that people like Hilgard and ourselves, who believe that the HO is a phenomenon of hypnosis and not just some laboratory artifact, can only get it 40-50% of the time, whereas the investigators like Spanos and Hewitt, who believe it is all laboratory artifact, get the phenomenon almost 100% of the time. Usually it is the other way around, so it seems to me that if the HO is an artifact, it is unique in the history of psychology” (p. 77).
They found that all highs with the HO also reported subjective experiences similar to HO experience when they were not hypnotized. “For instance, one female subject who has the HO, insists that she is not hypnotized, despite compelling evidence to the contrary, because she feels the same way when she is not hypnotized. By contrast, another subject who is interested in creative writing reports HO type experiences when she is on a creativity binge and also when she is stoned” (p. 79).
They observed several consistent findings in their research: “(1) contrary to the belief that subjects who report HO’s are more susceptible than those who do not, our findings are the reverse” (p. 79). The differences are not large enough to be significant, but that may be due to a ceiling effect on the scales since the subjects are already selected to be high hypnotizables. “(2) A second repeated observation is that when all the Ss were administered the HO instructions, they were given a second electric shock to the still analgesic hand, and asked to report the degree of pain they felt on a 1-10 scale where 1 = no pain and 10 = extreme pain. … the HOs report having the HO experience and their pain reports on the 1-10 scale increase, in the manner described by Hilgard using cold pressor pain. The no HOS report no subjective difference, and their degree of analgesia actually increases” (p. 79).
The author describes further studies in which they obtained results in the opposite direction from what they had expected, based on the supposition that people who do not have the HO appear to set aside critical judgement more and to be more imaginatively involved. “So the finding of greater recall after reversal of amnesia for the no HOs both on number of items and on bits was a surprise” (p. 81). When they extended this research into the area of pseudo-memories, they found that “of the 8 subjects who had the HO, 7 of them believed the pseudo-memory was real. Of the 19 subjects who did not have the HO, only 6 of them accepted the pseudo-memory as real … The effect was even stronger for duality in age regression. Of 12 subjects reporting duality, 10 reported the hallucinated noises as real; of the 15 with no duality, 3 accepted the reality of the pseudo-memory as actually having happened” (p. 81).

Pettinati, Helen M. (1984, October). Differential hypnotic response in anorexia nervosa and bulimia: An item analysis. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.

Because bulimics are thought to be dissociative, congruent with their symptoms, it was predicted that they would score higher on the dissociative items of the hypnotizability scales. Previously published data shows:
N Mean Score College students 203 5.07
Bulimics 21 7.71**
Anorexic Purgers 46 6.13*
Anorexic Abstainers 19 5.00
* & ** = higher than norms
Hilgard’s 3 factors of hypnotizability scales were scored. Bulimics scored higher than norms on the cognitive dissociation factor but not on the motor and motor challenge factors, and purging anorectics also scored higher on this factor. The cognitive dissociation factor consists of neither the easiest nor the most difficult items on Form C, so this doesn’t represent item difficulty.
Item analysis: 1. Bulimics score higher on taste hallucination, arm rigidity, dream, age regression, arm immobilization, & hallucinated voice. 2. Purgers score higher on arm rigidity, dream, and arm immobilization 3. Abstainers evidenced no difference from norms.

Myles, (1983, April). Cognition, hypnotic susceptibility, and laboratory induced pain (Dissertation, University of Waterloo). Dissertation Abstracts International, 43 (10), 3360-B.

“Individuals’ experiences of pain, and responses to pain treatments vary greatly. This study attempted to relate two areas of research concerned with this variation: (a) cognitions and pain (thoughts, images, etc.), in particular, catastrophizing versus coping; and (b) hypnotic susceptibility and analgesia. “Subjects were preselected for high or low hypnotic susceptibility. Susceptibility assessment was divorced from the laboratory study to minimize the potential bias of expectancies concerning hypnosis. High hypnotic susceptibility was expected to potentiate therapeutic effects of hypnotic-like treatment that did not involve a hypnotic induction. “Ten high and ten low-susceptible subjects were assigned to each of three groups: (a) a cognitive treatment, encouraging subjects to reduce spontaneous catastrophizing and increase self-generated coping cognitions; (b) a dissociative imagery treatment, encouraging subjects to engage in self-generated engrossing images; (c) an attention- placebo manipulation. “Pre and post-treatment assessments involved tolerance and pain-report measures during the cold-pressor task, and interview and questionnaire information concerning cognitions. “No treatment effects were evident on measures of pain. Cognitive data indicated less catastrophizing and more coping during the post-treatment stressor across all groups. Subjects in the dissociative imagery group did report more imagery during the post- treatment assessment than subjects in the other groups, but this increased use of imagery was not associated with a decrease in pain. “Interview and questionnaire data supported prior reports that catastrophizing is related to increased pain. Low catastrophizing was associated with a high sense of control, high use of a variety of coping strategies, and lower pain reports. These relationships were altered following treatment, however, leading to a caution in generalizing about such variables. “High susceptibility did not potentiate therapeutic effects for either experimental treatment. Nor was susceptibility related in any other consistent way to pain, although high susceptibility was associated with more extensive use of post-treatment imagery. “Methodological inconsistencies and problems in laboratory pain research were discussed, and suggestions made for future work in the area” (p. 3360).

Nogrady, Heather; McConkey, Kevin M.; Laurence, Jean-Roch; Perry, Campbell (1983). Dissociation, duality, and demand characteristics in hypnosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Examined hypnotic dissociation (as indexed by the “hidden-observer” method), duality in age regression, and the potential impact of situational cues on these phenomena. 12 high- and 9 low-susceptible undergraduates (as determined by the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale) were tested in an application of the real-simulating paradigm of hypnosis; 10 high- to medium-susceptible Ss were also employed. Inquiry into Ss’ experiences was conducted through the experiential analysis technique, which involves Ss viewing and commenting on a videotape playback of their hypnotic session. Results demonstrate that neither the hidden-observer effect nor duality could be explained solely in terms of the demand characteristics of the test situation. The hidden-observer effect was observed in high-susceptible Ss only; all Ss who displayed the hidden-observer effect also displayed duality in age regression. High-susceptible Ss were distinctive in their reports of multiple levels of awareness during hypnosis. Findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive skills that Ss bring to hypnosis and the degree to which the hypnotic setting encourages the use of dissociative cognitive processes. (43 ref).

Belicki, Kathryn; Bowers, Patricia (1982, October). Dimensions of dissociative processing, absorption and dream change following a presleep instruction. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Indianapolis, IN.

Subjects’ tendency to have things pop into their mind when asked to imagine, image them, or to do a divergent thinking task is correlated with behavior change out of awareness (dissociated), change in dream content in response to indirect suggestion – the request to pay attention to a certain element in their dreams. Effortless imagining (as opposed to working at it), a particular type of dissociative phenomenon, is associated with dream change.

Brende, Joel O. (1982). Electrodermal responses in post-traumatic syndromes: A pilot study of cerebral hemisphere functioning in Vietnam veterans. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 170, 352-361.

This paper summarizes the findings of a pilot study which found a relationship between the post-traumatic symptoms of a) psychic numbing, b) intrusive recollections of traumatic events, and c) hypervigilance and lateralization of electrodermal response (EDR) measurements in six victims of psychological trauma. Hypnotically induced imagery of past traumatic events was often associated with left-sided EDR increases, psychic numbing with left-sided EDR decreases or bilateral EDR unresponsiveness, and revivifications of hypervigilant states with right-sided EDR lateralization. In several cases control of the experience of fear was associated with left- sided or bilaterally decreased EDR. These pilot study findings support previously stated hypotheses: a) EDR obtained from an extremity reflects contralateral cerebral hemisphere functioning; b) left hemisphere functioning is associated with hypervigilance; and c) right hemisphere functioning is associated with emotions and imagery. In addition, the pilot study findings suggest additional hypotheses: a) Post- traumatic symptoms are associated with poorly controlled or integrated cerebral hemisphere functioning; b) psychic numbing and intrusive images, flashbacks, and nightmares are associated with abnormal activation, suppression, or integration of right hemisphere functioning in relationship to the left; c) aggressive behavior, hypervigilance, and character pathology are associated with abnormal activation, suppression, or integration of functioning of the left hemisphere function in relationship to the right; and d) “splitting” as a psychological defense in Vietnam veterans with Borderline Personality Disorders is associated with physiologically impaired interhemispheric integration.

The authors report that previous research suggests that electrodermal asymmetry may be related to emotional factors. They further suggest that electrodermal responsiveness reflects contralateral cerebral hemispheric functioning, with lower GSR associated with higher activation of the opposite cerebral hemisphere (see Lacroix and Comper, 1979). They indicate that the right hemisphere, which is involved in experience of emotion, also is associated with depression (when there is abnormal inhibitory function of right hemisphere) and affective disorders. The left hemisphere is involved in vigilance (Dimond & Beaumont, 1974). “Based on these findings, the post-traumatic symptoms hypervigilance, anxiety, and behavior disorders appear to be associated with atypical left hemisphere activation, intrusive recollections of traumatic memories and disturbing emotional states with atypical right hemisphere activation, and psychic numbing or emotional unresponsiveness with diminished right hemisphere activation, or overactivation of the left hemisphere” (p. 354).
In this pilot study, the therapist, who used hypnosis in all but one case, interviewed the patient for 30-50 minutes, focusing on helping the S to recall experiences of a traumatic nature. The therapist was supportive when disturbing emotions were evoked, responding flexibly by monitoring S’s anxiety and moving back and forth between uncovering and supportive techniques.

There were observably variable changes and bilateral differences in EDR within each of the six subjects in relationship to varying verbal, emotional, and imagery content, postulated to reflect contralateral hemispheric functioning. These observed changes were considered conclusive evidence of such functioning in post-traumatic states” (p. 358). “1. Lateralization of EDR to the left is associated with unpleasant emotions and traumatic imagery. … “2. Lateralization of EDR to the right is associated with hypervigilance and aggressive outbursts. … “3. Psychic numbing is associated with inhibition of bilateral EDRs (for example, lack of bilateral EDR activation occurred in every case at times) or with suppression of the left EDR. … “4. General physiological arousal, a normal response to fear, is associated with increased EDRs bilaterally. … “5. Relaxation and the subjective experience of safety and well-being, which have been reported to foster interhemispheric integration in normal subjects … were observed to be associated with bilaterally decreased EDR in case I, an example of a less severe post- traumatic condition, but not observed during attempts at relaxation in Vietnam veterans with more severe post-traumatic symptoms. “6. Voluntary efforts to cognitively control fear were related to left hemispheric functioning, as observed in case IV when the subject attempted to control intrusive thoughts with cognitive activity and in Case III following the revivification of a frightening event when he made a shift from the hypnotic trance state to waking cognitive activity. In both cases, such cognitive activity was associated with a decreased right-sided EDR” (p. 359).

The results of this pilot study, which demonstrated frequent EDR differences between hands during subjects’ recollections of or attempts to suppress recollections of prior traumatic experiences, alters the traditional belief that increased skin conductance is always a predictable physiological measurement when the electrode is placed on only one hand, as Lacroix and Comper (46) have pointed out.
“The finding of EDR lateralization is consistent with the findings of deBonis and Baque (10) who reported that the degree of anxiety determines the presence of lateralization of EDR responses, of Gruzelier and Venables (30, 32) and Myslobodsky and Horesh (53) who reported that the presence or absence of psychopathology determines the direction of the lateralized response, and of Lacroix and Comper (46) that activation of one hemisphere may suppress contralateral EDR” (p. 359).

Chen, Andrew C.; Dworkin, Samual F.; Bloomquist, Dale S. (1981). Cortical power spectrum analysis of hypnotic pain control in surgery. International Journal of Neuroscience, 13, 127-136.

Cortical power spectrum (CPS) of brain potentials was recorded from the scalp between prefrontal and parietal regions in both right hemisphere (RH) and left hemisphere (LH). A pattern of laterality shift in CPS occurred at different stages during an extensive oral surgery, performed under hypnosis, in a young female patient. Video and audio recordings as well as psychophysiological recordings were obtained through the following 6 stages: Baseline, Hypnosis, Surgery (1 hr, no cortical recording), Immediate Postsurgery Procedure, Hypnotic Re-experience, Hypnotic Rest, and Posthypnotic Baseline. Indications of anxiety and pain scores were reported in writing by the patient through verbal command by the hypnotist. In each stage, 10 min of CPS (10 spectrum/stage, 8 epochs/spectrum, 6 seconds/epoch) were analyzed by a PDP-11 computer. The results of CPS analysis demonstrated significant large total power reduction at different stages. There was significant correlation between both hemispheres at baseline, but dissociation of hemispheric power output occurred during hypnosis stages. LH was more dominant than RH during baseline and presurgery hypnosis, but both were leveled- off immediately following the surgery procedure. However, RH became more dominant during all postsurgery hypnosis stages. Interestingly, this pattern shifted back to the original relationship during the posthypnotic baseline stage. Specific changes of spectral power in theta and alpha of EEG activities in both hemispheres also occurred in conjunction with hypnosis.

Subject was a 25 year old woman, described as only medium in hypnotizability. She scored 3 on the 5-point Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale, 7 on the 12-point Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, and 3 on up-gaze, between 2 and 3 on eye roll, on the Spiegel eye roll test.
The principal hypnotic approach was a suggestion of dissociation, i.e. that the patient “experience herself swimming freely and powerfully, in a deep cold mountain lake, pre-occupied with the intensity of the blue-black color of the water, the shimmering of light from above, and the possibilities of exploration of rock formations, caves, etc. It was suggested that while she was experiencing the exhilaration and strenuous stimulation of the cold water and the vigorous exercise, an ‘observing-self’ would remain on the shore, watching and ensuring that no harm would come to the person. The suggestion was reinforced that any stimulation experienced was experienced in the body, not in the person” (p. 129).
The patient was trained in inductions and dissociation first in the therapist’s office, then with two sessions in the research laboratory (where tooth pulp stimulation pain thresholds were measured), and then two sessions in the hospital dental operatory.
The results of the computerized CPS were analyzed by hemispheres. “Large reductions in total power occurred at different stages associated with hypnosis and these reductions in power output of the CPS showed significant left-right differences” (p. 130).
“The total energy output of LH [left hemisphere] continued to diminish as hypnosis continued by as much as 80% of baseline value, while RH [right hemisphere] power output tended to be stabilized from the initial hypnosis recording stage until the awake baseline stage” (p. 130).
“Those stages involving hypnosis were characterized by dominant RH energy output in the alpha spectrum. …
“Alpha output for the LH decreased an average of 65% between awake baseline levels and postsurgery hypnosis stages, while RH alpha only decreased approximately 50% of resting levels. This resulted in a relative shift of alpha output which was approximately equal in both hemispheres prior to surgery, to a 2:1 shift in favor of RH alpha output as hypnosis progressed. This differential shift in laterality of alpha was reversed when the subject awakened from hypnosis.
“Of interest was the observation that total power reductions and laterality shifts associated with hypnosis were not altered by the profound instrumentation of surgery and postoperative pain, nor were observed laterality shifts affected by hypnotic suggestions aimed at recreating the surgical experience (see Stage 5)” (p. 130).
During the experiment when the investigators used hypnotic suggestion to recreate the surgical experience, LH output continued to diminish while RH output did not change, making the LH-RH contrast highly significant. “This suggests that the RH is active during deep stages of hypnosis and can remain so despite hypnotic suggestions which are presumed to be intensely aversive” (p. 131).
In their Discussion, the authors reinforced the conclusion that overall cortical functioning is reduced during hypnosis, and that the left cerebral hemisphere shows a greater reduction than the right. They discuss the increased theta density in RH and LH during the postsurgery hypnosis stage in terms of reports that theta is associated with altered states of consciousness (Tebecis et al., 1975; Ulett et al., 1972; Anad, China, & Singh, 1961; Banquet, 1973; Kasamatsu & Hirai, 1966; Wallace, 1970) and with cognitive tasks like mental arithmetic (Dolce et al., 1974).
The authors note that their results are congruent with Hilgard’s neodissociation theory of hypnosis, and add that since their suggestions were dissociative in nature rather than of local anesthesia, the EEG may reflect the brain physiology of dissociation.
Finally, they comment on the implications for pain neurophysiology. “The total power changes and shifting patterns in laterality of cortical functioning observed more closely tracked the hypnosis experience than the pain experience; this is, in fact, a very puzzling issue. It appears on the face of it that the EEG measurements recorded are not reflective of EEG-related pain phenomenology despite the strenuous and invasive surgical procedures used. The observations that overall power output continued to decrease during the several hypnosis stages after strenuous surgery and then increased as the patient came out of hypnosis makes reasonable the possibility that _hypnosis_ has some functional brain correlates; we cannot conclude from the present cortical power spectrum analysis that any brain correlates of surgical _pain_ were revealed. We are well aware that EEG recordings were not available during actual surgery itself, because of artifacts resulting from head movements, etc. Nevertheless, it can be fairly claimed that recordings obtained immediately after such oral surgery of one hour duration, could reasonably be expected to be associated with a person in pain. But, both by verbal report and available objective data, any surgically induced traumatic pain was of brief duration under hypnosis” (p. 135).

Gross, Meir, M. D. (1981). Hypnosis for dissociation — diagnostic and therapeutic. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 28 (2), 49-56.

Dissociative disorders might be at times very difficult to diagnose and treat, especially since they are very similar to epilepsy in general and to temporal lobe epilepsy in particular. Amnesia, fugue, changing personality and depersonalization are part of both disorders. Patients who suffer from dissociative disorders might be diagnosed and treated for epilepsy with anticonvulsive medications without any beneficial results. These patients are labeled as epileptics and have to face the social stigmata associated with being epileptic. The wrong label could even reinforce the sick role and make it become fixed and chronic.
Hypnosis was used to diagnose the dissociative disorder by using the hand levitation technique for the differential diagnosis. It was found by the author that patients who suffer from dissociative disorders would get into spontaneous hypnotic trance during the hand levitation. Hypnosis was used also for successful therapy of these patients.
Seven cases are presented in which the hand levitation technique was used to diagnose the dissociative disorder. They were also treated by hypnotherapy. Their treatment by hypnosis is discussed. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the hand levitation technique for the differential diagnosis of dissociative disorder and to emphasize the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of this disorder. Sorting out the cases of dissociative disorders from the epileptics is very important clinically, since it can save many patients from the anguish of having to take anti-convulsants unnecessarily and having to face the social stigmata of being labeled as epileptic.

McConkey, Kevin M.; Sheehan, Peter W. (1981). The impact of videotape playback of hypnotic events on posthypnotic amnesia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90 (1), 46-54.
Examined the breakdown of amnesia by showing 48 hypnotic and nonhypnotic undergraduates (Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility) a videotape of the hypnotic events they had experienced. The extent of the amnesia for these events was defined precisely, and simulating procedures were employed to analyze the cues in the overall test situation. Videotape display of the hypnotic events was presented via the Experiential Analysis Technique and served to optimize conditions for breakdown. Some hypnotic Ss’ amnesia could not be broken down even though they were exposed via videotape playback to the events to be recalled and when suggestions for the period of amnesia were quite explicit. Simulators showed breaching of amnesia but attributed their recall to the videotape rather than to the hypnotic session. Hypnotic Ss were distinctive in their inability to recall experiential aspects of their performance even though they could recall behavioral aspects. The data are discussed in relation to the hypothesis that dissociative cognitive mechanisms underlie posthypnotic amnesia. (22 ref).
Hilgard, Ernest R. (1980, October). Hypnotic modification of sensitivity and control. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Chicago.

The author presents a factor analysis of several scales in the hypnosis domain: HGSHS:A, Wilson-Barber CIS, Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale Form C, Questionnaire on Mental Imagery (Sheehan’s modification of Betts) and the Tellegen- Atkinson Absorption Scale. Scales were broken down into components first. He didn’t report all of the factors, but shows how these tests fall on a graph defined by Factor 1 (Amnesia/Cognitive) and Factor 4 (Absorption/Imagery). “Capacity for fantasy and amnesia are so different that hypnosis probably includes both.”
Hilgard concludes that he doesn’t like a state theory for hypnosis or the idea of “trance” because it is unidimensional. He prefers “dissociation” because we think of it as a continuum. Even Highs differ one from another in the nature of their responses. Altered- state-of-consciousness theories don’t readily explain partial dissociation (e.g. persistence of a suggestion such as arm rigidity after hypnosis is terminated; or hysterical paralysis).

Prince, Raymond (1980). Variations in psychotherapeutic procedures. In Triandis, Harry C.; Draguns, Juris G. (Ed.), Psychopathology (6, pp. 291-349). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Prince points out that indigenous practitioners often capitalize on the organism’s endogenous healing mechanisms which develop spontaneously when the individual is distressed. “healers around the world have learned to manipulate and build upon these endogenous mechanisms in a variety of ways to bring about resolution of life’s problems and alleviation of suffering” (p. 292). Prince is referring here to altered states of consciousness such as dreams, trance states, dissociations, and mystical experiences of various sorts which are cultivated and elaborated by indigenous healers for therapeutic purposes. In general, Western type practitioners have denigrated these procedures….” (from Ann. Rev. of Psychol., 1982, pp 243-244).

Anderson, J. W. (1977). Defensive maneuvers in two incidents involving the Chevreul pendulum: A clinical note. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 4-6.

Hypnosis frequently facilitates increased access to the unconscious. In both of these cases, the hypnotized subject gained contact with a thought which otherwise would likely have remained out of awareness. Then the ego quickly resorted to defensive maneuvers in order to deny the thought” (p. 6).

Chertok, Leon; Michaux, D.; Droin, M. C. (1977). Dynamics of hypnotic analgesia: Some new data. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 164, 88-96.
Following two surgical operations under hypnotic anesthesia, it was possible, during subsequent recall under hypnosis, to elicit a representation of the past operative experience. It would seem that under hypnosis there is a persistence of the perception of nociceptive information and of its recognition as such by the subject. From an analysis of these two experiments in recall, it is possible to formulate several hypotheses concerning the psychological processes involved in hypnotic analgesia. In consequence of an affective relationship, in which the hypnotist’s word assumes a special importance for the subject, the latter has recourse to two kinds of mechanism: a) internal (assimilation to an analogous sensation, not, however, registered as dangerous– rationalization); and b) external (total compliance with the interpretations proposed by the hypnotist), which lead to a qualitative transformation of nociceptive information, as also the inhibition of the behavioral manifestations normally associated with a painful stimulus.

Pelletier, K. R.; Peper, E. (1977). Developing a biofeedback model: Alpha EEG feedback as a means for pain control. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 361-371.

3 adept meditators voluntarily inserted steel needles into their bodies while physiological measures (EEG, EMG, GSR, EKG, and respiration) were recorded. Although each adept used a different passive attention technique, none reported pain. During the insertion, 2 of the 3 Ss increased their alpha EEG activity. The role of alpha EEG and its relationship to pain control is discussed.

The three adepts studied were: (1) RCT, a 34 yr old Ecuadorian who had “demonstrated control over pain by placing bicycle spokes through his body, being suspended from hooks inserted under his shoulder blades, and walking through fire — all without reported pain or observed damage to his skin;” (2) JSL, a 31 yr old Korean karate expert, who “suspended a 25-pound bucket of water from a sharpened spoke placed through a fold of skin on his forearm;” and (3) JS, a 50-yr old Dutch meditator who had “demonstrated pain and bleeding contol” (pp. 363-365). “RCT, JSL, and JS each remarked that pain is principally fear of and attention to pain, and they maintained that anyone can learn to control pain through relaxation and passive attention” (p. 367). Both JS and RCT had increased alpha EEG activity during piercing, whereas JSL showed no increase. The authors suggest that “the karate expert practiced a very focused meditation, during which he mentally saw and felt the ki energy as a point, while RCT and JS employed passive attention and did not attend to the body stimuli. Thus, it is possible for physiological measurements to reflect strategies used in dissociation of pain perception, and that the quality of pain perception is altered if S is at either extreme of focused or unfocused conscious attention” (p. 368). “We hypothesize that, for nonadepts, alpha EEG training without alpha blocking to stimuli could become a distraction technique whereby S again could learn self-control and competence as he becomes more successful in controlling his EEG” (p. 369).

Coe, William C.; Basden, B.; Basden, D.; Graham, C. (1976). Posthypnotic amnesia: Suggestions of an active process in dissociative phenomena. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 455-458.

A retroactive inhibition design was used to examine the process of posthypnotic amnesia. The results supported the notion that “forgotten” material is as available to amnesic subjects at some level as it is to nonamnesic subjects. Further, so- called forgetting appears to be the result of an active process, that is, something the subject does. Implications for understanding dissociative phenomena in general are discussed.

Erickson, Milton H.; Rossi, Ernest L. (1976). Two level communication and microdynamics of trance and suggestion. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 18, 153-171.

The authors provide the transcript and commentaries of an hypnotic induction and an effort to achieve automatic writing. An unusual blend of Erickson’s approaches to two level communication, dissociation, voice dynamics and indirect suggestion are made explicit in the commentaries. The junior author offers a ‘context theory of two level communication’ that conceptualizes Erickson’s clinical approaches in terms consonant with Jenkins’ (1974) recent contextual approach to verbal associations and memory. A summary of the microdynamics of Erickson’s approach to trance induction and suggestion is outlined togetehr with a utilization theory of hypnotic suggestion.

Kampman, R. (1976). Hypnotically induced multiple personality: An experimental study. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 24, 215-227.

The purpose of the study was to clarify the frequency of appearance of a hypnotically induced secondary personality and to compare Ss who were able to create secondary personalities in hypnosis to control Ss who could enter a deep hypnotic trance but were unable to produce secondary personalities.
The sample of 1,200 pupils was made up of the 3 highest grades of the secondary schools in the city of Oulu, Finland. A total of 450 students volunteered to participate in the study. All those who could enter a deep hypnotic state, 78 in all, were selected for closer study. 32 Ss were able and 43 were unable to create multiple personalities in hypnosis.
Ss also underwent a psychiatric interview. In addition, the identity of Ss was measured.
Both the psychiatric interview and identity examination gave parallel results to the effect that Ss capable of producing secondary personalities were clinically healthier and more adaptive than the group without secondary personalities. This finding is at variance with results presented in previous studies.

Procedure for induction of multiple personalities involved re-hypnotizing Ss, suggesting, “You go back to an age preceding your birth, you are somebody else, somewhere else,” and repeating the suggestion many times. Other suggestions were given that everything was completely normal, nothing miraculous was happening. A multiple personality was counted if the S then said he was a human being, was able to give his name and where he lived, could describe the social environment and his own personality.

Hilgard, Ernest R. (1973). A neodissociation interpretation of pain reduction in hypnosis. Psychological Review, 80 (5), 396-411.

When cold pressor pain is reduced through hypnotically suggested analgesia, the concomitant changes in heart rate and blood pressure remain essentially what they were when the pain of the ice water was normally perceived. Investigation of this somewhat paradoxical finding by way of hypnotically induced automatic writing (or its equivalent in automatic keypressing or automatic talking) reveals that at some cognitive level the subject has experienced the cold and can report its intensity, even though the suffering may be reduced. The theoretical problems posed by the experience are presented according to a possible neodissociation interpretation, compared with interpretations according to psychoanalytic ego theory and role theory. The neodissociation theory is further explicated in relation to the gate theory of pain.

Dittborn, J. M.; O’Connell, D. N. (1967). Behavioral sleep, physiological sleep and hypnotizability. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 15, 181-188.


Orne, Martin T. (1966). On the mechanisms of posthypnotic amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2, 121-134.

Reviews experimental and clinical evidence about posthypnotic amnesia. 2 interpretations are contrasted which seem sharply opposed: (1) posthypnotic amnesia may be seen as essentially like any other hypnotically suggested experience. It can be considered as an explicitly or implicitly administered posthypnotic suggestion. (2) Amnesia can be viewed as a form of dissociation. 1 possible mechanism of such dissociation may be a basic difference of the structure of thought processes involved in hypnosis compared to those of normal waking experience. In this sense amnesia should occur independently of suggestion and be different in kind from most other hypnotic phenomena. The former mechanism may occur more frequently in experimental situations and the latter, in clinical contexts. (Spanish & German summaries) (25 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Field, Peter B. (1965). An inventory scale of hypnotic depth. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13, 238-249. (Abstracted in American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1966, 1, 86)

An inventory of 300 items describing subjective experiences during hypnosis was administered to 102 students after they had wakened from hypnosis. The 38 items that correlated best with a standard measure of hypnotic susceptibility are proposed as an inventory measure of hypnotic depth. Items dealing with absorption and unawareness, automaticity and compulsion, and discontinuity from normal experience correlated best with the criterion, while items dealing with conscious motivation to enter hypnosis, feelings of surface compliance with suggestions, and unusual bodily sensations showed generally weaker relationships to the hypnotizability criterion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Klemperer, Edith (1965). Past ego states emerging in hypnoanalysis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (3), 132-144.

Patients with anxiety, conversion, or phobic reactions differ from those with obessive-compulsive reactions in the type of visualization shown in hypnoanalytic regression or revivification. The former produce visualizations showing a well-rounded picture with logical progression of activity and few symbolic distortions. The latter, however, produce visualizations lacking a logical progression of activity and showing a somewhat disorganized and poorly-rounded picture. Symbolic distortions are frequent, often recurring intermittently. Case studies are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Klemperer, Edith (1962). Projective phenomena in hypnoanalysis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 10 (3), 127-133. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts 63: 5228)

During hypnoanalysis patients who have been age-regressed may perceive themselves as experiencing childhood experiences and also as simultaneously watching these experiences from a distance. This 2nd projected personality may be in the guise of an adult, adolescent, child, or even an incorporeal being. In some patients it may occur with regularity, in others not at all. Representative case histories and possible dynamic mechanisms are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Bowers, Margaretta K. (1961). Hypnotic aspects of Haitian voodoo. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 9, 269-282.

The voodoo ritual is analyzed within the framework of hypnosis and hypnotically induced secondary personalities. The author contends that “If the hypnotic nature of voodoo and similar religious rites were better understood the problem of discarding the evil and nurturing the good in the cultural life of people would be facilitated.” From Psyc Abstracts 36:04:4II69B. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)



Capafons, A. (1999). Applications of emotional self-regulation therapy. In Kirsch, I.; Capafons, A.; Cardeqa, E.; Amigs, S. (Ed.), Clinical hypnosis and self-regulation: Cognitive-behavioral perspectives (pp. 331-349). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

This chapter reviews the main applications of emotional self-regulation therapy, which have received empirical support: smoking reduction, obesity, fear of flying, drug addictions, and premenstrual distress and dysmenorrhea. The logic of each treatment and main empirical results are summarized.

Johnson, David L. (1997). Weight loss for women: Studies of smokers and nonsmokers using hypnosis and multicomponent treatments with and without overt aversion. Psychological Reports, 80 (3, Pt 1), 931-933.

Study 1 compared 50 overweight adult female smokers (mean age 37.7 yrs) and 50 nonsmokers (mean age 41.2 yrs) in an hypnosis-based, weight-loss program. Smokers and nonsmokers achieved significant weight losses and decreases in Body Mass Index. Study 2 treated 100 women either in an hypnosis only (n = 50) or an overt aversion and hypnosis (n = 50) program. This multicomponent follow-up study replicated significant weight losses and declines in Body Mass Index. The overt aversion and hypnosis program yielded significantly lower posttreatment weights and a greater average number of pounds lost. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnosis in psychotherapy: Efficacy and mechanisms. Contemporary Hypnosis, 13 (2), 109-114.

Meta-analyses have established that different psychotherapies have different outcomes. Cognitive-behavioural therapies are significantly more effective than psychodynamic therapies, and their superiority increases when long-term follow-up is assessed. Hypnosis enhances the efficacy of both psychodynamic and cognitive- behavioural psychotherapy, and this effect is especially strong in long-term outcome of treatment for obesity. The paucity of procedural differences between hypnotic and non- hypnotic treatments in many of the studies demonstrating a substantial advantage for hypnosis suggests that the effect depends on the use of the word ‘hypnosis’. Hypnosis can be regarded as an empirically-validated, non-deceptive placebo, the effects of which are mediated by response expectancies.

Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.

In a 3rd meta-analysis of the effect of adding hypnosis to cognitive- behavioral treatments for weight reduction, additional data were obtained from authors of 2 studies, and computational inaccuracies in both previous meta-analyses were corrected. Averaged across posttreatment and follow-up assessment periods, the mean weight loss was 6.00 lbs. (2.72 kg) without hypnosis and 11.83 lbs. (5.37 kg) with hypnosis. The mean effect size of this difference was 0.66 SD. At the last assessment period, the mean weight loss was 6.03 lbs. (2.74 kg) without hypnosis and 14.88 lbs. (6.75 kg) with hypnosis. The effect size for this difference was 0.98 SD. Correlational analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time (r=.74).

Wickramasekera, Ian; Price, Daniel C. (1996, November). Morbid obesity, absorption, neuroticism, and the high risk model of threat perception. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Tampa, FL.

We studied seventy morbidly obese patients, candidates for gastric exclusion surgery. We found that their mean absorption score was significantly lower and that their mean neuroticism score significantly higher than a matched control group. These results are consistent with predictions from the High Risk Model of Threat Perception (Wickramasekera, 1979, 1988). People high in neuroticism are hypothesized to be hypersensitive to threat at a behavioral and biological level, and therefore, at greater risk for stress related psychobiological disorders. People low in absorption are hypothesized to have poor perception of psychosocial sources of threat have a more restricted range of psychological methods of coping with threat. Therefore, they may be at greater risk during stress of not recognizing psychosocial sources of threat of unconsciously using substances to self-soothe and of perceiving medical surgical solutions to weight gain as more credible than psychosocial therapy programs. We found that low absorption and high neuroticism as predicted by the HRMTP were significantly more prevalent among the morbidly obese seeking surgical therapy than a matched community control group.

Holroyd, Jean (1995). Handbook of clinical hypnosis, by Judith W. Rhue, Steven Jay Lynn, & Irving Kirsch (Eds.) [Review]. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 43 (4), 401-403.

“This is a book for the thinking clinician” (p. 401). “The editors are to be congratulated for making this volume much more coherent than most edited books” (p. 402). “My impression is that the book is best suited for an intermediate or advanced course on hypnotherapy, or for people who are already using hypnosis in treatment. Although there is some material on the basics of hypnotic inductions and a few introductory sample scripts for inductions, a beginners” course should probably use a different book, or this book could be accompanied by an inductions manual. … I recommend it very highly” (p. 403).

Kirsch, Irving; Montgomery, Guy; Sapirstein, Guy (1995). Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive behavioral psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63 (2), 214-220.

A meta-analysis was performed on 18 studies in which a cognitive- behavioral therapy was compared with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. The results indicated that the addition of hypnosis substantially enhanced treatment outcome, so that the average client receiving cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy showed greater improvement than at least 70% of clients receiving nonhypnotic treatment. Effects seemed particularly pronounced for treatments of obesity, especially at long-term follow-up, indicating that unlike those in nonhypnotic treatment, clients to whom hypnotic inductions had been administered continued to lose weight after treatment ended. These results were particularly striking because of the few procedural differences between the hypnotic and nonhypnotic treatments.