In 1897 a California court refused to accept testimony of a Subject who had been hypnotized. People vs Eubanks.
The 1950’s Cornell case established that a person can be hypnotized for their own defense.
In 1963 the California supreme court ruled that a lower court made a mistake in not admitting testimony from someone who had been hypnotized.
In Harding (a Maryland case), the trauma victim, amnestic, was hypnotized one month later. The testimony was accepted. A 1983 Maryland appeals court overturned it, influenced by the California Shirley case.
In 1983 Hurd case, a victim, hypnotized, identified her husband as attacker. Lower court didn’t permit the testimony; then a higher court reversed it. The court issued what are known as the Hurd rules, governing testimony that is acceptable: 1. hypnotist is licensed psychologist or psychiatrist with training in hypnosis 2. hypnotist must be independent of both the prosecution and defense 3. all information given to the hypnotist about the case must be written 4. hypnotist must obtain a nonhypnotic account of the memory before hypnosis is used. 5. must have taped record of the hypnosis sessions (preferably videotaped) 6. only hypnotist and subject should be present in the room
Soon after, California had the Shirley case. The California court ruled hypnosis per se is unreliable because it produces confabulation. This decision had a chilling effect throughout the country for several years.
In 1987 we had Rock vs Arkansas, the first and only case involving hypnosis to come before the U. S. Supreme Court. Vicky Rock shot her husband. Under hypnosis, she remembered she did not have her finger on the trigger, and her husband grabbed her and shook her. Lower court wouldn’t admit the testimony of the gun expert, who testified the trigger was sensitive to jarring. Supreme Court ruled defendants (not necessarily others) could use hypnosis in their own defense.

ISSMPD Critical Issues Task Force (1992). The Critical Issues Task Force Report: The role of hypnosis and amytal interviews in the recovery of traumatic memories. MPD News, 10 (3), 6-9.

Opinions are provided by Nancy Hornstein, Putnam, and Ganaway.

Lohr, Jeffrey M.; Kleinknecht, Ronald A.; Conley, Althea T.; Dal Cerro, Steven; Schmidt, Joel; Sonntag, Michael E. (1992). A methodological critique of the current status of eye movement desensitization (EMD). Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.

Eye Movement Desensitization (EMD) has been recently advocated as a rapid treatment for the elimination of traumatic memories responsible for the maintenance of a number of anxiety disorders and their clinical correlates. Despite a limited conceptual framework, EMD has attracted considerable interest among clinicians and researchers. The popularity and interest generated by EMD will likely result in wide usage. We present a methodological critique of it with reference to assessment, treatment outcome, and treatment process. We also provide guidelines for judging the methodological adequacy of research on EMD and suggest intensive research to assess effectiveness, treatment components, and comparisons with other procedures.

Putnam, Frank W. (1992). Using hypnosis for therapeutic abreactions. Psychiatric Medicine, 10, 51-65.

Abreaction, the dramatic reliving of traumatic events under hypnosis, is a powerful therapeutic intervention useful in the treatment of victims of trauma. First systematically applied in World War I, abreaction coupled with psychotherapeutic processing of the recovered material is increasingly being used with victims of child abuse and chronic PTSD. Abreactions are helpful in recovering dissociated or repressed traumatic material, reconnecting missing affect with recalled material and for transforming traumatic memories. Although abreactions can be induced with medications, hypnosis is the method of choice except in acute situations where it is not possible to establish rapport. A variety of hypnotic techniques for the induction and management of abreaction are discussed, together with the indications and contraindications for their use.

Somerville, Wayne R.; Jupp, James J. (1992). Experimental evaluation of a brief ‘ideodynamic’ hypnotherapy applied to phobias. Contemporary Hypnosis, 9, 85-96.

This study used a test-retest design to investigate the effectiveness of a brief ‘ideodynamic’ hypnotherapy which notionally located and reformulated memories in the treatment of simple phobia disorder. Subjects were 19 phobics randomly assigned to treatment (n = 10) and waiting control groups (n = 9). Rapid, significant, and sustained relief from phobic fear and avoidance was reported by 50% of treatment subjects. A number of symptoms and therapy process variables were correlated with treatment outcome. These included a negative association with hypnotizability and a positive association with hypnotic depth estimates. The ramifications of these and other associations are discussed and it is concluded that the ‘ideodynamic approach’ investigated may have contributed a therapeutic effect beyond the operation of treatment non-specific factors.

Treatment consisted of: 1. Hypnotic induction. 2. Establishment of ideomotor signals described to clients as a means of communicating with the ‘inner unconscious mind’. 3. Beyond the first therapy session, a review of work done in previous sessions. 4. Gaining signaled permission from clients to work on their problem and for the ‘inner mind’ to review relevant memories. 5. Location of the ‘earliest critical event’ by the ‘inner mind’. 6. Review of the located memory by the ‘inner mind’. 7. Establishing age at the occurrence of the ‘critical’ event. 8. Ideomotor signaling indicating suitability of a visual imagoic processing of the event.
If visual processing was chosen, the dissociated viewing procedure (step 9A) was used next, otherwise the ego-state procedure (step 9B) was employed.
The authors describe each treatment step in detail. Each subject received at least two sessions of therapy, or a maximum of three sessions if signaling indicated the presence of further unresolved memories after two sessions.
They present a case illustrating that the approach is possible with minimally hypnotizable subjects, in the apparent absence of imagoic experience, ‘desensitization’, catharsis, unpleasant affect, talking through or ‘insight’.
“There was a positive correlation between changes in phobic fear and capacity for mental imagery which suggests that this may be one relevant variable in predicting response to memory reformulating therapy.
“There was a negative correlation between changes in fear and hypnotic responsiveness. So, successful therapeutic outcome was obviously not limited to highly hypnotizable subjects. Hypnotizability was assessed in a careful and standardized manner but testing was conducted 10 weeks following therapy. This meant that subjects had a substantial experience in hypnotherapy at assessment. Furthermore, at the time of assessment subjects were aware of the outcome of therapy and of the kinds of memories located during therapy. it has been suggested that an association between level of hypnotizedness achieved during treatment and outcome rather than an association between degree of hypnotizability possible during therapy and outcome, taps an hypnotic effect (Spiegel & Spiegel, 1978).
“All therapy sessions were of equal duration and, as the inductions were standardized, all subjects had an approximately equal opportunity to engage in memory reformulation. However, there were individual differences in the number of memories located and a strong significant association was found between reduced fear and the number of these critical memories that were dealt with. This result suggests that the therapeutic effect may have derived either from factors specific to the therapy cycle or from differing levels of motivation among subjects to undertake the necessary ‘work’.
“Maximum discomfort experienced during session two of treatment was negatively correlated with relief from phobic fears. This relationship may again reflect the influence of unresolved problematic memories on subjects who had not achieved relief by that time. It is clearly consistent with relief not being associated with painful abreaction.
“The therapy permitted a pervading privacy through the options of non- imaginative processing of recalled material (which was used by a substantial minority of subjects) and conscious withholding of the content of memories from the therapist (which was employed to a large extent by all subjects). Their reports indicated that this ‘privacy’ was seen as attractive by both successfully and unsuccessfully treated subjects. Taken with other results mentioned above these process findings suggest that the treatment studied stood up quite well against other brief but highly stressful exposure treatments for phobia currently in use (e.g. Ost, 1989).
“Further research needs to address the complex question as to what are the necessary and sufficient features of this procedure in producing therapeutic change. Unsolicited comments by subjects about their experience during treatment suggested that some of them were surprised by the ‘involuntary’ nature of their ideomotor signaling while others said that signaling was under their voluntary control. Some expressed surprise at the nature of the memories that came to them ‘suddenly’ during therapy. Some memories were of traumatic childhood experiences that were unexpected and considered to have ‘nothing to do with my phobia'” (pp 93-94).

Terr, Lenore C. (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline and overview. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 10-20.

Suggests 4 characteristics common to most cases of childhood trauma: visualized or otherwise repeatedly perceived memories of the traumatic event; repetitive behaviors; trauma-specific fears; and changed attitudes about people, life, and the future. Childhood trauma is divided into 2 basic types. Type I trauma includes full, detailed memories, “omens,” and misperceptions while Type II trauma includes denial and numbing, self-hypnosis and dissociation, and rage. Characteristics of both types of childhood trauma can exist side by side. Such crossover Type I – Type II traumatic conditions of childhood are characterized by perceptual mourning and depression and childhood disfigurement, disability, and pain. Case examples are provided.

Van Der Kolk, Bessel; Van Der Hart, O. (1991). The intrusive past: The flexibility of memory and the engraving of trauma. American Imago, 48, 425-454.

Describes the work of Janet concerning narrative versus traumatic memory, dissociation, and subconscious fixed ideas. Janet (1904) believed PTSD patients suffer from a phobia for the traumatic memory. Repression and dissociation are distinguished. Contemporary concepts of memory processing and the concept of schemas are then reviewed. Finally, a model is presented about how the mind freezes some memories. Evidence for the involvement of autonomic hyperarousal, triggering, and state dependent learning in PTSD is reviewed. They conclude that helplessness and the inability of the PTSD victim to take action (psychological and physical immobilization) facilitates dissociation. Includes practical ideas for the working through of trauma.

“Traumatic memories are triggered by autonomic arousal … and are thought to be mediated via hyper-potentiated noradrenergic pathways originating in the locus coeruleus of the brain… The locus coeruleus is the ‘alarm bell’ of the central nervous system, which properly goes off only under situations of threat, but which, in traumatized people, is liable to respond to any number of triggering conditions akin to the saliva in Pavlov’s dogs. When the locus coeruleus alarm gets activated, it secretes noradrenaline, and, if rung repeatedly, endogenous opioids. These, in turn, dampen perception of pain, physical as well as psychological (van der Kolk et al. 1989). These neurotransmitters which are activated by alarm affect the hippocampus, the amygdala and the frontal lobes, where stress-induced neurochemical alterations affect the interpretation of incoming stimuli further in the direction of ’emergency’ and fight/flight responses” (p. 443).

Bonnano, George A. (1990). Remembering and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 27, 175-186.
Reviews some of the empirical literature demonstrating the reconstructive nature of memory. The notion that the memory trace can consist of different forms of information is integrated with J. S. Bruner’s (see PA, Vol 38:6801) tripartite model of representation, using the concepts of narrative and memory schemata. A case illustration demonstrates the pervasive organizing quality of the nuclear script and how, through such a structure, childhood events can hold a lasting impact on adult behavior. It is concluded that conceptual understanding can be translated into schematic terminology provided it is adequately modified to account for the reconstructive nature of memory.

Frankel, Fred H. (1990). Hypnotizability and dissociation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 823-829.

Describes the multidimensionality of hypnosis and hypnotizability. He also points to the lack of clarity regarding the concept of dissociation and the extent to which its roots lie in the clinical experience of hypnosis. The concept of dissociation increasingly preempts repression and other defense mechanisms in current nosological thinking. The author cautions against equating hypnosis scores with dissociative capacity and advocates a clearer elaboration of the term “dissociation.” Meanwhile, restraint in the use of the term “dissociation” is recommended.

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

Spiegel, David; Cardena, Etzel (1990, October). New uses of hypnosis in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Supplement), 51, 39-43.

Vietnam veterans with PTSD and those abused as children have above average hypnotizability. Hypnosis provides controlled access to memories that may otherwise be kept out of consciousness. New uses of hypnosis with PTSD victims involve coupling access to the dissociated traumatic memories with positive restructuring of those memories. Hypnosis can be used to help patients face and bear a traumatic experience by embedding it in a new context, acknowledging helplessness during the event, and yet linking that experience with remoralizing memories, such as efforts at self-protection, shared affection with friends who were killed, or the ability to control the environment at other times. In this way, hypnosis can be used to provide controlled access to memories that are then placed into a broader perspective. Patients can be taught self-hypnosis techniques that allow them to work through and thereby reduce spontaneous, unbidden, intrusive recollections.

Eisen, Marlene R. (1989). Return of the repressed: Hypnoanalysis of a case of total amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 37 (2), 107-119.

A case study is presented of a woman suffering from global amnesia so profound that she had lost all sense of personal identity. Hypnotherapy was used to establish, through imagery, a solid inner core on which to rebuild a sense of self. From the image of a strong column on which rested a book with a golden lock (her history), to reading about other lives, books and stories were utilized to establish a safe external environment in which the reawakening of repressed memories was not longer perceived as dangerous. A discussion of relevant literature on the subjects of global amnesia, loss of personal identity, and post-traumatic stress is offered as a basis for discussing the present case.

Van der Kolk, Bessel A.; Van der Hart, O. (1989). Pierre Janet and the breakdown of adaptation in psychological trauma. American Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 1530-1540.

Reviews Janet’s investigations into mental processes that transform traumatic experiences into psychopathology. He was the first to systematically study dissociation as the crucial psychological process with which the organism reacts to overwhelming experiences and show that traumatic memories may be expressed as sensory perceptions, affect states, and behavioral reenactments. Janet provided a broad framework that unifies into a larger perspective the various approaches to psychological functioning which have developed along independent lines in this century. Today his integrated approach may help clarify the interrelationships among such diverse topics as memory processes, state-dependent learning, dissociative reactions, and posttraumatic psychopathology.

Pettinati, Helen M. (1988). Hypnosis and memory. New York and London: Guilford Press.

From a review in British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 7, 175- 178, by Vernon H. Gregg]:
Book has 5 sections: 1. method, theory 2. mechanisms of memory enhancement 3. hypnotic and other forms of reversible amnesia 4. clinical uses of hypnosis for increasing accessibility of memories and fantasies 5. Summary
The chapter by Martin Orne et al presents a comprehensive review. Perry, Lawrence, d’Eon and Tallant contribute a lively assessment of age regression procedures in the elicitation of inaccessible memories. They provide a description of procedures, a brief historical review, and discuss problems of confabulation and creation of pseudomemories. Their account is illustrated by clinical and forensic examples and gives an interesting account of belief in reincarnation in terms of source amnesia.
Section 3 has Hollander’s chapter on hysteria and memory, which illustrates the concept of reversibility of amnesia with two types of hysterical conditions: one of these types, the dissociative disorders, has the potential for amnesia to be reversed but the other, histrionic personality disorders, is characterized by no reversibility.
In the section on clinical studies of memory enhancement Frankel and Kolb both accept that uncovering repressed memories and fantasies is therapeutically beneficial and that the faithfulness of recovered memories is often not important for therapeutic success. Frankel illustrates the usefulness of hypnosis with several case studies. But he thinks that clinical issues are dealt with too briefly in this book. In her summary chapter Pettinati points to the dearth of systematic research into the effectiveness of hypnosis in clinical settings.

Terr, Lenore C. (1988). What happens to early memories of trauma? A study of twenty children under age five at the time of documented traumatic events. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 96-104.

The verbal and behavioral remembrances of 20 children who suffered psychic trauma before age 5 were compared with documentations of the same events. Ages 28 to 36 months, at the time of the trauma, serves as an approximate cutoff point separating those children who can fully verbalize their past experiences from those who can do so in part or not at all. Girls appear better able than boys to verbalize parts of traumas from before ages 28 to 36 months. Short, single traumas are more likely to be remembered in words. At any age, however, behavioral memories of trauma remain quite accurate and true to the events that stimulated them.

This article is relevant to those working with PTSD and in age regression.

Kunzendorf, Robert G.; Benoit, Michelle (1985-86). Spontaneous post-hypnotic amnesia and spontaneous rehypnotic recovery in repressors. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 5 (4), 303-310.

The Salpetriere school of hypnosis posited that _true_ hypnotic effects occur spontaneously in people with repressive tendencies. Consistent with this early position, the current study indicates that both spontaneous amnesia after hypnosis and spontaneous recovery during rehypnosis are statistically associated with repression (but not with hypnotic suggestibility). In contrast, both suggested forgetting and suggested recovery are statistically associated with hypnotic suggestibility (but not with repression). Whereas the latter effects of suggestibility are attributable to the demand characteristics of hypnotic suggestions, the spontaneous effects of hypnosis on repressors’ memories are not reducible to social psychological principles.

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.

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).

Stam, Henderikus J.; Radtke-Bodorik, Lorraine; Spanos, Nicholas P. (1980). Repression and hypnotic amnesia: A failure to replicate and an alternative formulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89 (4), 551-559.

In an attempt to replicate and extend a study by S. R. Clemes, 2 groups of 10 undergraduate hypnotic Ss learned a list of 18 words and were given an amnesia suggestion telling them they would be able to remember only 10 of these words. Half of the list words were critical (i.e., considered to be related to repressed conflictual material) and half were neutral (unrelated to conflictual material) as determined by Ss’ responses to a word association test. Experimental Ss received their own critical and neutral words and yoked control Ss received the critical and neutral words of experimental Ss. Neither the experimental nor the yoked control group exhibited selective amnesia in favor of critical words, thus constituting a failure to replicate Clemes’s result. However, variables affecting the degree to which words were initially learned (e.g., imagery value, serial position) predicted their resistance to amnesia. These findings are inconsistent with a repression hypothesis but congruent with an inattention hypothesis of suggested amnesia. (41 ref).

Kleinhauz, Moris; Dreyfuss, Daniel A.; Beran, Barbara; Goldberg, Tova; Azikri, David (1979). Some after-effects of stage hypnosis: A case study of psychopathological manifestations. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27, 219-226.

Some deleterious effects of stage hypnosis are described through a case report. A middle-aged respected member of a kibbutz who became the subject of an evening’s entertainment by a stage hypnotist suffered a posttraumatic neurosis. The stage hypnotist, unaware of her traumatic childhood during World War II when she and her sister were hidden by Gentiles, requested her to regress to that age. This reactivated a former successfully repressed trauma and acted as a precipitating factor to the development of a traumatic neurosis which was left untreated. She was self-referred for adequate psychiatric treatment 11 years ater. This treatment successfully restored her to an adequate level of functioning.

Shipley, R. H.; Butt, J. H.; Horowitz, B.; Farbry, J. E. (1978). Preparation for a stressful medical procedure: Effect of amount of stimulus preexposure and coping style. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 499-507.

Anxiety during the stressful medical procedure of endoscopy was studied as a function of the number of prior viewings of an explicit preparation videotape and of repression-sensitization coping style. Sixty naive patients viewed a videotaped endoscopy either zero, one, or three times. Dependent measures included heart rate, behavioral ratings, tranquilizer required, and self-report. On each dependent measure, three viewings generally resulted in the least distress; one, more distress; and zero, the most distress. Most comparisons reached statistical significance. These results are interpreted as resulting from extinction and/or habituation of anxiety. The repression-sensitization factor interacted with heart rate change. Sensitizers showed a monotonic decrease in heart rate as a function of number of tape exposures. Repressors showed an inverted-U-shaped function, with one viewing producing the highest heart rate; this is interpreted as resulting from a disruption of repressing defenses by one tape exposure followed by extinction of fear by three exposures.

Galin, David (1974). Implications for psychiatry of left and right cerebral specialization: A neurophysiological context for unconscious processes. Archives of General Psychiatry, 31 (4), 572-583.

A brief review is presented of hemispheric specialization for different cognitive modes, and of the symptoms that follow disconnection of the two hemispheres by commissurotomy. Our present knowledge of the hemispheres’ cognitive specialization and potential for independent functioning provides a framework for thinking about the interaction of cognitive structures, defensive maneuvers, and variations in awareness. Parallels are noted between some aspects of the mental processes of the disconnected right hemisphere and some aspects of primary process thinking and repression. The hypothesis is proposed that in normal intact people mental events in the right hemisphere can become disconnected functionally from the left hemisphere (by inhibition of neuronal transmission across the cerebral commissures), and can continue a life of their own. This hypothesis suggests a neurophysiological mechanisms for at least some instances of repression and an anatomical locus for the unconscious mental contents.

Cedercrentz, C. (1972). The big mistakes: A note. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 20, 15-16.

: In his book, A System of Medical Hypnosis, Ainslie Meares writes, “Most books on hypnosis, from Bernheim to the present time, devote a great deal of space to the description of successful and dramatic cures. These accounts may be of prestige value to the author, and may do something to inform the profession of the potential value of hypnosis in medicine, but these success stories are really of little help to those who would learn the technique of hypnotherapy because the emphasis is always on the success of the treatment rather than on anlysis of the psychodynamic mechanisms which brought it abauot. As in everything else, we learn most from a study of our failures [p. 3].” These comments remain as true today as they were ten years ago. With the notable exception of Meares, few colleagues have been willing to share their errors, allowing us to profit from their experience. Thus, when Dr. Cedercreutz sent along a note describing his experience with one of his patients, I was struck by his generosity, and it seemed most appropriate for all of us to share his experience by way of the Journal. Hopefully, this may encourage other colleagues to share their failures as well as their successes so that all of us may learn to be more effective therapists and better scientists. M.T.O. [Martin Orne]

The case reported involves a patient who had migraine headache removed with hypnosis, but later developed gastrointestinal symptoms that were operated surgically with absence of positive (physical) pathology noted. Subsequent investigation of the psychological component of the problem with hypnosis revealed an early trauma (seeing a soldier killed with a bayonette) that led to migraine-like pain in the head and vomiting

Fromm, Erika (1970). Age regression with unexpected reappearance of a repressed childhood language. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 18, 79-88.

Describes the case of a 26-yr-old, 3rd-generation Japanese-American who thought he knew no Japanese. When hypnotically age-regressed to levels below age 4, he spontaneously and unexpectedly spoke Japanese, while only English was spoken at the adult and age-regression levels above 4 yr. The psychodynamics of the S”s repression of the childhood language and questions pertaining to the nature and theory of age regression are discussed. (Spanish & German summaries) (16 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

Raginsky, Bernard B. (1969). Hypnotic recall of aircrash cause. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 1-19.

Discusses the use of hypnotic techniques to help a 33-yr-old male recall suppressed material which implicated him in an aircrash. The cause was found after 2 short hypnotic sessions, where other methods used over 2 years had failed. The method can be used in all cases of amnesia. The S was made to hallucinate a threatening situation, and his hallucination gave a clue to the basic problem. He was then made to hallucinate a pleasant scene, which gave an indication of the method he used to escape from the problem. This was repeated at the 2nd session for confirmation. If the patient did not bring up the required material by free association under hypnosis, a dissociation of the personality induced in which the observing ego watched what the experiencing ego was doing to cause the accident. The results demonstrated that hypnotic techniques were more successful than sodium amytal interviews, free association, psychiatric interviews, physical and emotional isolation, pressure by authorities, and kindness of friends. Reference was made to the problems involved when the interests of the S were in conflict with public safety. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

O’Connell, D. N. (1966). Selective recall of hypnotic susceptibility items: Evidence for repression or enhancement?. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2, 150-161.

5 samples of Ss given initial standardized tests of hypnotic susceptibility were analyzed for posthypnotic item recall. All samples showed evidence of selective recall favoring passed items compared to failed items. 4 samples however, showed greater selectivity among the low-scoring Ss, contrary to previous report. This evidence is interpreted as favoring an interpretation of selective recall in terms of an enhancement rather than a repression model. Intersample differences in pattern of recall are stressed. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Stross, L. (1966). Impulse-defense implications in a case of amnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2, 89-103.

An 18-yr-old girl with a delinquent history leading to several suicide attempts and a fugue is described as she was observed during shifting phases of her amnesic syndrome. Using the case study as a research tool, it is suggested that alteration of ego state might be an archaic, primitive means of defense against relatively unneutralized, intense drives. More speculative are the propositions, generated from this case, that the ego could employ different defensive means with regard to libidinal and aggressive drives and that alteration of ego state might be a specific defense against aggression. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Halpern, Seymore (1965). Body-image symbols of repression. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (2), 83-91.

Hypnointrospection, a method of hypnoanalysis which emphasizes self-perception during voluntary immobilization, is of demonstrable value in the elucidation of the problem of body-image. Hypnointrospective fragments of a case history showing the reorganization of the body-image during therapy are presented. The sequence of body-image phenomena is interpreted as an expression of attitudinal compromises among conflicting wishes implemented through neuromuscular channels. The continuous reorganization of the physical self as perceived by the patient during hypnointrospective analysis appears to be of significance for a general theory of body-image. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

LeCron, Leslie M. (1963). Uncovering early memories by ideomotor responses to questioning. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 11, 137-142.

The author argues for the veridicality of birth and prenatal memories elicited by hypnosis, and in any event states they are therapeutically useful fantasies. He also advocates use of ideomotor signalling as a means of access to unconscious material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Dorcus, Roy M. (1960). Recall under hypnosis of amnestic events. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 8 (1), 57-61.

The author reported on hypnosis work with eight cases, four dealing with attempts to recall misplaced or lost articles and four dealing with recall of information related to the commission of crimes. He concluded “that recall is not greatly improved under hypnosis. However, when strong emotional elements surround the events to be recalled some additional information may be secured” (p. 60).

Erickson, Milton H. (1955). Self-exploration in the hypnotic state. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3 (1), 49-57.

A medical student who was interested in psychiatry and specifically in the question of whether one could in hypnosis remember something from earlier life that had been forgotten participated in an experiment. In hypnosis he was given instructions that amounted to permissive suggestions that he would be able to complete that task. Following about 30 minutes of silence he reported feeling fear, appeared as if he would vomit, went through a series of extreme negative emotions (reporting that he still did not have the significant memory), and requested that he be awakened. After resting 10 minutes he spontaneously returned to the somnambulistic level and then again went through extreme emotions, reporting that he had the memory but feared forgetting it again when he awoke. The author indicated that after awakening he would know whether or not he wanted to recall the memory. In the waking state, with support and indirect suggestions, the student gradually recalled a traumatic memory of childhood aggression and its consequences. Following that disclosure, some ideosyncratic problems in medical school (e.g. difficulty with dermatology) more or less disappeared.

LeCron, Leslie M. (1954). A hypnotic technique for uncovering unconscious material. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2, 76-79. (Abstracted in Psychological Abstracts, 54: 7497)

“Summary. A technique is given whereby unconscious material and information may be learned under hypnosis through automatic movements of the fingers, or of Chevreul’s pendulum. The movements are controlled by the unconscious mind of the patient. Questions are asked which can be answered either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ With most people the movements of the pendulum can even be elicited in the waking state. Essentially, the method is a variation of automatic writing with movements substituted for writing. A brief case history is given wherein knowledge was gained in this way as to the causes for severe menstrual pains” (p. 79).


Barabasz, Arreed F.; Barabasz, Marianne (1995, November). What we can do about it: Combining the expertise of clinicians and experimentalists. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, San Antonio, TX.

Bowers’ study in which post hypnotic suggestion to touch ear, given by the secretary outside the laboratory, was followed by the high hypnotizables and not the lows was described.