Sweeney, Carol A.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Bellezza, Francis S. (1986). Hypnosis, hypnotizability, and imagery-mediated learning. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 29-40.

The relationship between hypnotizability, imagery utilization ability, and hypnosis was examined in a study described to Ss (N = 157) as an ‘imagery experiment.’ In Session 1, the Tellegen Absorption Scale (Tellegen, 1976) was completed and the imagery-mediated paired-associate learning task was administered as a baseline measure. In Session 2, either hypnosis, task motivation, or no treatment instructions were administered and the learning task was repeated with a different word list (each 15 high, 15 low imagery pairs). In Session 3, the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A (Shor & E. C. Orne, 1962) was administered. Overall, recall was superior for high imagery words. Hypnotizability was not associated with imagery-mediated recall. Recall performance, however, was correlated with Tellegen Absorption Scale scores. Interestingly, learning and recall performance decreased between Sessions 1 and 2 for hypnotized Ss but remained the same for task motivated and control Ss. The decrease in performance was mediated by less concern for performance and diminished anxiety. Self- reports of imagery utilization did not differ among groups of Ss.

The authors review literature on the relationship between hypnotizability, hypnosis, and imagery abilities, noting that results are conflicting. One reason for differing results may be that imagery scales are self-report measures, subject to reporting bias of varying types. The imagery-mediated paired-associate learning paradigm, using high and low imagery paired associates, may address that reporting bias issue.
This investigation used 157 Ss grouped into high (9-12), medium (5-8), and low (0-4) hypnotizability levels on the basis of the Harvard Scale. Given the fact that high imagery words are usually recalled more easily than low imagery words (Paivio, 1971), a relationship observed between hypnotizability and imagery-mediated recall would elucidate the role of imagery utilization for memory functions.
The experimental conditions included hypnosis, task motivation, and a no treatment control condition, in order to evaluate the possible enhancement effects of hypnosis on imagery utilization for memory functions. The task motivation group was included to control for motivational factors, and the no treatment control condition to control for the practice effects of repeated testing.
The word pair stimuli were from Paivio et al (1968): 30 pairs consisting of 15 high and 15 low imagery noun pairs. Each Subject participated in three experimental sessions.
Session 1. Ss were told that they were in an experiment on imagery to remember pairs of words. They completed the Tellegen Absorption Scale, then were given instructions for using imagery for recalling words, and for rating vividness and clarity of each image immediately after it was formed. Finally they performed the learning task.
Session 2. Ss received either hypnosis, task motivation instructions (“try to form good interacting images of the word pairs” with exhortation to score as high as possible), or control (Like Session 1). No one in hypnosis group refused the induction (despite the fact that they were not forewarned in Session 1 that the experiment might involve hypnosis). Ss completed a questionnaire on the percentage of word pairs they used images to remember, how easy it was to block out or ignore distractions, how vivid and clear were images of words during recall, how concerned they were about their performance, and how much anxiety, if any, they experienced during the experiment.
Session 3. The Harvard Scale was administered. Three Ss declined to participate in the Harvard Scale administration.
The results were analyzed with a 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 repeated-measures ANOVA: hypnotizability, instruction (hypnotic induction, task motivation, no treatment), session (1 and 2), and pair imagery (high and low). The expected enhanced memory performance of high hypnotizables with high imagery words in the hypnosis condition did not emerge in the results. However, the expected stimulus-imagery effect was observed (a higher proportion of high imagery words than low imagery words recalled). The expected higher imagery ratings for hypnotized high hypnotizable Ss also was not found. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction effect for recall session by hypnotizability: low hypnotizable Ss rated imagery less vivid in Session 2 than in Session 1, while highs rated it more vivid in Session 2 than in Session 1. Thus, low hypnotizable Ss’ imagery ratings actually decreased between Recall Session 1 and 2, while high hypnotizable Ss’ imagery ratings increased between Recall Session 1 and 2.
While the Absorption Scale correlated with the Harvard (.28, p <.001) and with various measures of recall, hypnotizability did not correlate with any of the recall measures. The questionnaires administered during Session 2 suggested that hypnotized Ss were less concerned and anxious than the no treatment control Ss, and less concerned than the Ss receiving task motivation instructions.
In their Discussion, the authors speculate that the strong stimulus-imagery effects might have made it unlikely for them to find differences between high, medium, and low hypnotizable Ss in imagery-based paired associate learning. They suggest including word pairs that range across the continuum of imagery ratings in future research. They also speculate that differences between hypnotizability levels might be found (as ‘T Hoen reported in 1978 publication) if Ss were required to respond in a shorter time interval, or if hypnotizability were measured by a scale with more cognitive items than the Harvard Scale–both conditions in ‘T Hoen’s research protocol.
“The most striking finding of the present research is that instead of facilitating performance in an imagery-mediated recall task, hypnosis resulted in a decrement in recall relative to control conditions. In the hypnotic condition, the amount of learning actually decreased from one session to the next (waking-hypnosis) but remained equivalent in the task motivation (waking-task motivation) and no treatment groups (waking-waking)” (p. 37). The authors note that it is not possible to determine from their research design wither hypnosis interfered with the learning task, the retrieval task, or both.
“The findings suggest that hypnotizability may be related to reported vividness and clarity of imagery but unrelated to the actual ability to utilize imagery in an imagery- mediated paired-associate learning task. … Although high hypnotizables’ self-report ratings of imagery and vividness increased, their recall performance was not accordingly enhanced. The disparity between subjective and objective measures underscores the importance of including both types of measures in studies of imagery abilities” (pp. 37- 38).
To a considerable degree, this study controlled for Ss’ expectancies regarding hypnosis better than some earlier studies. This study differs from earlier research in that (1) Experimenters didn’t test hypnotizability prior to the imagery-mediation task; and (2) the study was defined as an experiment on imagery, and hypnosis was not mentioned until just before the induction in Session 2.
“In conclusion, the present results indicate that, under certain conditions, hypnosis may decrease Ss’ motivation and performance. No support was provided for the ability of hypnosis to facilitate imagery utilization and performance on an imagery-mediated task. The results are compatible with the views proferred [sic] by theoreticians who have emphasized the importance of expectancies and the experimental context (e.g., Barber, 1979; Coe & Sarbin, 1977; M. T. Orne, 1951, 1959; Spanos, 1982)” (p. 38).

Brodsky, Annette M.; McNeil, Daniel W. (1984). Hypnotizability and volunteering for hypnosis experiments. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 26, 206-211.

A class of 145 college students was given Barber’s Creative Imagination Scale (CIS) and Spiegel’s Eye Roll Sign, and later given several opportunities to volunteer for research projects, some of which specified hypnosis was involved. Those S’s who volunteered for the hypnosis experiments took the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotizability (HGSHS). Hypnosis volunteers differed from the non- hypnosis volunteers by significantly higher grades and more total experimental volunteerism, but were no significantly different on the CIS or Eye Roll Sign. In general, nonwhites scored higher on the CIS. Among hypnosis volunteers, there was a low negative correlation between the Harvard Consciousness scale and volunteering for experiments other than hypnosis.

Friedman, Howard; Taub, Harvey A. (1982). Accessibility: A necessary control for studies of essential hypertension. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 30, 4-8.

A study which was planned to compare the relative effects of relaxation and hypnosis upon essential hypertension also offered the opportunity to replicate some of the findings of a previous investigation. A failure in such replication led to consideration of the effect of accessibility to the laboratory, a variable not typically controlled. A significant differential effect of easy versus hard access was observed.

Timney, Brian N.; Barber, Theodore X. (1969). Hypnotic induction and oral temperature. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 17, 121-132.

Measured oral temperature in 19 Ss under hypnotic and control conditions. Confirming a study by A. F. Reid and G. Curtsinger (see 42:10), the hypnotic induction procedure gave rise to a significant increase in oral temperature (p < .01). This significant rise was due to the data of 10 of the 19 Ss, 6 did no change and 3 dropped in temperature. The temperature change was not related to Ss” responsiveness to suggestions or to their testimony that they were or were not hypnotized. Although good and poor hypnotic Ss manifested the same degree of temperature rise, there was a tendency for those who had the least previous hypnotic experience to show the greatest rise. Data suggest a hypothesis for further research: oral temperature rises during hypnotic induction to the extent that Ss perceive the hypnotic situation apprehensively, i.e., as mysterious or foreboding. (Spanish & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Goss, Allen; Morosko, Tom (1968). Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A: Score distribution of volunteer subjects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 237-242.

Investigates the applicability of the reported norms of the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form A to a population which differs from the normative sample. 40 “true volunteer” dental students were found to score well above the 533 “volunteer” normative sample due mainly to the reduced percentages of low hypnotic susceptibility Ss. The effects of schooling, volunteering, and implications concerning the relationship between personality and hypnotic susceptibility in the volunteer sample are discussed. (French & German summaries) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Cooper, Leslie M.; Pedersen, Darhl M. (1965). A note on the failure to find personality differences between volunteers and nonvolunteers for hypnotic research. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (4), 274-278.

Personality measures were administered to 136 students in an introductory psychology class at Brigham Young University. 30 Ss subsequently volunteered to have their hypnotic susceptibility assessed. There were no significant differences found between the means of the resulting 23 variables for the 30 volunteers and 106 nonvolunteers. 2 variables (age and ego strength) showed significantly different variances for the 2 groups, but these may be attributed to chance because of the number of significance tests made. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Zamansky, H. S.; Brightbill, R. F. (1965). Attitude differences of volunteers and nonvolunteers and of susceptible and nonsusceptible hypnotic subjects. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13 (4), 279-290.

A form of the Semantic Differential, containing 9 concepts related to hypnosis and research, was administered to 96 hypnotically inexperienced male Ss. The Ss were later asked to volunteer for a hypnotic experiment, and the hypnotic susceptibility of all volunteers (N = 51) was then determined. Semantic Differential responses of volunteers and nonvolunteers and of highly susceptible and unhypnotizable Ss were compared. Differences between groups, in both comparisons, were generally not statistically significant, a finding which suggests that there is no simple relationship between paper-and-pencil measures of attitudes and volunteering for hypnotic experiments or hypnotizability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Anderson, Milton L.; Sarbin, T. R. (1964). Base rate expectations and motoric alterations in hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12 (3), 147-158.

Degree of responsiveness to “suggestion” in an experiment which did not utilize hypnotic induction (the Berkeley Sample) was comparable to that obtained in an experiment which did utilize hypnotic induction (the Stanford Sample). Procedural differences between the 2 experiments–self-scoring vs. objective-scoring, and group vs. individual testing–were regarded as not crucial in making a comparison of the 2 experiments. The distribution of responses in the Berkeley Sample may be taken as the base rate. The slightly higher degree of responsiveness over the base rate in the Stanford Sample (on some tests) may be attributed to the “degree of volunteering” that characterized the sample. The importance for experiments in the future to create equal levels of motivation and expectation to perform well under both the hypnotic and the nonhypnotic conditions is stressed, and brief mention is made of a new metaphor to be used in the conceptualization of the problems of hypnosis. (25 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Melei, Janet P.; Hilgard, Ernest R. (1964). Attitudes toward hypnosis, self-predictions, and hypnotic susceptibility. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 12, 99-108.

Correlation of questionnaire results from a sample of 1326 students with hypnotic susceptibility scores of 340 of these later hypnotized showed (a) that those volunteering for hypnosis were more favorable in attitude than those who did not volunteer; (b) attitudes toward hypnosis were predictive of susceptibility for females, not for males; and (c) self-predictions yielded significant low positive correlations with actual susceptibility for both sexes. Other findings concern differences between those having prior experience with hypnosis and those without such experience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Rosenhan, D. L.; Tomkins, S. S. (1964). On preference for hypnosis and hypnotizability. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 109-114.

44 male and 44 female coerced volunteers, who either preferred or did not prefer to participate in hypnosis experiments, were compared with regard to (a) scores on the EPPS, (b) birth order, and (c) performance on the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility. Sex-specific personality differences were obtained between Ss who preferred and did not prefer hypnosis, but these personality differences were not apparently relevant to hypnotizability. However, for females, preference for hypnosis correlated .41 with hypnotizability; for males no relationship was obtained. Some theoretical and methodological implications of these data are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Levitt, Eugene E.; Lubin, B.; Zuckermann, M. (1962). The effect of incentives on volunteering for an hypnosis experiment. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 10 (1), 39-42.

The data indicated that neither education about hypnosis nor payment for participating in an experiment are likely to bias a student volunteer group for an hypnotic experiment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

London, Perry; Cooper, Leslie M.; Johnson, Harold J. (1962). Subject characteristics in hypnosis research. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 13-21.

Items of experiences, interests, and attitudes, in London”s Survey, tended to cluster among themselves, suggesting a separate factor for each. The items were compared to several objective tests, but correlations were low. The Survey and Shor”s Personal Experiences Questionnaire combined, correlated .64 with Stanford Scale A, suggesting the possible development of a paper-and-pencil predictor of hypnotic suggestability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

London, Perry (1961). Subject characteristics in hypnosis research: Part I. A survey of experience, interest, and opinion. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 151-161.

Questionnaire measuring (a) direct and observational experience with hypnosis, and (b) stereotyped attitudes towards hypnosis was administered to 645 undergraduate students of psychology. Results indicate hypnosis considered in generally favorable light. Girls were less willing than boys to be hypnotic Ss. Items regarding the nature of hypnosis reflected a rather sophisticated attitude. From Psyc Abstracts 36:01:3II51L. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)

Martin, R. M.; Marcuse, F. L. (1957). Characteristics of volunteers and non-volunteers for hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 5 (4), 176-180.

103 introductory psychology students were tested with the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, the Levinson Ethnocentrism Scale (score already on file), and the Bernreuter Prsonality Inventory. Later a request for volunteers for an experiment dealing with hypnosis was made (with no reward promised). A week later the same experimenter informed the class that due to a redesign of the experiment, it was necessary to go through the request for volunteers again (a reliability check for volunteering).
“Discussion and Conclusion. There were significant differences between volunteers and nonvolunteers on the variables of intelligence, anxiety, ethnocentrism, dominance-submission, and sociability. Volunteers for hypnosis as a group were found to have a higher mean intelligence score and to be less ethnocentric than nonvolunteers. Male volunteers for hypnosis were _more_ and not, as commonly supposed, _less_ dominant in face-to-face relations and _less_ and not, as commonly supposed, _more_ anxious than nonvolunteers. Female volunteers tend to be more solitary and independent. The very fact that no significant differences were found in any comparison between volunteers and nonvolunteers for hypnosis in self-sufficiency and introversion-extroverson is considered important in that popular belief suggests the contrary.
” … The data from this study, far from supporting the popular image of the hypnotic subject in terms of inferiority, might be argued to suggest superiority” (p. 178).


Edser, Stuart J (2002, March). Hypnotically-facilitated counter-conditioning of anticipatory nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy: A case study.. Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 23 (1), 18-30.

Presents an account of a cancer patient who suffers from severe anticipatory nausea and vomiting in the lead-up to chemotherapy treatment. The paper briefly contextualises the symptomatology of the presenting problem in the behavioural and hypnotic literature and recounts the rationale and methods that the writer used in assisting the patient to overcome the problem. Counter-conditioning was used to desensitise the patient to the aversive stimuli and hypnosis used to enhance this effect and to facilitate the final outcome.

LaGrone, Randy G. (1993). Hypnobehavioral therapy to reduce gag and emesis with a 10-year-old pill swallower. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 36, 132-136.

10-year-old child experienced severe nausea and psychogenic vomiting that resulted in refusal to take oral medication in pill form. The youngster was treated with hypnobehavioral therapy consisting of mental imagery, relaxation, direct suggestion, adaptive self-talk, self-monitoring, and self-reinforcement. The child’s parents were instructed to reinforce approximations of successful pill swallowing while withdrawing attention for avoidance, whining, gagging, and vomiting. A one-year follow-up revealed successful pill swallowing without significant distress.

Levitan, Alexander A. (1992). The use of hypnosis with cancer patients. Psychiatric Medicine, 10, 119-131.

Hypnosis has proven to be extremely valuable in the treatment of cancer patients. Specific applications include: establishing rapport between the patient and members of the medical health team; control of pain with self-regulation of pain perception through the use of glove anesthesia, time distortion, amnesia, transference of pain to a different body part, or dissociation of the painful part form the rest of the body; controlling symptoms, such as, nausea, anticipatory emesis, learned food aversions, etc.; psychotherapy for anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, hostility, frustration, isolation, and a diminished sense of self-esteem; visualization for health improvement; and, dealing with death anxiety and other related issues. Hypnosis has unique advantages for patients including improvement of self-esteem, involvement in self-care, return of locus of control, lack of unpleasant side effects, and continued efficacy despite continued use.

Walker, Leslie G. (1992). Hypnosis with cancer patients. American Journal of Preventative Psychiatry & Neurology, 3, 42-49.

Overviews the uses of hypnosis with cancer, for example to ameliorate side effects of treatment, help patients adjust to having cancer and its symptoms, reduce the distress caused by painful procedures, and to attempt to alter mechanisms of immunity with a view to improving prognosis. Studies in these areas are reviewed.

Burish, Thomas G.; Snyder, Susan L.; Jenkins, Richard A. (1991). Preparing patients for cancer chemotherapy: Effect of coping preparation and relaxation interventions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59 (4), 518-525.

60 cancer chemotherapy patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: (a) relaxation training with guided relaxation imagery (RT), (b) general coping preparation package (PREP), (c) both RT and PREP, or (d) routine clinic treatment only. All patients were assessed on self-report, nurse observation, family observation, and physiological measures and were followed for 5 sequential chemotherapy treatments. Results indicate that the PREP intervention increased patients’ knowledge of the disease and its treatment, reduced anticipatory side effects, reduced negative affect, and improved general coping. RT patients showed some decrease in negative affect and vomiting, but not as great as in past studies. The data suggest that relatively simple, 1-session coping preparation intervention can reduce many different types of distress associated with cancer chemotherapy and may be more effective than often-used behavioral relaxation procedures.

Madrid, Antonio D.; Barnes, Susan v.d.H. (1991). A hypnotic protocol for eliciting physical changes through suggestions of biochemical responses. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 122-128.

We employed brief hypnotherapy to effect physical changes in patients suffering from medical disorders including allergies, rectal bleeding, systemic lupus, hyperemesis, headache, asthma, and chronic pain. We present, in language appropriate to the individual patient, considerations and suggestions to effect the release of healing biochemicals. Ideomotor signals indicated the patient’s awareness of the healing. We hypothesize that the technique triggered novel state-dependent memory, learning, and behavior.

They hypothesize that the technique they use triggers novel state-dependent memory, learning, and behavior (See for example Rossi, 1987, and Rossi & Cheek, 1988).
Hypnotic Protocol: “1. Tell the patient that he can heal himself by allowing his body to supply its own biochemicals needed to make him well. If a specific biochemical is known, such as cortisone or endorphins, name it. “2. Hypnotize the patient. Resistant or hard to hypnotize patients need not be deeply hypnotized because the patients, using this protocol, will automatically go into trance while accomplishing the next task of accessing and using ideomotor signals (Erickson, 1980; Rossi & Cheek, 1988). “3. Tell the patient that his index finger will automatically and involuntarily twitch and float when his body releases the biochemicals he needs. This ideomotor response (Rossi & Cheek, 1988) is the sole physical response required of the patient. Rossi hypothesizes that the ideomotor response correlates with biochemical changes (Rossi & Cheek, 1988). “4. Next, ask the patient to consider some things (as described below). Present the considerations one after another until one of them triggers the ideomotor response. “5. In some instances, ask the patient to practice on his own. Many patients who have dramatic emotional reactions during or at the completion of the task may not need to practice on their own” (p. 123).
They present several ‘considerations’ to the patient, one after the other, tailored to the patient’s specific case, until his finger twitches or floats, indicating a biochemical response. For example, the following ‘considerations’ have been used: “1. Psychodynamic: ‘Consider that you are not blamed for anything; that you are in fact perfect just the way you are; that you are loved by those you care about.’ ‘Consider that you can forgive whoever needs forgiving for hurting you.’ ‘Consider that there are no longer any threats; everything is better; everything is as it used to be.’ “2. Autosuggestion: ‘Tell your body to heal. It knows what to do; so ask it to do it.’ ‘Tell your adrenal glands to produce the steroids that your body needs.’ ‘Allow a glowing light to permeate that injured back, filling it with healing energy.’ “3. Incompatible responses: ‘Cover yourself with a cool breeze, cooling the injured leg.’ ‘Imagine your back getting slack and limp and relaxed.’ ‘Imagine your stomach lining becoming smooth and moving with easy, ocean-like waves.’ “4. Emotion calling: ‘Consider yourself feeling very happy with everything, for no reason at all.’ ‘Consider yourself getting angry at someone–your mother, your wife (husband), your boss, your lawyer.’ “5. Bargaining: ‘Tell yourself that you will heal if you agree to stay away from that job.’ ‘Tell yourself you will heal by allowing your right arm to begin to hurt when you are over- exerting yourself.’ ‘Tell yourself that you will heal in exchange for something else, not so serious, to replace this disease and to serve the same function'” (pp. 123-124).
They present seven cases involving, respectively, allergies, rectal bleeding, systemic lupus, hyperemesis of pregnancy, adult onset asthma, chronic pain, and cluster headaches. Two cases were particularly interesting because they represented patients who did not respond initially.
Their procedure involves reframing the state or emotion originally associated with the onset of disease using considerations, and then giving a suggestion that it is within the power of the person, rather than factors outside, to heal the body. First they instruct the patient that the body can heal itself; then they give the list of suggestions for the patient to consider, persisting with different considerations until they get an ideomotor response. Incorporation of the patient’s psychodynamic issues appears to be very important.
The authors regard it as unimportant if the patient cannot by hypnotized; “As Cheek (Cheek & LeCron, 1968; Rossi & Cheek, 1988) points out, the patient’s inability to be hypnotized may be synonymous with his disease. It is actually beneficial if the patient cannot achieve ideomotor responses at first because both he and the therapist then trust the validity of the response when it does occur after the appropriate consideration” (p. 127).

Zeltzer, Lonnie K.; Dolgin, M. J.; LeBaron, Samuel; LeBaron, C. (1991). A randomized, controlled study of behavioral intervention for chemotherapy distress in children with cancer. Pediatrics, 88, 34-42.

Subjects were randomly assigned to hypnosis, nonhypnotic distraction/relaxation, or attention placebo control. children in the hypnosis group reported the greatest reduction in both anticipatory and postchemotherapy symptoms. Distraction/relaxation kept symptoms from getting worse, but they did not get better, and the control children’s symptoms became much worse.

Morrow, Gary R. (1984). Appropriateness of taped versus live relaxation in the systematic desensitization of anticipatory nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 52 (6), 1098-1099.

Investigated the suggestion that the relaxation part of systematic desensitization–an effective treatment for the nausea and vomiting experienced by approximately 25% of cancer patients in anticipation of chemotherapeutic treatments– could be learned from a prerecorded audiotape prior to meeting a psychologist for treatment. 10 cancer patients who had developed anticipatory nausea or vomiting were assigned to either a live-relaxation or a tape-relaxation group. Results show that 4 of 5 Ss assigned to the tape-relaxation group experienced nausea while listening to the prerecorded audiotape, while none of the patients in the live-relaxation group reported nausea when subsequently listening to an audiotape made during the live presentation of relaxation.

Hoffman, Mark L. (1982/83). Hypnotic desensitization for the management of anticipatory emesis in chemotherapy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 25 (2-3), 173-176.

A hypnotic treatment employing systematic desensitization was used to alleviate anticipatory nausea and vomiting in a middle-aged man undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Disease. After four treatment sessions, all nausea associated with chemotherapy was eliminated. Results of this treatment are compared with those of another hypnotic treatment recently reported by Redd et al (1982), and reasons for differences are discussed. [Redd, W. H., Andersen, G. V. & Minagawa, R. Y. (1982). Hypnotic control of anticipatory emesis in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50, 14-19.]

LeBaron, Samuel; Zeltzer, Lonnie (1982, October). The effectiveness of behavioral intervention for reducing chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting in children with cancer. [Paper] Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Indianapolis, IN.

Eight children (nine to seventeen years, Mean age 12.1) with cancer received behavioral intervention for chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting. Within three to five days after the administration of each course of chemotherapy, patients rated (1-10 scale; 1 = none, 10 = all the time or maximal amount) their nausea and vomiting and the extent to which chemotherapy bothered them and disrupted their daily routine. After a pre-intervention assessment of 2.5 courses of chemotherapy, patients received intervention (Mean = 2.6 courses). Significant reductions following intervention (Wilcoxon matched- pairs signed ranks test) were found in nausea (Z = 2.37, p<.02), vomiting (Z = 2.52, p<.01), bother (Z = 2.24, p<.02), and disruption of activities (Z = 2.38, p<.02). This preliminary study indicates that chemotherapy side effects can be reduced through behavioral intervention.

Redd, William H.; Andrykowski, Michael A. (1982). Behavioral intervention in cancer treatment: Controlling aversion reactions to chemotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50 (6), 1018-1029.

During the protracted course of cancer chemotherapy, approximately 25% of patients develop aversion reactions to treatment by becoming nauseated and/or vomiting before their chemotherapy treatments. This phenomenon has been conceptualized as a result of respondent conditioning. Since commonly used antiemetic drugs do not reliably control anticipatory nausea/emesis, behavioral techniques of control have been studied. They include hypnosis used in conjunction with guided-relaxation imagery, progressive muscle relaxation with guided imagery, and systematic desensitization. (67 ref)

Redd, William H.; Andresen, Graciela V.; Minagawa, Rahn Y. (1982). Hypnotic control of anticipatory emesis in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50 (1), 14-19.

Deep muscle relaxation hypnosis controlled nausea, gagging, retching in all cases. Anticipatory emesis recurred when hypnosis was not used. During subsequent sessions in which hypnosis was reinstated, anticipatory emesis was again controlled.

Redd, William H.; Rosenberger, Patricia H.; Hendler, Cobie S. (1982-83). Controlling chemotherapy side effects. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 25 (2-3), 161-172.

Severe nausea and vomiting are commonly experienced by cancer patients after receiving chemotherapy treatments. Moreover, approximately 25% of these patients develop conditioned aversions to treatment and become nauseated before they receive their chemotherapy injections. The use of deep muscle relaxation hypnosis in conjunction with guided imagery to control pre- and post-chemotherapy nausea and emesis is discussed. Theoretical and clinical issues raised by this application of hypnosis in cancer treatment arc also addressed.

Fuchs, K.; Paldi, E.; Abramovici, H.; Peretz, B. A. (1980). Treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum by hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (4), 313-323.

Nausea and vomiting are the most common complaints in the first trimester of pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum presents a unique challenge to the obstetrician trained in medical hypnosis. Between the years 1965-1977, 138 women suffering from extremely severe vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy were successfully treated by medical hypnosis. 87 patients were treated in groups and 51 received individual therapy. The results with patients in group hypnotherapy were markedly better than those with patients in individual hypnotherapy. With group hypnotherapy, hospitalization was not necessary; treatement [sic] was given to a number of patients simultaneously and the women felt safer and less lonely. The common motivation of the patients consolidated the psychotherapeutic effect. This made treatment easier and more efficient.

Dorcus, Roy M.; Goodwin, Phillip (1955). The treatment of patients with the dumping syndrome by hypnosis. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3 (4), 200-202.

Psychological tests (MMPI and Manifest Anxiety Scale) were administered to 20 duodenal ulcer patients with successful outcome following subtotal gastrectomy and 20 with an outcome characterized by “one or more of the following symptoms: lack of appetite, aversion to food, aversion to particular kinds of food, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, cardiac palpitation, weakness, and weight loss” (p. 200). Since the symptoms are supposedly due to food passing more rapidly through the digestive tract the syndrome is called “dumping.”
In the unsuccessful outcome group, four patients with symptoms persisting 8-26 months, received hypnosis (2 to 9 sessions). “The suggestions were directed towards reducing tension (production of relaxation), removal of fear of this condition, enhancing the olfactory qualities of food, and the feeling of comfort with food or liquid intake” (p. 201). All four patients responded with remission of symptoms.


Warts & Viruses

Shenefelt, Philip (2002). Complementary psychotherapy in dermatology: Hypnosis and biofeedback. Clinics in Dermatology, 20 (5), 595-601.

Hypnosis has been used for millenia to treat medical and dermatologic problems. The use of biofeedback is more recent, being dependent on instrumentation to measure such parameters as galvanic skin resistance (GSR) and skin temperature.
Numerous dermatological disorders may be improved or cured using hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy. Examples include acne excoriee, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, dyshidrotic dermatitis, erythromelalgia, furuncles, glossodynia, herpes simplex, hyperhidrosis, ichthyosis vulgaris, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, postherpetic neuralgia, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, trichotillomania, urticaria, verruca vulgaris, and vitiligo. Dermatologic procedure anxiety can also be reduced using hypnosis.
Skin problems that have an autonomic nervous system component can be assisted by biofeedback with or without hypnosis. Examples include biofeedback of GSR for hyperhidrosis and biofeedback of skin temperature for Raynaud”s syndrome. Hypnosis may enhance the effects obtained by biofeedback.

Shenefelt, Philip (2000). Hypnosis in dermatology.. Archives of Dermatology, 136 (3), 393-399.

Background: Hypnosis is an alternative or complementary therapy that has been used since ancient times to treat medical and dermatologic problems.
Objective: To describe the various uses for hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy in dermatologic practice.
Methods: A MEDLINE search was conducted from January 1966 through December 1998 on key words related to hypnosis and skin disorders.
Results: A wide spectrum of dermatologic disorders may be improved or cured using hypnosis as an alternative or complementary therapy, including acne excoriee, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, dishydrotic dermatitis, erythromelalgia, furuncles, glossodynia, herpes simplex, hyperhidrosis, ichthyosis vulgaris, lichen planus, neurodermatitis, postherpetic neuralgia, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, trichotillomania, urticaria, verruca vulgaris, and vitiligo.
Conclusion: Appropriately trained clinicians may successfully use hypnosis in selected patients as alternative or complementary therapy for many dermatologic disorders.

Felt, Barbara T.; Hall, Howard; Olness, Karen; Schmidt, Wendy; Kohen, Daniel; Berman, Brad D.; Broffman, Gregg; Coury, Daniel; French, Gina; Dattner, Alan; Young, Martin H. (1998). Wart regression in children: Comparison of relaxation-imagery to topical treatment and equal time interventions. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 41 (2), 130-137.

Relaxation mental imagery (RMI), standard topical treatment (Top Tx), and equal time-control interventions were compared on measures of wart regression in sixty one, 6-12-year-old children. Subjects chose one common (“index”) wart and attended 4 visits over 8 weeks. At each visit, total and “index” extremity wart number were counted and a photo was taken of the “index wart” for later measurement. On average, total wart number decreased by 10% and “index wart” area decreased by 20% with no significant group differences during the first eight weeks. Phone follow [sic] was conducted 6 to 18 months from study entry. At phone follow up, there was a trend for more RMI and Top Tx subjects to report complete wart resolution (p = 0.07) with a majority of RMI children reporting use of RMI or no specific treatment pursuit. We conclude there was no significant short-term benefit for RMI in this randomized controlled trial of wart regression in children. However, longer term benefits for RMI and Top Tx groups are suggested.

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

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

Ewin, Dabney M. (1992). Hypnotherapy for warts (verruca vulgaris): 41 consecutive cases with 33 cures. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 35, 1-10.

Published, controlled studies of the use of hypnosis to cure warts are confined to using direct suggestion in hypnosis (DSIH), with cure rates of 27% to 55%. Prepubertal children respond to DSIH almost without exception, but adults often do not. Clinically, many adults who fail to respond to DSIH will heal with individual hypnoanalytic techniques that cannot be tested against controls. By using hypnoanalysis on those who failed to respond to DSIH, 33 of 41 (80%) consecutive patients were cured, two were lost to follow-up, and six did not respond to treatment. Self-hypnosis was not used. Several illustrative cases are presented.

“I do not consider self-hypnosis necessary, and I believe it may be contraindicated. Once the change in sensation has been acknowledged by an ideomotor signal, I suggest that the subconscious will take care of healing the warts and that the patient should ignore them and get interested in other things. Self-hypnosis would require regularly giving attention to the warts, and a high rate of cure is obtained without it. In their controlled study using DSIH with adults, Johnson and Barber (1978) included daily self-hypnosis and got cures in only 3 of 11 (27%) of the hypnotic group. This is the poorest result in the published literature. Their control group of 11 patients was given waking suggestions to ‘practice imagining that the specified wart(s) were tingling for a few minutes each day until they were gone’ and got no change in 3 months. Hellier (1951) got remission in 27 of 74 (36%) patients just using sham x-ray, (waking suggestion without any self-hypnosis). Spanos et al. (1988) instructed their hypnotic group to ‘count their warts every day, and after each counting to close their eyes and spend 3 to 4 minutes imagining the warts on their target hand disappearing.’ Only 2 of 8 patients (25%) with a single wart cleared, while 9 of 14 (69%) with multiple warts lost one or more warts at 6- weeks’ follow-up. My impression is that conscious daily attention to the lesion is contrary to normal body healing of injuries such as cuts, burns, sprains, in which healing progresses best when ignored while undue attention increases suffering” (pp. 3-4).