O’Brien, Richard M.; Cooley, Lewis E.; Ciotti, Joseph; Henninger, Kathleen M. (1981). Augmentation of systematic desensitization of snake phobia through posthypnotic dream suggestion. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 23, 231-238.

Nine snake phobics who had scored above eight on the SHSS (Form A) were given four desensitization sessions and five sessions in which a pleasant posthypnotic dream of the phobic object was suggested. These subjects were significantly superior to a desensitization-only control group on a behavioral avoidance test. Seven of the nine hypnosis subjects were able to touch a real snake. The two subjects who did not touch the snake reported dreams in which the snake was either absent or threatening. Although conclusions are limited by differential attention and susceptibility, the technique seems promising.

Scrignar, C. B. (1981). Rapid treatment of contamination phobia with hand-washing compulsion by flooding with hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 23, 252-257.

Two obsessive-compulsive patients with contamination phobias and hand-washing compulsions are presented. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy had resulted in little change. Behavior therapy techniques of thought-stopping, systematic desensitization, progressive muscle relaxation, cognitive restructuring and self-imposed response prevention were first used, resulting in some subjective improvement, but no change in the hand-washing rate. Hypnosis, emphasizing relaxation, positive suggestion and corrective information provided further temporary subjective improvement but little change in compulsive rituals. Hypnosis, combined with the behavioral technique of flooding, produced rapid improvement. The patients maintained improvement at seven years and two years. Flooding under hypnosis may afford obsessive-compulsive patients a rapid and economical therapeutic procedure

Spiegel, David; Frischholz, Edward J.; Maruffi, Brian; Spiegel, Herbert (1981). Hypnotic responsivity and the treatment of flying phobia. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 23, 239-247.

Systematic follow-up data are reported for 178 consecutive flying phobia patients treated with a single 45-minute session involving hypnosis and a problem restructuring strategy. One hundred fifty-eight (89%) of the patients completed follow-up questionnaires between six months and ten and one half years after treatment. Results showed that hypnotizable patients were over two and one half times more likely to report some positive treatment impact than those who were found to be nonhypnotizable on the Hypnotic Induction Profile. In addition, the patients’ previous experiences with psychotherapy were found to be significantly associated with treatment outcome. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Kelly, S. F. (1980). Hypnotizability and the inadvertent experience of pain: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (3), 189-191.

A clinical case of dental phobia similar to that reported by Frankel (1974, 1975) is presented that suggests a relationship between high hypnotizability and the genesis of phobic behavior. Further, the experience of pain despite anesthesia is speculatively linked to hypnosis and the mechanism for the development of the phobia.

Dyckman, John M.; Cowan, Philip A. (1978). Imaging vividness and the outcome of in vivo and imagined scene desensitization. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (5), 1155-1156.

This study reexamined the role of imaging vividness in desensitization success. Scores on the Betts Questionnaire on Mental Imagery were used to divide 48 snake-phobic subjects into high, medium, and low vivid groups, who were assigned to imagined scene or in vivo desensitization treatments. Imaging vividness was assessed at scheduled points during therapy. Significant decreases in behavioral and self-reported fear were observed after both treatments, though in vivo desensitization produced significantly greater fear reduction. In therapy imaging vividness scores were significantly correlated with therapeutic success and were superior to pretherapy ratings as predictors of outcome.

Slutsky, Jeffrey; Allen, George J. (1978). Influence of contextual cues on the efficacy of desensitization and a credible placebo in alleviating public speaking anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (1), 119-125.

This investigation was designed to determine the extent to which contextual cues mediated the effectiveness of systematic desensitization and a plausible placebo in alleviating public speaking anxiety. After participating in a public speaking situation that allowed the collection of self-report, physiological, and behavioral manifestations of anxiety, 67 subjects were randomly assigned to receive five sessions of either desensitization, “T scope” therapy, or no treatment. Each of these conditions was conducted in a context that either stressed the clinical relevance of the procedure or presented the procedure as a laboratory investigation of fear without therapeutic implications. Analysis of changes both between groups and within individuals indicated that desensitization reduced public speaking anxiety in both contexts, whereas the placebo was effective only in the therapeutic setting. The superiority of desensitization was most pronounced on the physiological variables. The results are interpreted as indicating support for a counterconditioning, rather than an expectancy, interpretation of desensitization.

Weerts, Theodore C.; Lang, Peter J. (1978). Psychophysiology of fear imagery: Differences between focal phobia and social performance anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46 (5), 1157-1159.

Spider phobics and speech anxious subjects imaged fear scenes with spider and public-speaking content and a series of standard scenes that were constructed to vary in degree of emotional arousal and movement. Heart rate, skin conductance, and ocular activity were recorded. Spider phobics rated all imagery contents as more vivid and reported more scene movement than speech anxious subjects. Both groups responded to their own fear scenes with higher ratings of emotion and a greater physiological response than to the other group’s fear scenes. The arousal response of spider phobics to relevant fear scenes was greater than that of speech anxious subjects. The data suggest that the outcome of imagery-based therapies may be partly determined by type of fear.

Lawlor, E. D. (1976). Hypnotic intervention with ‘school phobic’ children. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 24, 74-86.

Case studies are used to illustrate the use of hypnosis in working with children who exhibit symptoms of “school phobia.” Responses obtained during and after hypnosis are utilized to uncover underlying conflicts and fears.
The literature (Ansbacher, 1956; Friedman, 1959; Johnson, 1957; Johnson, Falstein, Szurek, & Svendsen, 1941: Kessler, 1966; Waldfogel & Gardner, 1961) confirms the findings that a child through his symptoms has fears which he is unable to bring to consciousness and talk about. Typical are fears of abandonment by parents; fears of disaster befalling parents, especially the mother; fears based on destructive wishes toward siblings due to severe rivalry for the mother’s love and attention; fears that exhibiting angry feelings will be punished by the parents; and fears of annihilation and starvation.
Hypnosis has aided in restoring these children to a school environment more quickly than more traditional methods. One case is reported with excerpts from a session. The perceptions uncovered through the use of hypnosis can be utilized with children in various school settings.

traditional methods. One case is reported with excerpts from a session. The perceptions uncovered through the use of hypnosis can be utilized with children in various school settings.

Lick, John R. (1975). Expectancy, false galvanic skin response feedback, and systematic desensitization in the modification of phobic behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43 (4), 557-567.

This study compared systematic desensitization and two pseudotherapy manipulations with and without false galvanic skin response feedback after every session suggesting improvement in the modification of intense snake and spider fear. The results indicated no consistent differences between the three treatment groups, although all treatments were significantly more effective than no treatment in modifying physiological, behavioral, and self-report measures of fear. A 4-month follow-up showed stability in fear reduction on self-report measures for the three treatment groups. Overall, the results of this experiment were interpreted as contradicting a traditional conditioning explanation of systematic desensitization. An alternate explanation for the operation of systematic desensitization emphasizing the motivational as opposed to conditioning aspects of the procedure is discussed.

Tori, Christopher; Worell, Leonard (1973). Reduction of human avoidant behavior: A comparison of counterconditioning, expectancy, and cognitive information approaches. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41 (2), 269-278.

This study was designed to compare the fear-reducing efficacy of procedures based on three major theories that have been proposed to account for the success of systematic desensitization therapy: (a) cognitive information storage and retrieval, (b) cognitive expectancy, and (c) counterconditioning. Predictions were confirmed in that the outcome measures of the high-expectancy placebo group and the two cognitive-coping groups were significantly superior to those of the counterconditioning and no-treatment groups. Thus, this experiment supports the supposition that changes in human avoidant behavior may be attributed to demand and expectancy variables rather than the conditioning of “antagonistic responses” as has been previously suggested.

McAmmond, D. M.; Davidson, P. O.; Kovitz, D. M. (1971). A comparison of the effects of hypnosis and relaxation training on stress reactions in a dental situation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 13, 233-242.

Compared the effectiveness of relaxation, hypnosis, and a control condition in reducing in dental phobics the reaction to pressure-algometer stimulation and the injection of anesthesia. For subjects with high baseline skin-conductance levels, relaxation was most effective in reducing stress reactions. Hypnosis did not differ from the control condition. For subjects with a medium or low skin-conductance baseline, relaxation was not effective. The hypnosis group rated their treatment as most effective, and the controls rated their treatment as least effective. Five-month follow-up indicated that all subjects in the hypnosis group returned for dental treatment and that 5 of 10 in the control group and only 1 of the relaxation group returned for care.

month follow-up indicated that all subjects in the hypnosis group returned for dental treatment and that 5 of 10 in the control group and only 1 of the relaxation group returned for care.

Davis, Daniel; McLemore, Clinton W.; London, Perry (1970). The role of visual imagery in desensitization. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 8 (1), 11-13.

Summary: a measure of visual imagery ability was obtained for 33 females who and participated in desensitization therapy for snake phobia. Visual imagery was positively related to pretherapy performance (closeness of approach to a live snake), but not to improvement. On the basis of these results and the results of two other studies, it was hypothesized that the fear of good imagers tends to be based on imagination while that of poor imagers tends to be based on sensory experience.
Most psychologists now recognize behavior therapy as effective in alleviating a wide variety of fears, but the nature of the processes underlying the various methods remains an open issue. Imagery has been of particular interest as a possible common denominator among various desensitization techniques. Lazarus (1961), for example, asserts that a “prerequisite for effective application of desensitization is the ability to conjure up reasonably vivid images,” and Wolpe (1961) claims, “it is essential for visualizing to be at least moderately clear.” London suggests that theoretically opposed treatments such as reciprocal inhibition (Wolpe, 1958) and implosion (Stampfl and Levis, 1967) may both be facilitated by repeated imagery which “produces a discrimination set such that the patient learns to distinguish between the imaginative, cognitive, affective aspects of experience, and the sensory and overt muscular aspects” (1964, p. 130). However, no systematic studies linking visual imagery to desensitization have been reported. This study examined the relationship between visual imagery and success in desensitization therapy.

Owens, Herbert E. (1970). Hypnosis and psychotherapy in dentistry: Five case histories. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 18, 181-193. (Abstracted in Current Contents, 2, 35, 21)

Used hypnosis to facilitate dental psychotherapy in resolving problems specific to the dental situation. Case histories illustrate the use of hypnosis in alleviating dentophobia and in the care and control of allergic responses. Formal induction procedures are not always necessary in achieving the desired result. Through the appropriate use of hypnosis, observable benefits can accrue to some dental patients in their ability to approach the dental situation and receive proper care. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

Marcia, James E.; Rubin, Barry M. (1969). Systematic desensitization: Expectancy change or counterconditioning?. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74 (3), 382-387.

Forty-four snake and spider phobic Ss, selected from a large pool of undergraduates were exposed to either (a) a form of systematic desensitization treatment, (b) a technique, called T-scope therapy, which embodies most of the expectancy-manipulating features of desensitization, but does not contain the technical elements of the procedure (i.e., relaxation, visualization, and the construction of an anxiety hierarchy), (c) T-scope therapy, presented as an “incomplete” and probably ineffective form of treatment, or (d) no treatment. There were no significant differences (on self-rating, runway, or interview measures) between the effects of the systematic desensitization procedure and T-scope therapy, although Ss receiving either of these treatments improved significantly more than those who received no treatment or T-scope therapy administered under the “low-expectancy” condition.

Marmer, Milton J. (1969). Unusual applications of hypnosis in anesthesiology. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17 (4), 199-208.

Describes 6 cases which illustrate the successful application and use of hypnosis in treating malignant anxiety, preparing “patient substitution” for surgery, maintaining a nasogastric tube, treating narcotic addiction and aiding in surgical diagnosis, caring for a patient with intense claustrophobia, and anesthetizing a former narcotic addict for surgery. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved

Schubot, Errol David (1967). The influence of hypnotic and muscular relaxation in systematic desensitization of phobias (Dissertation). Dissertation Abstracts, 27 (n10-B), 3681-3682.

“15 snake phobic subjects had desensitization treatment and 15 matched subjects had desensitization treatment with a hypnotic and muscular relaxation induction. Rate of moving through the fear hierarchy was based on three variables fear report, report of body tension, and time of signaling anxiety. Analysis of results took into consideration initial approach (to snake) level of subjects. Both treatments were effective. However, hypnotic relaxation was significantly important in desensitization for the most phobic subjects (those who couldn’t approach closer than 5 feet, initially) though not for less fearful subjects. In fact, the most fearful subjects did not show improved approach behavior if they did not get the hypnosis relaxation treatment, though bodily tension and fear were reported as less while working on early items in the hierarchy. The Waking group, compared to the Relaxation hypnosis group, manifested significantly less improvement in approach and slower progress in desensitization. Hypnotizability was significantly correlated with improvement for the Relaxation subjects, as was vividness of imagery. In summary, hypnosis (a relaxation induction) facilitated desensitization treatment of highly anxiety snake-phobic subjects with the hypnotic relaxation induction, treatment outcome was related both to hypnotizability and to imagery vividness” (p. 3681- 3682).

Schneck, Jerome M. (1966). Hypnoanalytic elucidation of a childhood germ phobia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 14, 305-307.


Levendula, Dezso (1961). Two case presentations: Treatment of central pain with reconstruction of the body-image — hypnoanalysis of a travel phobia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 9, 283-289.

Uses analogy of phantom limb (hallucinated pain which is a central pain) with a multiple sclerosis patient who had ”excruciating” pain between her thighs despite paralysis from waist down due to multiple sclerosis. She valued her sex life though she couldn”t feel sexual response, and felt that she ”didn”t have any legs” and her husband ”had to carry her.”
In giving her history the patient noted an increasing numbness and weakness in her legs five years earlier. At that time she also entered menopause and developed severe vaginitis. She became depressed when she became increasingly unable control her excretory functions. As the pain in the genital region increased, her ability to feel pleasant vaginal sensations diminished. Ultimately the pain was continually present.
The therapist attributed her problem to a faulty body image because she “denied the existence of her legs which were actually physically present, although, she could neither feel, nor see, nor move them” (p. 285). Secondly, it was most necessary for her to hold on to the myth [sic], that her vagina existed, because it made her feel wanted and needed by her husband. She was unconsciously afraid that by giving up her vagina she would lose the most important bond between herself and her husband” (p. 285).
The therapist speculated that “the pain, which was the last sensation perceived before the total sensory loss occurred, was fixated centrally. This ”pain-image” served to maintain the pretense, unconsciously of course, that there was still feeling in the vagina even though it was only pain and not pleasure. The pain permitted her to avoid facing reality, just as in the case of an amputee who develops the fantasy of a phantom limb, because he cannot readjust his pre-existing body-image to the acceptance of mutilation” (p. 285). He offered the patient “the rather simple explanation… that because she really did not feel where her lower body ended or began, the pain served her need to know where the body halves were separated. If she could learn to imagine and to accept herself as a full, whole person, the pain probably would leave her. This theory seemed very logical and acceptable to the patient” (p. 285).

“Hypnosis was extensively utilized in the following sessions to regress the patient toward her youth. She went again for long walks with her boyfriend, now her husband. It was fun to re-experience the feeling of walking in her father”s apple orchard and stretch up for a red apple. Autohypnosis was taught and [he] told her to exercise ”walking” while hypnotized twice daily” (p. 285-286). He also tapped on the soles of her feet repeatedly, until she could localize the vibrations. “She finally learned that she did have legs and also that other sensations besides pain could originate below the waist…. Gradually with the acceptance of her ”wholeness and tallness” the pain became less and less. She was able to ”forget” the pain for a longer

period of time. … Occasionally she does call. She tells [the therapist] that in a stressful situation, such as moving into a new house and not knowing where things are, the pain comes back temporarily, but it is much less and after [they] talk an hour she is relieved” (p. 287). The patient had a total of 20 visits.

The author describes a second case, which is not described in these notes.

Moss, C. Scott (1960). Brief successful psychotherapy of a chronic phobic reaction. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 60, 266-270. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts, 60: 7901)

A report demonstrating the use of hypnosis in the therapy of a phobic reaction. Hypnotic and posthypnotic suggestions were used to help uncover the affectively-laden but forgotten experiences which elucidated the meaning of the phobia, as well as to help the patient relive, work through, and accept the insights gleaned therefrom, both during the therapeutic hour, between therapeutic hours, and after termination. It was felt the use of hypnosis in this case helped shorten the duration of the therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Platonov, K. I. (1959). The word as a physiological and therapeutic factor: The theory and practice of psychotherapy according to I. P. Pavlov. ( 2nd). Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.

On pp. 75-76 the author discusses conditioning in hypnosis. Most of the theoretical material is in the first part of the book; the rest consists of case studies. He presents the position that the activity of the cortex and subcortex are different during states of waking and suggested sleep.
Note: Much of the Russian research done during “suggested sleep” involves subjects who are hypnotized for a long period of time–sometimes hours. Routinely, in treatment, they would give corrective suggestions and then tell the person to “sleep” and would leave them in the “sleep” for an hour or longer.
“Thus, it appears from the foregoing that the basic peculiarities of the activity of the cerebral cortex manifesting themselves in the state of suggested sleep are as follows: 1. In addition to the division of the cerebral hemispheres into sections of sleep and wakefulness typical of the hypnotic sleep of an animal, there is also a functional dissociation of the two signal systems and within the second signal system. 2. The activity of the second signal system under these conditions is not only confined to the narrow framework of the rapport zone, but is also frequently of a passive nature being directly dependent on the verbal influences of the hypnotist. Outside these influences there is no (or hardly any) activity. 3. A considerable increase in the coupling function with respect to the stimuli of the second signal system is noted at the same time in the rapport zone. This especially favours the formation of new cortical dynamic structures under the verbal influences of the hypnotist, these structures representing the physiological basis for effectuating the suggested actions and states.

“The foregoing peculiarities manifest themselves in the fact that the entire external second signal activity of the subject is reduced only to direct answers to the questions of the hypnotist with no independent reactions to any influences, including verbal, coming from other people (so-called isolated rapport). This is understandable, since the activity of the second signal system lying outside the rapport zone is inhibited” (pp. 73-74).
“As to the problem of the peculiarities of the conditioned reflex activity during suggested sleep, it will be noted that this problem has not been very extensively studied as yet. Nevertheless, the data of various authors are of indubitable interest, since they have revealed a number of specific peculiarities in the state of the higher nervous activity under these conditions.
“According to these data the conditioned reflex activity in suggested sleep undergoes certain changes. Thus, S. Levin observed in his early studies (1931) that in children under conditions of suggested sleep the motor and secretory conditioned reflexes elaborated earlier in the waking state grew very much weaker and that there was a dissociation both between the motor and secretory conditioned reflexes and between the unconditioned reflexes of salivation and mastication; he also observed the transitional (phasic) states–paradoxical, ultraparadoxical and inhibitory phases, all the way to the onset of complete sleep” (pp. 74-75).
Platonov indicates that conditioned reflexes may disappear during suggested sleep (Povorinsky & Traugott, 1936). Arousal from suggested sleep results in gradual restoration of the reflexes, with speech reactions inhibited first and restored last. Pen & Jigarov (1936) also showed that there is a weakening of conditioned reflexes, with increased latency, in suggested sleep. These authors showed that it is impossible to form new conditioned reflexes in deep states of suggested sleep, and the conditioning is difficult in lighter states.
“Y. Povorinsky’s data (1937) indicate that the conditioned reflexes elaborated in the waking state have a longer latent period during suggested sleep and in some subjects they are completely absent. Under these circumstances, the reactions to the verbal influences of the hypnotist are retained even during the deepest suggested sleep. The more complex and ontogenetically later conditioned bonds of the speech-motor analyzer are inhibited first as the subject lapses into a state of suggested sleep and are disinhibited the last as the subject awakens from this state” (p. 75).
“B. Pavlov and Y. Povorinsky observe (1953) that the conditioned bonds reinforced by the words of the hypnotist are formed during suggested sleep faster than in the waking state. In this case, during the somnambulistic phase of suggested sleep verbal reinforcements, as a rule, provoke a stronger and longer reaction with a shorter latent period than a direct first signal stimulus” (p. 76). The conditioning that occurs during suggested sleep does not manifest during waking periods unless suggestions are given during the sleep to react after wakening. The author takes this to be evidence that conditioned reflex activity can be modified by verbal suggestions.
During the somnambulistic stage of suggested sleep, subjects are less adept at performing addition. This indicates that inhibition has spread to the second signal system. However, inhibition of different sensory systems seems to vary from person to person. Krasnogorsky (1951) reported one subject did not react to light, but hearing seemed to be more sensitive than in the waking state.
“All of the above testifies to the considerable changes in the character of cortical activity regularly occurring during suggested sleep and determining, on the whole, the specific nature of higher nervous activity, the systematic study of which should be the object of further research” (p. 77).

Schneck, Jerome M. (1954). Hypnotherapy in a case of claustrophobia and its implications for psychotherapy in general. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2 (4), 251-260. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts, 55: 6064)

“Summary. This report presents the hypnotherapy of a patient with claustrophobia. The crucial event responsible for symptom formation occurred in military service when the patient was trapped in a trench by a tank which stopped over the patient before proceeding, and at which time the sides of the trench began to cave in. Subsequent traumatic events served as reenforcement. It is likely that a low threshold for the development of anxiety predisposed this patient to the development of the claustrophobia, although the major trauma sustained was undoubtedly of tremendous impact and a distinct threat to life. Emotional experiences were sealed and free expression was permitted through hypnotic revivification. The dynamics, further elaborated in the report, suggest that similar occurrences not necessarily in military settings may be approached therapeutically in this way. Aside from the reliving technique, recall stimulation through a dream induction approach was employed. Other hypnotic methods were described and further implications for psychotherapy in general were elaborated. Hypnotherapeutic and hypnoanalytic approaches to phobic reactions have been described at length elsewhere” (p. 260).


De Pascalis, Vilfredo (1995, November). Psychophysiological correlates of hypnosis and hypnotic susceptibility. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.

STUDY 1 and STUDY 2.
They recorded 40-Hz EEG temporal density (35-45 Hz band) from the left and right temporo-parietal-occipital scalp regions in four emotional conditions (gladness, happiness, fear, and anger). When measures were made in the waking state, for Highs, during positive emotions they found increase in left and right hemisphere activity compared with resting condition. During fear and anger there was reduction in the left hemisphere and an increase in the right, but for some subjects no left hemisphere change.
Low hypnotizables did not show large or reliable differences across emotions. With the hypnotic state, they found the trend was even greater for Highs.

Forbes, E. J.; Pekala, R. J. (1993). Psychophysiological effects of several stress management techniques. Psychological Reports, 72, 19-27.

Progressive muscle relaxation and hypnosis both increased skin temperature and reduced pulse rate, and deep abdominal breathing reduced skin temperature. Hypnotic susceptibility had no effect on the psychophysiological measures.

Chantler, Lisa J. (1992). The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome using hypnosis. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 20, 39-47.

A single case is reported of the hypnobehavioural treatment of a patient with chronic irritable bowel syndrome. The success of this treatment suggests that it has potential over and above relaxation and other behavioural techniques alone.

Barber, Theodore Xenophon (1990, August). Some things I’ve learned about hypnosis after 37 years. [Audiotape] Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston.

“We are a unity of cells. Every cell is a citizen with it’s own jobs, communicating all the time; cells send messages; the way we communicate with them is by suggestions. Each _cell_ is a mind-body…. When I do it now [hypnotic inductions], I say, ‘We’re going to go into hypnosis, we’re _both_ going to go into hypnosis. I’m going to close my eyes (etc.)’ – modeling hypnosis for them.�

Abelson, James L.; Curtis, George C. (1989). Cardiac and neuroendocrine responses to exposure therapy in height phobics: Desynchrony within the ‘physiological response system’. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 27 (5), 561-567.

Monitored subjective, behavioral, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses in 2 men (aged 19 and 34 yrs) with height phobias over a full course of exposure therapy and at 6 and 8 month follow-up. Both Ss showed rising cortisol responses and stable, nonextinguishing norepinephrine responses to height exposure over the course of treatment, while improvement occurred in subjective and behavioral response systems. They had differing heart rate responses. Despite desynchrony among anxiety response systems and within the physiological system at treatment conclusion, Ss had successful outcomes with general measures of change (phobia rating scales, the Fear Survey Schedule, and the SCL-90) showing substantial improvement for both Ss. These outcomes were preserved at follow-up.

Alvarado, C. S. (1989). Dissociation and state-specific psychophysiology during the nineteenth century. Dissociation, 2, 160-168.

Reviews examples of state-specific psychophysiology in nineteenth century reports of dissociative disorders. These cases occurred in the context of rapid developments both in neurology and in the understanding of phenomena suggesting the possible influence of the mind, emotions, or psychological states on general health and specific bodily functions (e.g., the study of hypnosis and hysteria). It is argued that interest in such cases was part of a general concern with mind/body interactions. The explanations offered to account for these cases reflected different orientations to the mind/body problem prevalent during this era.

Friswell, Rena; McConkey, Kevin M. (1989). Hypnotically induced mood. Cognition and Emotion, 3 (1), 1-26.

This article addresses theoretical and methodological issues that are central to an understanding of hypnotically induced mood. Initially, the hypnotic procedures that are typically used to induce moods are examined. Then the empirical research that has employed hypnotic moods is reviewed; specifically, the impact of hypnotic moods on physiological responses, behavioural performance, perceptual and cognitive responses, and personality, and clinical processes is examined. Finally, major theoretical and methodological issues are highlighted, and the research directions that will lead to a greater understanding of hypnotic mood are specified.

Anderson, Edgar L.; Frischholz, Edward J.; Trentalange, Mark J. (1988). Hypnotic and nonhypnotic control of ventilation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 31, 118-128.

The present study examined the effects of: 1) breathing air versus breathing 5% CO2; 2) waking versus self-hypnotic conditions; and 3) neutral versus reduced respiratory rate instructions on four measures of ventilatory functioning (respiratory rate, tidal volume, expired minute ventilation, and end-tidal Pco2). Twelve high-hypnotizable normal volunteer subjects were studied in a repeated- measures, multivariate analysis of variance design; Significant main effects were observed

observed for each experimental condition, whereas none of the two or three way interactions proved noteworthy. Breathing 5% CO2 produced increased ventilatory functions (e.g., increased respiratory rate, tidal volume, expired minute ventilation, and end-tidal Pco2). Being in a state of self-hypnosis is associated with reduced respiratory rate, with a significant increase in expired minute ventilation and end-tidal Pco2, but with no significant increase in tidal volume. Finally, reduced respiratory rate instructions were effective in significantly reducing respiratory rate and expired minute ventilation when breathing 5% CO2 as evidenced by increases in end-tidal Pco2 levels that were used to monitor ventilation outcomes.

Colgan, S. M.; Faragher, E. B.; Whorwell, P. J. (1988, June 11). Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in relapse prevention of duodenal ulceration. Lancet, 1299-1300.

30 patients with rapidly relapsing duodenal ulceration were studied to assess the possible benefit of hypnotherapy in relapse prevention. After the ulcer had healed on treatment with ranitidine, the drug was continued for a further 10 weeks during which time patients received either hypnotherapy or no hypnotherapy. The two randomly selected groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, smoking habits, and alcohol consumption. Follow-up of both groups of patients was continued for 12 months after the cessation of ranitidine. After 1 year, 8 (53%) of the hypnotherapy patients and 15 (100%) of the control subjects had relapsed. The results of this study suggest that hypnotherapy may be a useful therapeutic adjunct for some patients with chronic recurrent duodenal ulceration.

“The aetiology of duodenal ulceration is poorly understood but it is probably multifactorial. … Stress, both psychological and physical, has since been shown to affect gastric emptying and the secretion of acid and pepsin, but attempts to causally link stress and peptic ulcer disease have produced conflicting results.
“Hypnotherapy can modify the response to betazole-stimulated gastric acid secretion, although the mechanism by which this is mediated remains unclear” (p. 1299).
“The active [treatment] group received 7 sessions of hypnotherapy and were given an audio tape for daily autohypnosis; the other group were seen as often, but did not receive any hypnotherapy. The ranitidine was then stopped and both groups were reviewed every 3 months for a further year, with the active group receiving hypnotherapy at their follow-up visits. All subjects had an endoscopy at the end of the study, or sooner if a symptomatic relapse occurred.
“Hypnosis was induced as previously described, with attention focused on the abdomen by the use of the patient’s hand. They were asked to imagine warmth beneath the hand and to relate this to the control of gastric secretion. Reinforcement by visualization was used if the patient had this ability” (p. 1299).
At the end of a year, on follow up, the patient relapse rate was 53% and controls relapse was 100%, a difference significant at p = 0.01.
In their Discussion, the authors state, “This study shows that hypnotherapy is helpful in maintaining remission in those patients with duodenal ulceration who are particularly prone to relapse. … In this model, hypnotherapy might operate at a variety of levels in the disease process: it could act in a nonspecific psychotherapeutic sense increasing ‘coping’ capacities and decreasing perceived stress. Alternatively, hypnotically induced relaxation may affect gastric acid secretion, and there is some experimental evidence for this.

“The early relapse rate in the hypnotherapy subjects was similar to that of controls, but subsequently the curves showed a much greater separation. This finding could indicate that there is a subgroup of subjects who are particularly response to therapy. However, a detailed review of psychological and clinical parameters did not reveal any specific feature that could be used to predict a response to this form of treatment” (pp. 1299-1300).
Current etiology of duodenal ulcers includes the presence of bacteria Helicobacter pylori which is important in relapse. In order to compare treatments we must know what is the status of each group regarding the presence of this bacteria. Current treatment of duodenal ulcer includes metronidazole, amoxicillin and tetraciclin to kill it. [Editor’s Note: This appears to be a critique of the research methodology rather than notes on the article itself.]

Davies, Peter (1988). Some considerations of the physiological effects of hypnosis. In Heap, Michael (Ed.), Hypnosis: Current clinical, experimental and forensic practices (pp. 61-67). London: Croom Helm Ltd.

This chapter reviews literature on physiological correlates of hypnosis, but these notes are limited to only one fact reported in the review. The author writes, ‘A recently completed, and as yet unpublished study by C. Gillett and H. D. Griffiths at Bradford University investigated the relation between hypnosis and classical conditioning of psychophysiological responses. In a complex design involving both normal conditioning and normal test trials and a repetition of both acquisition and test trials under hypnosis, they found not only suppression of the conditioned response but also suppression of skin conductance responses to the half-second bursts of a 115-dB tone used as the unconditioned stimulus. Not to produce a significant autonomic response to such an intrinsically aversive stimulus is a remarkable feat which is probably outside the repertoire of simulators. However, even such results are not conclusive as the design did not included simulator control groups nor even neutrally instructed non-hypnotized group’ (pp. 64-65 ).