Complete title is “Aphorismes de M. Mesmer: Dictes a l’assemblee de ses Eleves, dans lesquels on trouve ses principes, sa theorie et les moyens de magnetiser; le tout formant un corps de Doctrine, developpe en trois cents quarante-quatre paragraphes, pour faciliter l’application des Commentaires au Magnetisme Animal”

Mesmer, Franz Anton (1785/1958). Aphorismes de M. Mesmer:… [Maxims on animal magnetism ]. Mt. Vernon, NY: Eden Press.

Complete title of this article is: Aphorismes de M. Mesmer: dictes a l’assemblee de ses eleves, dans lesquels on trouve ses principes, sa theorie et les moyens de magnetiser; le tout formant un corps de doctrine, developpe en trois cents quarante-quatre paragraphes, pour faciliter l’application des commentaires au magnetisme animal


Fredericks, Lillian E. (2001). The use of hypnosis in surgery and anesthesiology. Springfield IL USA: Charles C Thomas.
Preface: Definition of Hypnosis
History of Hypnosis in Surgery
Theories of Hypnosis
1. An Introduction to Hypnosis
2. Hypnosis in the Management of Chronic Pain
3. Hypnosis in Conjunction with Chemical Anesthesia
4. Hypnosis in Conjunction with Regional Anesthesia
5. Hypnosis as the Sole Anesthetic
6. Hypnosis in the Intensive Care Unit
7. Hypnosis in the Emergency Unit
8. Hypnosis in Pediatric Surgery
9. Hypnosis in Obstetrics and Gynecology
10. Perspectives from Physician-Patients

Bowers, Kenneth S. (1995, November). Revisiting a Century-Old Freudian Slip — from Suggestion Disavowed to the Truth Repressed. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.

Cites J. Herman, Mason, and Miller who accused Freud of retreating from trauma theory to save his theory. Feminists view the Oedipal theory as a coverup for the denial of child sexual abuse. This moral position fuels trauma theory and practice. It is the moral dimension of this debate that gives so many problems for the investigation of traumatic memory.
The intellectual origins of repressed trauma are examined here. Freud’s early trauma theory, his later conflict theory.
Etiology of Hysteria (1896) presents Freud’s argument, based on 18 patients: child is passive victim of experience imposed on them; memory is repressed and hysterical symptoms are derivatives of these repressed memories; when memories return as pictures the task of therapy is easier than if returning as thoughts. Bartlett’s memory research showed visual image is followed by sense of confidence that surpasses what should be there.
The fact that patients had to be compelled to remember was offered by Freud as evidence against the idea that the memories were suggested. The patients initially would deny the reality of their memories, which Freud used in saying that we should not think that patients would falsely accuse themselves. In letter to Fleiss, he presented the conflict theory, which he presented in 1905 in Three Essays on Sexuality and later in My Views…on Etiology of Neurosis.
In 1905 Freud indicated he was unable to distinguish fantasy from true reports (and did not deny the existence of the latter). Freud often reconstructed the “memories” from dreams, transference, signs, symptoms, fantasies, etc. They were not produced as conscious memories, and it was Freud who inferred the sexual abuse. From signs of distress he took evidence of proof.
Freud presented his theory to his patients and then sought confirmation.
Freud asks us to abandon historical for narrative truth. The problems with Freud’s first theory became worse with his second theory. In Introductory Lectures Freud states that opponents say his treatment talks patients into confirming his theories. He relies on the patient’s inner reality confirming the theoretical ideas given to him. Success depends on overcoming internal resistance, however. The danger in leading a patient astray by suggestion has been exaggerated, because the analyst would have had to not allow the patient to “have his say.” Freud denied strongly ever having done this.
Incorrect interpretations would not be accepted by the patients, and if believed would be suggestion. Brunbaum, another writer, said that this doesn’t mean acceptance of a faulty idea won’t occur. Both Milton Erickson and especially Pierre Janet reported cases in which suggestions were used to give benign memories to replace malignant ones.
Freud also viewed patient resistance to his interpretations as evidence that the interpretations were correct. Thus both resistance and acquiescence were thought to be validating. Popper’s critiques using philosophy of science note that this makes his theory untestable.
Freud could not distinguish between the patient’s reluctant acceptance of the truth and reluctant acceptance of a suggestion.
Contemporary theorists struggle less than Freud did with the problem of suggestion and suggestibility (and Freud did not have available the research on those areas!) Emotional upheaval that accompanies “insight” is readily taken to be validating. It may be true that bad memories are repressed, but that doesn’t mean that all bad memories are true.
Treatment groups focus on recalling memories and sharing memories with others in the group, not on current relationships. Hermann states that the group provides powerful stimulus for remembering. The group, of course, is reinforced by others remembering. Repeatedly considering the possibility of abuse can increase the sense of familiarity.
Current views expressed by some clinicians that certain symptoms and syndromes (eating disorders, etc.) indicate early sexual trauma are similar to Freud’s theory of hysteria. In these proposals, the inability to recall abuse becomes evidence that it occurred; and it tallies with the patient not having a sense of remembering.
Because some believe it is necessary to bring memory to light for cure to occur, there is a tendency to believe the reports of early childhood abuse.
Recognizing that some “memories” may have been a product of a therapist’s suggestion helps prevent untoward effects. Modern therapists recapitulate Freud’s “slip” when they do not acknowledge the role of suggestion.
Endorsing repression does not commit us to a belief that recovered memories must be accurate in all particulars. A memory that is repressed does not escape the usual kinds of degradation of memory.
And just because the material comes from unconscious sources, or has emotional accompaniments, it doesn’t mean it is true. (Bowers gave an example of his dream that Israel and Venezuela shared a common border, which was rectified by his waking awareness of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. He noted that nothing like the Atlantic can be called upon if the dream is that one’s parent molested oneself at the age of six.)
Ian Hacking, in Rewriting the Soul, labels a more fundamental indeterminacy (for the historical past itself). Bathing rituals in childhood can be redescribed as abuse, which determines the historical past rather than describing it. It is thus easier to justify abuse if the event is something that can be reinterpreted. For example, the conflicts of adolescents with their parents, may be reinterpreted later if personality problems continue. If in adulthood one concludes that abuse occurred, then bathing rituals can be reinterpreted as if it were earlier abuse, as if the abuse has continued for years.

Kunzendorf, Robert G.; Jesses, Michael; Dupille, Leonard; Butler, William (1990-91). Subliminal activation of intrapsychic conflicts: Subconscious realms of mind vs subconscious processes of mentation. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 10, 117-128.

Cognitive-state monitoring theory asserts that people perceive subliminal stimulation without self-consciously monitoring its external innervation (as opposed to central innervation). Thus monitoring theory predicts that subconsciously perceived discord, in the absence of any ‘external location’ cues, should be misinterpreted as centrally generated discord and should disrupt self-generated behavior. Consistent with this prediction, mathematical problem-solving in the current experiment was disrupted after mathematically competitive males repeatedly heard the subliminal message IT’S WRONG TO CRUSH DADDY stereophonically localized in the middle of their heads–but not after they repeatedly heard this subliminal ‘Oedipal’ message binaurally localized on one side of their heads. A subliminal message binaurally localized on one side of the self should not interfere with problem-solving behavior _because, even though the message’s external innervation is not self-consciously ‘monitored,’ its external location is inferable from subconscious cues._
Monitoring theory asserts that subliminal [perceptions] of ‘unmonitored’ messages are unaccompanied by any self-consciousness that one is perceiving them (rather than imaging them), and that subliminal or ‘unmonitored’ messages of distress are mistaken for self-generated distress.
Disruption by the ‘internal’ subliminal word WRONG seems to us consistent with the fact that disruption was limited to mathematically competent males.
Indeed, ‘repression’ itself is a mode of processing fearful information: a mode in which subjects suspend their self-awareness that they are perceiving fearful stimulation, as research by Kunzendorf and McLaughlin has demonstrated. This selective suspension of monitoring provides immediate relief from fearful stimuli, Freudian or otherwise, but it does so at the risk of turning self-conscious fear into subconscious anxiety (into consciously lingering fear without a self consciously perceived source). No subconscious realm full of lurking fears is implicated in this ‘unmonitored’ mode of self-protection. All that is implicated is an unconscious storehouse of potentially fearful memories–potentially fearful but sensationless memories, which can be ‘suppressed’ from conscious sensory representation or ‘constructed’ into conscious memory images or ‘subconsciously represented’ as unself-consciously imaged sensations.

Nash, Michael R. (1988). Hypnosis as a window on regression. Bulletin of the Menninger : Clinic, 52, 383-403.

Examines the empirical evidence for temporal and topographic regression during hypnosis–which Freud explicitly defined as regressive. A review of more than 100 studies spanning 60 years of research found no convincing evidence that developmentally previous psychological structures are reinstated during hypnosis (temporal regression). In contrast, there is evidence that hypnosis enables subjects to elicit more imagistic, primary process, and affect-laden material (topographic regression). The author recommends a careful reexamination of two core assumptions underlying the concept of temporal regression: (1) that early structures in human development are imperishable, and (2) that regression necessarily involves reinstatement of infantile psychological structures.

Nichols, Michael P.; Efran, Jay S. (1985). Catharsis in psychotherapy: A new perspective. Psychotherapy, 22 (1), 46-58.

Contemporary thinking about catharsis in psychotherapy is still dominated by Breuer and Freud’s work with the cathartic method. Psychoanalysts take the fact that Freud abandoned catharsis as evidence of its ineffectiveness, while the emotive therapies developed in the 1960s returned to Freud’s earliest view that neurosis results from repressed affect and can be cured by cathartic uncovering. Emotional memories continue to be thought of as foreign bodies lodged in the human psyche and requiring purgation. Unfortunately, this view divorces people from responsibility for their conduct and encourages a fractionation of human experience into feeling, thought, and action. In the current presentation, emotion is construed instead as a class of blocked or partially blocked actions, and in terms of a two-stage adaptational process. Implications of this view for psychotherapeutic practice are proposed, emphasizing richer self-expression and fuller appreciation of the consequences of responsible vs. disclaimed actions.

Crabtree, Adam (1984, October/1986). Explanations of dissociation in the first half of the twentieth century. In Quen, Jacques M. (Ed.), Split minds/split brains (pp. 85-108). New York: New York University Press. (Based on symposium in Bear Mt., N.Y., by Section on the History of Psychiatry of Cornell University Medical Center)

In 1907 Morton Prince, Editor of Journal of Abnormal Psychology, introduced a symposium by listing 6 meanings of subconscious: 1. that portion of our field of consciousness which is outside the focus of attention 2. (Janet’s idea) – split off ideas which may be isolated sensations like the lost tactile sensation of anesthesia, or maybe aggregated into groups or systems. The author quotes Janet as stating that “they form a consciousness coexisting with the primary consciousness and thereby a doubling of consciousness results” (p. 87). The primary consciousness is usually dominant, but sometimes is reduced under exceptional conditions (e.g. automatic writing). 3. the subconscious _self_ or hidden self — a part of every human, not just seen in psychopathology; this is a personalized entity; every mind has a double, with the unconscious self having powerful effects on feelings, thoughts, and reactions of the conscious self 4. extends #3 to include not only ideas that remain active below surface but also those which are inactive — forgotten or out of mind 5. Frederic Myers’ concept of the ‘subliminal self’ which had 3 functions:
a) inferior – seen in processes of dissociation
b) superior – seen in works of genius, arising from ‘subliminal rush’ of information, feelings, and thoughts which lie below consciousness
c) mythopoeic – the unconscious tendency to create fantasies 6. physiological meaning, e.g. William Carpenter’s ‘unconscious cerebration’ in which unconscious phenomena are interpreted in terms of pure neural processes unaccompanied by mental activity.
Prince suggested some redefinitions to clarify unconscious and subconscious. He would replace Janet’s subconscious with co-conscious and reserve unconscious for physiological processes that lack the attributes of consciousness. Prince noted that co- conscious ideas have been called unconscious (e.g. by Freud) but said that is confusing and to be avoided.
“Coconscious ideas include states we are not aware of because they are not the focus of our attention, and also pathologically split-off and independently active ideas or systems of ideas, such as occur in hysteria and reach their most striking form in co- conscious personalities and automatic writing.
“Prince prefers the term coconscious to Janet’s subconscious for two reasons. First, because it expresses the simultaneous coactivity of a second consciousness. And second, because the coactive ideas or idea systems may not be outside the awareness of the personal consciousness at all. They may be recognized by the personal consciousness as a distinct consciousness existing alongside it.
“Thus, through his redefinition of terms, Prince makes simultaneous activity of two or more systems of consciousness in one individual the key element in dissociation. He thereby moves the issue of amnesia or lack of awareness by one system of another into the background, making it a secondary, nonessential element. Prince was one of the few to provide a theoretical framework for dissociation in which any combination of interawareness among the coconscious systems was possible” (p. 91).
Two researchers at the turn of the century came to opposite conclusions about the nature of the Subconscious Self that every human has. Morris Sidis saw it as “a brutelike consciousness with a tendency toward personalization. Frederic Myers held that it included those functions and much more, being the source of all that is human, including the highest intuitive powers” p. 96.
Bernard Hart, in 1910, did an analysis of Janet and Freud. Janet’s work is essentially descriptive: “he is always talking about a consciousness which manifests itself in a way we can _perceive_, whether by listening to it talk, reading its written communications, or watching its movements” (p. 97). However Janet’s spatial model of dissociation cannot explain the presence of the same material (e.g. memories) in two or more dissociated systems. According to Hart, Freud offered the conceptualization that Janet lacked, in his idea of the Unconscious .
Freud’s Unconscious is not in competition with Janet’s subconscious. “Janet’s subconscious is the arena of dissociated phenomena which manifest in observable form as elements coactive with the personal self. Freud’s unconscious is a conceptual, nonobservable construction put forward to explain certain facts of human experience. In this way Hart equates the unconscious with the atomic theory in physics or the theory of heredity in biology” p. 99. But Hart also thought Freud’s theory did not do justice to dissociative phenomena. Not only do psychoanalysts show little interest in double personality or multiple personality, they also neglected dissociation on the phenomenal level.
In 1915 Freud denied the existence of a second consciousness and wrote, “there is no choice for us but to assert that mental processes are in themselves unconscious, and to liken the perception of them by means of consciousness to the perception of the external world by means of the sense organs” (p. 101). Janet claimed that Freud had simply taken over his own system and given it a new terminology, and in 1924 Freud wrote an angry rebuttal. For him, “dissociated systems are simply separate groups of mental but unconscious elements. As our consciousness turns now to one group, now to another, as a searchlight shines now on one object and now on another, the dissociated groups manifest in conscious life. … There exists no doubling of consciousness” p. 102.
Jung’s ideas were closer to those of Janet, and like Janet he made dissociation a key concept in his theory. The _complex_ is unconscious, has an archetypal core clothed in personal experience, is like a self-contained psyche within the big psyche, sometimes called a fragmentary personality dwelling inside us. Dissociation for him meant being cut off from the Ego, which is the center of an individual’s field of consciousness. “Dissociated or autonomous complexes are those which have no direct association with the ego” (p. 103). If complexes are charged with enough energy they will become manifest–as a neurotic symptom, as projected into idea of a god or demon, or perhaps as an alternate personality. Therefore Jungian treatment aims at assimilating dissociated complexes into the ego.

Decker, Hannah S. (1984, October/1986). The lure of nonmaterialism in materialist Europe: Investigations of dissociative phenomena, 1880-1915. In Quen, Jacques M. (Ed.), Split minds/split brains (pp. 31-62). New York: New York University Press. (Based on symposium in Bear Mt., N.Y., by Section on the History of Psychiatry of Cornell University Medical Center)

Emphasizes spiritism, hypnotism, and the career of Pierre Janet.
Janet’s career paralleled an increased interest in dissociation, because he had contact with scientists studying spiritism, used hypnosis, and insisted on a scientific approach. He coined the words “subconscious” and “dissociation.” As his sphere of influence declined, so did scientific interest in dissociation–especially multiple personality disorder.
Scientific study of dissociation began with investigations into religious exorcism and spirit possession. For example, at the behest of Prince Max Joseph of Bavaria, Mesmer duplicated the exorcisms of Father Gassner (causing convulsions) using hypnosis. Following Mesmer, there were reports of multiple personalities (e.g. an “exchanged personality” in Germany, reported in 1791 by Eberhardt Gmelin).
“Partly because of this growth of knowledge of multiple personality, a new model of the mind developed during the early 19th century: the mind was dual; there were conscious and unconscious mental states. Later, it was said that there was a dominant conscious personality with a group of underlying subpersonalities. Eventually it was declared that split fragments of personality could act autonomously” p. 37.
The scientific study of these phenomena continued under the leadership of Frederic Myers of The Cambridge Society for Psychical Research. According to William James, Myers was the first to consider the phenomena of hallucination, hypnotism, automatism, double personality, and mediumship as connected parts of one whole subject. The Cambridge Society was involved in the transition from the use of automatic writing by mediums to its use for clinical purposes and experimental research in the 1880’s and 1890’s.
Increasing numbers of multiple personalities reported in the literature in late 19th century led to increased interest in hypnosis and to the concept of dissociation. The author details the contributions of Janet, and then explains how interest declined in dissociation and in hypnosis due to the following: 1. Experimental psychologists in Germany (e.g. Wundt) refused to deal with anything that resembled the “unconscious,” and neglected the point of view of the experiencing person. 2. Those few psychologists interested in the unconscious found projective tests (Rorschach, TAT) an easier avenue than hypnosis or automatic writing. 3. Many mediums were exposed as frauds, e.g. Flournoy’s popular “From India to the Planet Mars”. 4. Janet himself was very critical of parapsychology. 5. When Charcot died suddenly, it was discovered that some of his assistants had rehearsed the behavior of hypnotized patients. 6. Hypnotists’ extravagant claims (e.g. past life age regression) led to a wave of reaction against them. 7. Questions were raised about the iatrogenic nature of multiple personality. 8. Conscientious hypnotists discovered drawbacks
– not everyone could become good hypnotists (e.g. Freud)
– not everyone could be hypnotized
– some patients faked hypnosis
– extreme sensitivity of hypnotized patients to the hypnotist’s wishes led to biased results
– hypnotist sometimes was conditioned to things in certain way by his first patient
9. Janet didn’t have the personality of a leader, and he argued with the psychoanalysts about who should get credit for certain ideas

Watkins, Helen H. (1980). The silent abreaction. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (2), 101-113.

The cathartic release of bound affect is a psychotherapeutic technique whose value has been proved over the years. Although Freud abandoned hypnotic abreactions, it was while working with this approach, in collaboration with Breuer, that he discovered unconscious processes (Breuer & Freud, 1895/1957). In spite of criticisms about the permanence of therapeutic results achieved through abreactions, the procedure continues to be employed in such differing approaches as hypnoanalysis, narcosynthesis, flooding, implosive therapy, primal scream, and gestalt therapy. A considerable limitation to the use of cathartic release lies in the fact that the violent release of powerful emotions is usually accompanied by screams, howling, cursing, or shrieks of fright. Practitioners who conduct their therapeutic sessions within most professional office buildings are often loath to initiate and work through such affective releases, even when therapeutically indicated, because of the sound disturbance to colleagues and other patients in the waiting room. The “silent abreaction” was developed as a procedure for releasing strong angers through perceptual and experiential, but not verbal, channels. It is a hypnotic visualization technique which can be adapted to the patient and to the circumstances in which the abreaction is to be conducted. While no data is yet available comparing its effectiveness with more vocal methods, the technique has been used successfully with a number of treatment cases. The silent abreaction offers an opportunity for the therapist to employ this valuable approach when the treatment setting would not normally accept a loud release of violent angers. The theory, specific techniques for its induction, and clinical case examples are presented.

MacMillan, M. B. (1977). The cathartic method and the expectancies of Breuer and Anna O.. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25, 106-118.

Expectancies about the consequences of the suppression of behavior and about the effects of expressing emotions are proposed as sources of the “talking cure” which developed during Breuer’s treatment of Anna O. and which later became known as the cathartic method. Although the argument is similar to one proposed by Ellenberger (1970, 1972) it sets out a more rational alternative to his explanation that the method was partly a creation of the mytho-poetic unconscious. The analysis of the interaction between Breuer and Anna O. makes explicit the expectancies underlying each of the steps through which the cathartic method developed and traces these expectancies to the general beliefs and the specific theoretical interests shared by them.

In summary, in the actual hypnotic relationship, the attitudes of the operator may influence his behavior markedly and are probably even more important than those of the subject in carrying through a successful relationship. It has been indicated in another paper that the subject’s impulse handling is more important than his attitude toward hypnosis in actual hypnotizability. This view is a re-interpretation of that of Sarason and Rosenzweig (16) with regard to the same problem. The way the operator handles his own impulses seems in itself a most significant problem, and is expressed in his reactions to the induction and later the trance state of the subject. It is indicated that to some workers, the hypnotic response of the subject offers a rare feeling of power which may have psychosexual implications of a heterosexual or homosexual kind depending on the sex of the patient and the emotional needs of the operator. Child-parent relationship attitudes may also be elicited as well as conflicts about dominance-submission related to earlier experience of the worker.** As suggested by Bruno-Bettelheim (1) for children who cannot participate in relations with others as a result of a fear of their own hostility, it appears that some persons might find the hypnotic situation difficult because of a similar factor. Thus some therapists or research workers might be impelled to reject the use of this measure or to fail in using it, because of a non-verbalized fear of their own impulses toward a ‘helpless’ subject in their power. This same situational response may be a problem that arises in the psychotherapeutic or even ordinary medical relationship. Its effect may be to limit full exploration and exploitation of therapeutic possibilities, and to hamper treatment of numerous disorders.
“It is perhaps appropriate to point out in conclusion that Freud left hypnosis, it would seem, because of some unresolved problems. Wolstein (23) says because he could not hypnotize all his patients and because of the magical connotations of hypnosis. The hypnosis in transference is still an open field. Are the two phenomena over-lapping or on a continuum? Are the problems of the therapist really the same in both areas? Is transference an aspect of hypnosis” (pp. 66-67).
“** Data on male-female differences in success as hypnotists with members of the opposite sex might be very illuminating” (p. 66).

Kline, Milton V. (1955). Freud and hypnosis: II. Further observations on resistance and acceptance. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3 (2), 124-129.

Summary. Freud’s rejection of hypnosis in the development of psychoanalytic psychology becomes upon closer examination a two fold process. It involves on the part of Freud the conventional recognition that suggestion plays a basic role in the primitive emotional energy that binds people together and influences the acting out of primary libidinal drives. From an ontogenetic (and presumably phylogenetic) point of view, Freud viewed suggestibility as a repressive element in the organization of behavior and one which in effect had to be dealt with indirectly. To deal with it directly was to create a state within which powerful emotions of an unpredictable nature could emerge. Hypnosis to Freud was a ‘condition’ which led to general heightened suggestibility and was identical with it. To make use of this condition was in essence an attempt to make use of an individual’s energies in a dependent and essentially uninhibited manner. It seemed to Freud that having produced the hypnotic ‘condition,’ one actually had achieved a state of suspension or ablation of certain critical ego functions and this could lead to an intense and perhaps unmanageable interpersonal relationship. It was almost an ‘ethical’ rather than a scientific view as Freud discussed it in his thinking and theorizing about a general psychology.
“To a great extent the basic concepts of psychoanalysis were developed as the result of Freud’s awareness of the existance of hypnotic phenomena and his need to circumvent and indirectly deal with the ego manifestations of this ‘condition.’ Thus Freud never really rejected hypnosis as a mechanism of human behavior. His comment of the psychosocial development of man (from which psychoanalytic psychology is influenced) was heavily weighted by his awareness of ‘suggestibility’ and the ‘condition’ descriptively called hypnosis.
“The simple equation of hypnosis with suggestibilty is now scientifically outmoded and incorrect. The role of suggestion and its psychosomatic equations has taken on a drastically changed perspective in social psychology, particularly with regard to the early concepts of Le Bon, Freud and McDougall (5). For these reasons alone, Freud’s circumvention of hypnosis becomes increasingly unsound scientifically and adherence to such a perception of hypnosis serves only to obscure theoretical research in psychology and to maintain a rigidity born essentially of emotional ties and ethics alien to the nature of scientific inquiry” (pp 128-129).

Dittborn, Julio (1954). Dehypnotization and associated words. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2 (2), 136-138.

Author tested Freud’s hypotheses about signs of emotional conflict gleaned from a word association test. A highly hypnotizable subject who had been accused of theft was tested with the word association test repeatedly. He had been given the suggestion, while in deep hypnosis, that any word provoking emotional conflict would automatically bring him out of hypnosis. That is, “dehypnotization was used as a new method to investigate the conflict-provoking quality of certain stimulus-words in an association word test” (p. 139). Freud’s predictions were only partially supported.



Gravitz, Melvin (2002). Hypnosis as a counter-measure against the polygraph test of deception.. Polygraph Journal, 31, 293-297.

This article presents a bibliography of experimental and applied studies for reference by those interested in the use of hypnosis as a counter-measure in the “lie detector” test.

De Pascalis, V.; Magurano, M. D.; Bellusci, A. (1999). Pain perception, somatosensory event-related potentials and skin conductance responses to painful stimuli in high, mid, and low hypnotizable subjects: Effects of differential pain reduction strategies. Pain, 83 (3), 499-508.

In this study, pain perception, somatosensory event-related potential (SERP) and skin conductance response (SCR) changes during hypnotic suggestions of Deep Relaxation, Dissociated Imagery, Focused Analgesia, and Placebo, compared with a Waking baseline condition, were investigated. SERPs were recorded from frontal, temporal, central, and parietal scalp sites. Ten high, 9 mid, and 10 low hypnotizable right-handed women participated in the experiment. The following measures were obtained: (1) pain and distress tolerance ratings; (2) sensory and pain thresholds to biphasic electrical stimulation delivered to the right wrist; (3) reaction time and number of omitted responses; (4) N2 (280+/-11 ms) and P3 (405+/-19 ms) peak amplitudes of SERPs to target stimuli delivered using an odd-ball paradigm; (5) number of evoked SCRs and SCR amplitudes as a function of stimulus repetition. Results showed, high, mid and low hypnotizables exhibited significant reductions of reported pain and distress ratings during conditions of Deep Relaxation/Suggestion of Analgesia, Dissociated Imagery and Focused Analgesia. High hypnotizable subjects displayed significant reductions in pain and distress levels compared to mid and low hypnotizables during Dissociated Imagery, Focused Analgesia and, to a lesser degree, during Deep Relaxation. Placebo condition did not display significant differences among hypnotizability groups. High hypnotizables, compared to mid and low hypnotizables, also showed significant increases in sensory and pain thresholds during Dissociated Imagery and Focused Analgesia. High, mid, and low groups showed significant reductions in P3 peak amplitudes across all hypnosis conditions and, to a lesser degree, during Placebo. The temporal cortical region was the most sensitive in differentiating SERP responses among hypnotizability groups. On this recording area the subjects highly susceptible to hypnosis displayed significantly smaller P3 and greater N2 peaks during Focused Analgesia than did the other hypnotizable groups. In this condition highly susceptible subjects also reported the highest number of omitted responses and the shortest Reaction Times. These subjects also showed faster habituation of SCRs when compared with mid and low hypnotizables. During Dissociated Imagery and Focused Analgesia, highly hypnotizable subjects also disclosed a smaller total number of evoked SCRs than did mid and low hypnotizable subjects. The results are discussed considering possible common and different mechanisms to account for the effects of different hypnotic suggestions.
Abstract from National Library of Medicine, PubMed

Lee, Lai H.; Olness, Karen N. (1996). Effects of self-induced mental imagery on automatic reactivity in children. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 17 (5), 323-327.

The purposes of this research study were: (1) to determine whether changes in cardiac rate, skin temperature, and/or electrodermal activity occur as children change mental imagery and (2) to determine whether such changes are related to age, sex, or other variables.
Children who were evaluated in this study had no previous experience with hypnosis or biofeedback training and were in good health with no learning disabilities. Thirty-eight boys and 38 girls ranging in age from 5 to 15 years were studied in a comfortable setting with a constant room temperature and biofeedback equipment. A Procomp 5DX computer software unit was used to measure autonomic reactivity during baseline and mental processing periods. After baseline monitoring indicated stabilization of autonomic measures, each child was asked to think about being in a quiet, pleasant place for 120 seconds. Pulse rate, skin temperature, and electrodermal activity were recorded. A resting period followed, and each child was then asked to think about an exciting activity, such as a preferred sports activity, for another 120 seconds. At the end of this monitoring, each child was asked to describe what had been his/her mental imagery during the two monitoring periods. Data analysis used paired t tests and repeated measures analysis of variance. For all children, the pulse rates showed significant decreases (p <.001) during quiet and relaxing imagery and significant increases (p<.001) during active imagery. Skin temperatures increased significantly (p<.001) during quiet imagery and active imagery, whereas electrodermal activity decreased (p<.001) during active imagery. Observed changes did not relate to age or sex. The results confirm our clinical observations that deliberate changes of mental imagery by children results in immediate autonomic changes. Questions evolving from this study and similar studies done in adults are: (1) Do average-thinking processes impact on autonomic changes over long periods of time and (2) do these changes ultimately impact on health, such as cardiovascular status? Wickramasekera, Ian; Pope, Alan T.; Kolm, Paul (1996). On the interaction of hypnotizability and negative affect in chronic pain: Implications for the somatization of trauma. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 184 (10), 628-635. The high risk model of threat perception predicts that high hypnotizability is a risk factor for trauma-related somatization. It is hypothesized that high hypnotizability can increase experimentally induced threat or negative affect, as measured by skin conductance level, in a linear or dose-response manner. This hypothesized interaction of hypnotic ability and negative affect was found in a consecutive series of 118 adult patients with chronic pain symptoms. Larger increases in skin conductance levels during cognitive threat were significantly related to higher levels of hypnotizability. In addition, individuals with high hypnotizability retained higher skin conductance levels than individuals with low hypnotizability after stress. The clinical implications of the interaction of hypnotizability and negative affect during threat perception and delayed recovery from threat perception are discussed in terms of cognitive mechanisms in the etiology and therapy of trauma-related dissociative disorders. 1995 Olness, Karen N.; Lee, Lai (1995, November). Effects of self-induced mental imagery on autonomic reactivity in children. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX. NOTES One study that shows an IgA increase with hypnotic suggestion has been replicated and is in press. The present study emerges from work using hypnosis with biofeedback. Morgan's work with athletes has suggested the relationship between imagery and physiological activation. This has been observed clinically but not heretofore documented. We are not using formal hypnosis. Each child was asked to think about being in a quiet place, doing exciting activities, baseline, etc. The children exhibited no neurological disorders, cognitive dysfunction, nor were they on medications at time of the study. We confirmed our clinical experience: there was an increase in pulse rate when imagery changed to activity. Skin temperature continued to go up during the period (despite imagery of being active like being on roller coaster). Skin conduction went down during baseline. EDA [electrodermal activities] was higher during active imagery. How do average daily thinking processes impact on autonomic changes over long periods of time? Do these changes affect cardiovascular status? Clinically we observed that some children are more labile in different modalities, and under stress they react more in that system. Wickramasekera, Ian (1995, November). Hypnotic ability, skin conductance, and chronic pain. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX. NOTES T. X. Barber's book in 1969 states that hypnotizability is unrelated to psychopathology. Hilgard's book states that hypnotic ability and negative reactivity are unrelated. However clinicians working with somatization-type symptoms (headache, irritable bowel disease) may observe a surplus of people very high or low in hypnotic ability. How do we account for the discrepancy between clinic and lab? Is this a context effect, since I only see people who are sick? It turns out that the low hypnotizable patients present mainly in primary care, medicine and surgery. The highs present with psychophysiological problems. The author posits that when hypnotic ability and negative affectivity coincide, they lead to physical disease. (He uses "negative affectivity" for what used to be called Neuroticism.) Negative affect is not simply verbal report; one must also consider autonomic physiology as part of it (cf.. Dan Weinberger's research). Highs are at risk for illness because: 1. They can amplify or attenuate signals of threat. 2. They demonstrate surplus pattern recognition (see meaning in randomly distributed events). 3. They have surplus empathy (poor boundaries). Lows are at risk because: 1. They deny or attenuate the role of cognitive and emotional events on somatic symptoms. 2. They demonstrate rigidity in information processing; they are locked into critical, sequential, analytical information processing. Under low stress (mental math), Lows and Highs do not differ on Subjective Units of Distress (SUDS) for mental arithmetic; for high stress (more difficult math) there is a large difference between groups. High, Medium, and Low hypnotizable Ss with chronic pain and no observable pathology (TMJ, back pain, etc.) were measured on skin conductance (EDR): there were no differences during baseline, but differences emerged during a stress condition. We did not find this kind of difference using muscle tension! Patients were not on medications. GSR is a purely sympathetic nervous system measure, unlike heart rate that also has parasympathetic input. There is almost a dose-response relationship between hypnotizability and reactivity with GSR under stress conditions. High Hypnotizable and High Negative Emotion Subjects: EDR 12.5 SUDS 63.5 Lie Scale (Marlowe Crowne) Moderate Hypnotizable and Low Negative Emotion Subjects: EDR 3.77 (p.<.01) SUDS 66.5 (n.s.) Lie Scale 20.7 (p.0001). Thus, you could not see a difference in these two groups from their verbal report, their MMPI, or an interview. Their distress is out of mind [but not out of body]. We also studied Body Mass Index (weight related to height), which correlates highly with adiposity (Garrow, 1983). We used High Hypnotizable - High Neuroticism Subjects, compared to Medium Hypnotizable - Low Neuroticism Subjects. H-H BMI = 34.6 M-L BMI = 24.1 (significantly different, though preliminary results). If you just use a correlation you won't see this result. You have to consider both hypnotizability and negative emotion together. COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE: Question re Marlowe Crowne as a measure of defense. Wickramasekera's answer: I believe it is orthogonal to hypnotizability and both are pathways to pathology. I look at both the Marlowe Crowne and Neuroticism. Auke Tellegen: In Weinberger's research you need to see an interaction between test variables. I think you should view them independently, not assume an interaction. Zamansky, Harold S.; Ruehle, Beth L. (1995). Making hypnosis happen: The involuntariness of the hypnotic experience. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 43 (4), 386-398. The authors tested the hypothesis that hypnotized individuals do not truly experience their responses to suggestions as occurring involuntarily, but instead absorb themselves in imagery that is congruent with the suggestions while avoiding critical thoughts, or even simply comply with suggestions without genuinely experiencing their responses as nonvolitional. Participants were instructed to engage in thoughts and imagery that conflicted with the suggestions given, were urged to pay attention to their behavior, and were questioned regarding the perceived involuntariness of their responses. Simultaneously, electrodermal skin conductance responses provided a measure of the truthfulness of their reports. It was found that responses to all hypnotic suggestions were reported as being involuntary, in spite of the conflicting imagery and increased saliency, and that these reports were truthful. These findings provide disconfirming evidence for the sociocognitive theories of hypnosis. 1994 Kinnunen, Taru; Zamansky, Harold S.; Block, Martin L. (1994). Is the hypnotized subject lying?. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 184-191. Do the verbal reports of deeply hypnotized Subjects truthfully reflect their subjective experiences of hypnotic suggestions? Exp 1 established that the electrodermal skin conductance response (SCR) provides an effective method for detecting deception in the laboratory equally well in hypnotized and nonhypnotized Subjects. In Exp 2, deeply hypnotized and simulating Subjects were administered a number of hypnotic suggestions in a typical hypnotic session, without mention of deception, and were questioned about their experiences while SCR measures were recorded concurrently. Results indicate that 89% of the hypnotized Subjects' reports met the criterion for truthfulness, whereas only 35% of the simulators' reports met this criterion. Implications for the theory of hypnosis are discussed.