Essay

Stage Hypnosis

The stage hypnotist differs very much in his presentation of his skills to that of a clinical hypnotherapist. Although both induce a trance state, one is strictly for entertainment and the other for therapy. Stage Hypnosis goes through its ups and downs in popularity, but one thing will always be said ---It is a fascinating presentation if done correctly. It extenuates the possibility of the human mind in a way that both mystifies and confuses. The simplicity of the process becomes a dichotomy. Unbelievable to those viewing and self reflective to those participating.

Trance state or hypnosis created by the stage hypnotist triggers a relaxation response that is very apparent to the spectator. The hypnosis creates flaccidity of the muscles, originating at the cortex level and translating to a ”Gumby “ like existence

If the stage hypnotist picks an arm and lets it go the arm will fall disconnected by the individuals body. In many cases the stage hypnotist will use this as a method of determining how successful his hypnotic induction has worked.

At some disassociated level the audience becomes aware of those who are in deep hypnosis and those who are traveling between various brain wave patterns. It becomes very apparent who the stage hypnotist is going to use for his show. If you see enough stage hypnosis shows you will recognize “ hypnotizable subjects” and the very specific anomalies they present.

Everybody can be hypnotized IF THEY ALLOW themselves----All Hypnosis is self hypnosis----The stage hypnotist is nothing more than a facilitator, the recipient either excepts or rejects the process.

Here in lies the skill of the hypnotist and his ability to sell something that in many ways is not tangible.

As a spectator become savvy to the trance like characteristics that a hypnotized subject projects. As a participant allow the hypnotist to guide you through this remarkable journey and remember the only person that can allow this hypnotic process is you.

For further information on stage hypnosis go to www.barryjones.com or call 1(760)635-7785 Comedy hypnotist

Really check out your entertainer before you hire. Be aware of those hypnotists that cannot give you repeat references from a venue or client. Compare their promotional materials with other hypnotists and if at all possible try and get a video, DVD that shows a full show. Viewing highlights is just what you will get.---For some hypnotists the show is about them and not the audience.

When it comes to comedy hypnotists you get the good and the bad----Stay away from the self proclaimed ‘fastest’ and voted the ‘best’ ---. For every hypnotist that proclaims these things there are ten other hypnotists that are better and faster.

Be aware of those who pad their educational backgrounds. The MSc or PhD in Clinical Hypnosis. There really is no such thing that is recognized by any legitimate educational institution. There is just education --. The bottom line is that anybody can practice clinical hypnosis; any body can give out a PhD in clinical hypnosis. Anybody can get up on stage and say they are a comedy hypnotist. There is no governing body, or official licensing--- so understanding this take your time in researching your hypnotist.

Typically comedy hypnotists specialize in a field of entertainment. It may be Corporate, Universities and Colleges, High Schools, the fair industry, comedy clubs or cruise ships and resorts/casinos.

I personally vary my material for the audience. Corporate tends to be squeaky clean and politically correct, the same for high school and fair performances. Of course everything really is based on client needs. I always discuss a show format prior to an event and will suggest a routine, but I am always open to suggestions.

Comedy Clubs expect something a little different and so that is what I give them.

A quick synopsis—Insure that you get a hypnotist that has repeat references, and make sure you have a number that you can call (make sure it is not their mother!) to talk to the client that saw the hypnotist. Try and get a full video of a performance and beware of padded credentials. If the hypnotist sounds pushy or self- proclaimed look for the red lights flashing.

Signs of Hypnosis

The responses of a subject to induction suggestions are what we collectively refer to as a trance. These responses are a function of what suggestions are made and the subject's own preconceptions of what a hypnotic state is like.

These suggestions and preconceptions in turn are usually similar enough, even in nominally different methods of hypnosis, the produce common reactions in different subjects, which are usually taken as evidence of hypnotic induction. Indeed, hypnotic induction proceedings are often stereotyped enough so that what is really remarkable is not the similarity of the reactions among different subjects but the fact that there is so much variability.

With respect to an individual subject, the initial induction is a very important event. Although little has been written on this topic, it appears likely that the reactions obtained in this sessions will determine the subject's personal expectations concerning the hypnotic state and will tend to reappear in all subsequent sessions. Thus, individual reactions to hypnotic inductions tend to remain similar from session to session unless specific suggestions are made to vary them.

The signs of hypnotic induction can be divided into objective signs that the hypnotist can observe directly and subjective signs that the subject must be asked to describe. Some of the more common objective signs of hypnosis are the following:

1. Initial eyelid fluttering followed by eye closure.

2. Deep relaxation as evidenced by limpness of the limbs, lack of facial expression, and marked disinclination to move of talk spontaneously.

3. Literalness in the understanding and following of suggestions. Often hypnotic subjects behave as though their understanding of language is more primitive; metaphoric expressions or idioms may be given their literal meanings. A subject told to raise his hand, for example, may simply raise the hand alone while leaving the arm unmoved, or a subject told to write their name, may literally write "Your name."

4. In some subjects, there may be excessive salivation and swallowing or excessive tearing of the eyes during hypnosis.

5. A characteristic of a hypnotized subject that some would call a defining feature of hypnosis is the tolerance of the subject for inconsistencies or anomalies in experience or perception, that is, trance logic.

The signs of hypnosis, while common, are all high individual. One subject may display most of these responses and be only in a very shallow state, as measured by his responsiveness to suggestions.

Another may not show and of these signs and yet be in a very deep hypnotic state. After working with an individual subject often enough, the hypnotist will be able to gauge this subject's trance depth from his objective responses.

The subjective feeling accompanying hypnotic induction are even more variable. They often include one or more of the following:

1. Feelings of deep relaxation and disinclination to expend any kind of effort during hypnosis.

2. Feelings of bodily heaviness, more likely in the limbs during hypnosis.

3. Feelings of numbness, tingling, or dullness in the limbs and/or hands during hypnosis.

4. A feeling of floating.

A common phenomenon in hypnotic sessions is the development of what is usually called rapport between the subject and the operator. This means that the subject reacts only to suggestions made by the hypnotist and treats suggestions made by anyone else as part of the background stimuli or noise, which he ignores.

Some operators believe that this is an essential aspect of hypnosis, but, like all other characteristics of a trance, it probably results from either an explicit or an implicit suggestion. For example, if the hypnotist tells the patient, "Attend only to the sound of my voice," as is commonly done during induction, he or she is in effect specifically telling the subject in a literal manner not to respond to suggestions from any other person.

In experimental work, the subject's doubt that hypnosis occurred is usually irrelevant to the study. If it is important to convince a patient of the reality of trance induction and the preceding steps leave him unconvinced, then hypnosis should be re induced and the subject given some posthypnotic suggestions to perform, such as developing an amnesia for the number 6.

Self-Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis or autohypnosis is a procedure in which the subject both induces the hypnotic state and makes suggestions to himself. When self-hypnosis is to be employed as part of a therapeutic regimen, it is necessary for the therapist to train the patient in its use. Often training is done under heterohypnosis, and the initial self-inductions are aided by a posthypnotic signal to into the hypnotic state. There is some experiemental evidence that inexperienced subjects can hypnotize themselves about as well as they can by hypnotized by another person.

There is ambiguity, however, concerning the nature of the self-hypnosis procedures typoically employed in such studies, involving, as they do, an experimenter giving a subject either initial verbal instructions or a booklet of directions on hypnotizing one's self, as well as a set of suggestions. There may be elements of both self-hypnosis anad heterohypnosis present in such a procedure. The main value of heterohypnosis in training a subject to induce autohypnosis is not providing him with a posthypnotic signal for induction but in letting him experience the subjective feelings of the hypnotic state that he must seek to attain self-induction.

The view is often expressed that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis because it is the subject's imagination that produces all of the effects in heterohypnosis. On the other hand, it could be argued that all hypnosis is basically heterohypnosis, and self-hypnotic effects resulty from posthypnotic suggestions given while training subjects in self-hypnosis. As early as 1928, Young researched this issue. He had hypnotic subhjects instruct themselves prior to hypnosis to modify specific aspects of rapport behavior and posthypnotic amnesia. He found that subjects could do this successfully and concluded that ther was no sine qua non of hypnosis. Posthypnotic amnesia was dependant on the subjects set of expectancy, and hypnotic behavior could be modified in many ways without affecting its depth. He concluded that the essential element in heterohypnosis was the autosuggestion of the subject.

Ruch (1975) also supports the notion that active self-hypnosis is the primary phenomenon and that heterohypnosis is, in effect, a case of guided self-hypnosis. He found that initial self-hypnosis facilitated subsequent heterohypnosis but that conventional heterohypnosis (of a passive subject by an active hypnotist) inhibited later attempts at self-hypnosis. This inhibitory effect was eliminated when "first-person instructions" were used in heterohypnosis. That is, instead of saying to the subject, "I am going to give you suggestions to help you to relax," the experimenter would say, "I am going to give myself instructions to help me relax." Thus the subject was able to regard the hypnotist's voice as his own, making suggestions to himself.

Ruch's view of the primacy of self-hypnosis is contrary to the conventional idea that heterohypnosis is an aid in training a person in self-hypnosis. It is premature to say whether the foregoing results are generalizable or are limited to the particular induction procedures tested. However, it seems questionable to label the procedure used as self-hypnosis, since, in the initial instructions, the experimenter made suggestions concerning the sequence of events that were to occur and then left the subject to count to himself and experience hem. This is similar to the Flower method of heterohypnosis in which all instructions to the subject are massed at the beginning of the induction. For an induction to qualify as an example of true autohypnosis, the subject should be responsible for all elements of the induction, and the hypnotist should make no suggestions of any kind beyond requesting the subject to commence the procedure.

Johnson (1981) notes that any study of self-hypnosis must be contaminated to some degree by heterohypnotic influence unless the study is limited to spontaneously developed trance states. Gardner (1981) proposed making a distinction between self-hypnosis (which she used to indicate self-hypnosis preceded or aided by heterohypnosis) and autohypnosis (which referred to spontaneous autohypnosis with no prior heterohypnosis). However, since these two terms are generally used interchangeably, such a distinction will probably prove as futile as the distinction between susceptibility and hypnotizability made in this book. If such distinctions are to be made (and they probably should be), then perhaps it will be necessary to coin new terms.

Most researchers have found few, if any, differences in success in inducing self-hypnosis as a function of previous heterohypnotic experience (Johnson, 1979; Kroger, 1977a; LeCron, 1964; Sacerdote, 1981; Shor and Easton, 1973). Sacerdote (1981) points out that with the modern trend toward more permissive inductions, the distinction between heterohypnosis and self-hypnosis is becoming vaguer.

Fromm (1975) notes that until recently, most of the serious research in hypnosis was in heterohypnosis; the literature of self-hypnosis was often the product of "quacks and laymen." She questioned on theoretical grounds the common assumption that heterohypnosis and self-hypnosis are basically the same and undertook to investigate the similarities and differences between the two. She conceptualizes hypnosis as an ego-splitting process. In heterohypnosis, the ego splits into two parts: the experimenter (participating ego) and the observer (observing ego). In autohypnosis, the ego splits into three parts: the experimenter and observer plus a director who gives the hypnotic instructions and suggestions. She found that in some subjects, a third or fourth aspect of the ego, a skeptic, was also present.

In a preliminary study, Fromm gave 18 males and 18 females one session each of heterohypnotic and autohypnotic experiences using a counterbal-anced order of presentation. The 12 least susceptible subjects described both experiences as essentially the same, but the 24 most-susceptible subjects de-scribed subjective differences between the experiences. Idiosyncratic fantasy and visual imagery arose spontaneously with a much higher frequency In autohypnosis. There was also more rational, cognitive activity going on In thes condition, and subjects were unanimous in reporting the greater number of ego splits predicted. Autohypnosis was found, as predicted, to require more effort on the part of the subjects.

Some subjects were able to reach a deeper state under heterohypnosis, while others went deeper under autohypnosis. Fromm accounts for this difference in terms of differences between subjects with respect to their need for surrender versus their need for autonomy and control. In a second study, three males and three females were instructed to practice self-hypnosis once a day for a month. Subjects were required to keep a daily diary of their experiences and were interviewed by telephone every few days. They were also subjected to two interviews plus a follow-up group discussion one month after the study.

Fromm found that with practice, self-inductions were easier to achieve. Eventually subjects began to employ methods of induction exclusively of their own design. Some used dissociative methods, such as producing an arm levitation by forgetting about the arm or commanding it to rise. Others simply "let go" and developed a passive-receptive ego state. After 2 or 3 weeks, most subjects who did not incorporate self-hypnosis into their life-style became bored with the procedure and had to be coaxed to continue the experiment. One of the causes of this problem was thought to be the tendency of prolonged self-hypnosis to reduce the transference with the experimenter. It was found that imagery was stimulated to a much greater extent in self-hypnosis but that some effects, such as positive hallucinations, profound ego regression, and role playing, were easier to produce in heterohypnosis.

The major advantage claimed for self-hypnosis in this study was that the subject was always attuned to his own responses during induction, and hence suggestions could be optimally timed. An outside hypnotist can at best make an educated guess as to the subject's subjective state. Johnson and Weight (1976), using factor analysis, found that behavioral and subjective experiences of subjects under heterohypnosis and self-hypnosis were generally similar. However, heterohypnosis invoked more feelings of unawareness of the environment, passivity, and loss of control, while autohypnosis was associated with more feelings of time distortion, disorientation, active control, and variations of trance depth.

In a later longitudinal study, Fromm and her associates (1981) essentially confirmed her earlier results. They concluded that "expansive free-floating attention" and ego receptivity to internal stimuli were state-specific for self-hypnosis, while concentrated attention and receptivity to a single external source of stimuli were state-specific for heterohypnosis. Again imagery was found to be much richer in self-hypnosis, while suggestions of age regression or positive and negative hallucinations were markedly more effective in heterohypnosis.

Psychological Problems Concerning Hypnosis Continued

Kleinhauz and Beran (1981, 1984) present six cases of severe and/or chronic reactions to hypnosis, five Involving either Inadequate dehypnotlzlng of the subject by a lay or stage hypnotist and one Involving a dentist ex ceeding his area of competence by treating a patient for smoking without consideration of the dynamic value of the symptom to the patient. One of the patients was reported to be a member of the audience at a stage dem onstration, and another claimed to have stolen a pistol as a result of the misinterpretation of a remark by a stage hypnotist that he should act like a cowboy and crack shot. The present author is skeptical of this latter case since the claim was raised as a defense in a criminal prosecution. The authors con clude that all therapists should inquire about prior hypnotic experiences to discover such influence in the genesis of the patient's condition so that they can provide adequate treatment. They also advocate the outlawing of stage hypnosis and criticize the "contamination" of the relationship with the subject by the hypnotist by using it not for the benefit of the patient but to make him an instrument for the purpose of entertaining an audience.

On the other hand, they do not object to experimental hypnosis because, while the researcher seeks to accomplish research goals rather than help the subject, the latter is aware of this, and the procedures are carefully designed and monitored. This position seems to present a problem in logical consis tency. The subject in stage hypnosis is also aware of the purposes of the hypnotist (often to a greater extent than in experimental hypnosis), and there is usually little concern with the subject in most experimental work but rather a focus on some hypnotic phenomenon. Often researchers are not clinically experienced, and little follow-up work on possible sequelae is undertaken. It is possible that the unstated reason for the belief of the authors that experi mental hypnosis is acceptable while stage hypnosis is not is that the value of the former justifies whatever risks may be involved.

Other reactions to hypnosis reported to have occurred in the course of psychotherapy include a spontaneous 72-hour atypical paranoid reaction, a spontaneous cataleptic reaction, and a spontaneous age regression (Hall, 1984; Kornfeld, 1985a; J. Miller, 1983; D.Spiegel and Rosenfeld, 1984). Although such reactions would be a disaster to a lay hypnotist, when they occur in the course of therapy and are properly managed, they may con tribute to a dynamic understanding of the patient. Certainly anyone under taking to do hypnotherapy needs to be prepared for such atypical reactions. Orne (1965a) suggests that some of the severe anxiety reactions that may occur in therapeutic inductions result from the fact that the patient expects permanent changes in his personality and that he is ambivalent about these changes. This ambivalence is demonstrated by the fact that the anxiety re actions can often be controlled by assuring the patient that the induction is intended simply to test his ability as a subject and that no therapeutic sug gestions will be made during the session. Also, transference and counter-transference issues may contribute to this anxiety. Orne believes that these issues should be dealt with under hypnosis, for if the therapist awakens the patient, the latter may interpret this as meaning that the therapist is unable to deal with the anxiety reaction.

J. Hilgard also reported on the incidence of sequelae in laboratory hypnosis and agrees with Orne's conclusion that most reported cases of serious difficulties with hypnosis arise in clinical rather than laboratory settings (Hil gard, Hilgard, and Newman, 1961; J. Hilgard, 1974). Hilgard concludes that most of the fears expressed concerning reactions to hypnosis are groundless and are based on inaccurate preconceptions of the hypnotist having undue influence over a subject. Untoward reactions obtained from subjects experi encing experimental hypnosis, although theoretically interesting, are not se vere. The 1974 study was undertaken because of a change in the charac teristics of the student body available for research since the study of 1961. It was found that of the 120 university students studied, 15% had some kind of reaction to the hypnotic experience (SHSS, form C) that lasted an hour or longer. This figure rose to 31% if short-term reactions (lasting from 5 min utes to an hour) were included. Thus, she warns against the premature dis missal of hypnotic subjects.

Some of the reactions (e.g., headache, confusion, or anxiety) began dur ing hypnosis and either terminated with it or persisted for a while after the session. The chief short-term aftereffects reported were drowsiness and con fusion (16 of 19 sequelae). Hilgard suggests that these may be regarded as a continuation of the hypnotic state rather than a reaction to it. It is similar to the experience of many people who require a period of readjustment after awakening in the morning.

Longer sequelae were experienced by 18 of 120 subjects in the 1974 study as opposed to only 7 of 220 subjects in the 1961 study. The much higher percentage in the later study may be due to the fact that form A of the SHSS was used in the earlier study, and form C, which includes age regression and dream induction, was used in the later one. Half of the long-term reactions (9 of 18) were a continuation of drowsiness and confusion, but more complex ones were also reported. One delayed response reported involved nocturnal dreaming about hypnosis, but it is not clear whether this response should be considered a sequelae or the hypnosis simply regarded as a day residue that appeared in the dream. Headaches were also reported that lasted from 1.5 to 2 hours but disappeared following sleep. Headaches were interpreted as representing a conflict between the desire to be hypnotized and anxiety con cerning the experience or a desire to avoid it. Little, if any, relationship was lound between hypnotic susceptibility and sequelae. There was, however, a positive relationship between pleasant aftereffects (which were not considered sequelae, such as feelings of relaxation, calm, and well-being) and suscep­tibility. Although these reactions were always suggested at the termination of hypnosis, only about 60% of the subjects reported experiencing them. It was found that there were wide individual differences in how subjects react fol lowing a hypnotic experience, but, in an experimental setting at least, thert were no alarming sequelae. In the 1961 study, a significant relationship was found between sequelae and adverse childhood experience with anesthesia, the patients was reported to be a member of the audience at a stage dem onstration, and another claimed to have stolen a pistol as a result of the misinterpretation of a remark by a stage hypnotist that he should act like a cowboy and crack shot. The present author is skeptical of this latter case since the claim was raised as a defense in a criminal prosecution. The authors con clude that all therapists should inquire about prior hypnotic experiences to discover such influence in the genesis of the patient's condition so that they can provide adequate treatment. They also advocate the outlawing of stage hypnosis and criticize the "contamination" of the relationship with the subject by the hypnotist by using it not for the benefit of the patient but to make him an instrument for the purpose of entertaining an audience.

On the other hand, they do not object to experimental hypnosis because, while the researcher seeks to accomplish research goals rather than help the subject, the latter is aware of this, and the procedures are carefully designed and monitored. This position seems to present a problem in logical consis tency. The subject in stage hypnosis is also aware of the purposes of the hypnotist (often to a greater extent than in experimental hypnosis), and there is usually little concern with the subject in most experimental work but rather a focus on some hypnotic phenomenon. Often researchers are not clinically experienced, and little follow-up work on possible sequelae is undertaken. It is possible that the unstated reason for the belief of the authors that experi mental hypnosis is acceptable while stage hypnosis is not is that the value of the former justifies whatever risks may be involved.

Other reactions to hypnosis reported to have occurred in the course of psychotherapy include a spontaneous 72-hour atypical paranoid reaction, a spontaneous cataleptic reaction, and a spontaneous age regression (Hall, 1984; Kornfeld, 1985a; J. Miller, 1983; D.Spiegel and Rosenfeld, 1984). Although such reactions would be a disaster to a lay hypnotist, when they occur in the course of therapy and are properly managed, they may con tribute to a dynamic understanding of the patient. Certainly anyone under taking to do hypnotherapy needs to be prepared for such atypical reactions.

Orne (1965a) suggests that some of the severe anxiety reactions that may occur in therapeutic inductions result from the fact that the patient expects permanent changes in his personality and that he is ambivalent about these changes. This ambivalence is demonstrated by the fact that the anxiety re actions can often be controlled by assuring the patient that the induction is intended simply to test his ability as a subject and that no therapeutic sug gestions will be made during the session. Also, transference and counter-transference issues may contribute to this anxiety. Orne believes that these issues should be dealt with under hypnosis, for if the therapist awakens the patient, the latter may interpret this as meaning that the therapist is unable to deal with the anxiety reaction.

J. Hilgard also reported on the incidence of sequelae in laboratory hypnosis and agrees with Orne's conclusion that most reported cases of serious difficulties with hypnosis arise in clinical rather than laboratory settings (Hil gard, Hilgard, and Newman, 1961; J. Hilgard, 1974). Hilgard concludes that most of the fears expressed concerning reactions to hypnosis are groundless and are based on inaccurate preconceptions of the hypnotist having undue influence over a subject. Untoward reactions obtained from subjects experi encing experimental hypnosis, although theoretically interesting, are not se vere. The 1974 study was undertaken because of a change in the charac teristics of the student body available for research since the study of 1961. It was found that of the 120 university students studied, 15% had some kind of reaction to the hypnotic experience (SHSS, form C) that lasted an hour or longer. This figure rose to 31% if short-term reactions (lasting from 5 min utes to an hour) were included. Thus, she warns against the premature dis missal of hypnotic subjects.

Some of the reactions (e.g., headache, confusion, or anxiety) began dur ing hypnosis and either terminated with it or persisted for a while after the session. The chief short-term aftereffects reported were drowsiness and con fusion (16 of 19 sequelae). Hilgard suggests that these may be regarded as a continuation of the hypnotic state rather than a reaction to it. It is similar to the experience of many people who require a period of readjustment after awakening in the morning.

Longer sequelae were experienced by 18 of 120 subjects in the 1974 study as opposed to only 7 of 220 subjects in the 1961 study. The much higher percentage in the later study may be due to the fact that form A of the SHSS was used in the earlier study, and form C, which includes age regression and dream induction, was used in the later one. Half of the long-term reactions (9 of 18) were a continuation of drowsiness and confusion, but more complex ones were also reported. One delayed response reported involved nocturnal dreaming about hypnosis, but it is not clear whether this response should be considered a sequelae or the hypnosis simply regarded as a day residue that appeared in the dream. Headaches were also reported that lasted from 1.5 to 2 hours but disappeared following sleep. Headaches were interpreted as representing a conflict between the desire to be hypnotized and anxiety con cerning the experience or a desire to avoid it. Little, if any, relationship was lound between hypnotic susceptibility and sequelae. There was, however, a positive relationship between pleasant aftereffects (which were not considered sequelae, such as feelings of relaxation, calm, and well-being) and susceptibility. Although these reactions were always suggested at the termination of hypnosis, only about 60% of the subjects reported experiencing them. It was found that there were wide individual differences in how subjects react following a hypnotic experience, but, in an experimental setting at least, thert were no alarming sequelae.

Psychological Problems Concerning Hypnosis

Minor problems with result from carelessness on the part of the hypnotist and can usually be prevented by the use of proper technique. They include delayed effects of posthypnotic or uncancelled hypnotic suggestions, misunderstanding by the subject of the suggestions made, and the rare difficulties encoun tered in the termination of hypnosis.

All hypnotic suggestions given during a session that are not intended to affect posthypnotic behavior should be cancelled prior to terminating hypnosis, even if the subject did not appear to accept them. Subjects should be tested in the waking state prior to being dismissed to ensure that these sug gestions have in fact been cancelled. The evidence is that in most cases the subject himself will cancel these suggestions, but it is better not to rely on his implicit understanding that the suggestions were not meant to outlast the ses sion.

Because of the literalness with which most hypnotic subjects react to sug gestions, hypnotists should always avoid the use of idiomatic expressions that, if taken literally, would produce results different from those sought. (For example, a patient told to "Let her hair down" and describe how she really feels about something may actually undo her hair arrangement.) Particular care is required when making suggestions to subjects with limited ability in English who are foreign born, uneducated, or of low intelligence. Precautions must also be taken to ensure that a child patient understands the suggestions clearly. Often very bright children give the hypnotist the illusion that he or she is dealing with a small adult; but even bright children may not understand some words in a suggestion.

Orne (1965a) notes that amateurs are the hypnotists most likely to have difficulty with subjects refusing to terminate a hypnotic state, probably because such a reaction is an ideal passive-aggressive response on the part of a subject who has become angry at the hypnotist. The reason that profes sionals using hypnosis rarely get such reactions is that they fail to reinforce them by getting upset, as does a suddenly frightened and terrified amateur hypnotist.

The possibility of problems with symptom substitution has also been pre viously discussed. It should be noted that this is not properly considered a problem of hypnosis but is a problem of any type of psychotherapy that seeks to directly remove a symptom having a dynamic value to the patient. Some symptoms may have such value; many do not. There is no general agree ment as to what percentage of symptoms fall into either category. The sig nificance of a particular symptom in an individual patient is always a matter of clinical judgment on the part of the therapist.

The remaining psychological problems to be considered here are those reactions that occur either during or immediately after hypnosis and are usually discussed under the rubric of sequelae.

Orne (1965a) finds both qualitative and quantitative differences in the types of hypnotic sequelae seen in the laboratory and in therapeutic settings. If the hypnosis is perceived by the subject as episodic and he has no expectation of permanent change, there are very few sequelae, and any that do occur of a minor nature. This is the case in laboratory research, where the emphasis is impersonal and on the phenomena studied, not the subject, or in dental treatment where effects are also perceived by the subject as temporary.

In experimental work with thousands of "normal college students," in a setting specifically de'ined as experimental and with subjects told that no treatment, however minor, would be given, Orne reports virtually no serious reactions to hypnosis. Anxiety reactions, symptom formations, depressions, or decompensations, which have occasionally been reported in clinical con texts did not occur. The complications that did appear were such minor dis-turbances as an occasional mild and transient headache, drowsiness, nausea, or dizziness. If these complications occur, they typically do so on the first induction and are easily suggested away. The incidence of such reactions was reported by Orne to be from 2% to 3%, which is in close agreement with J. Hilgard's (1965) findings. Orne points out that due to the superficial screening of his subjects and the large numbers of them, it is quite likely that some of them may have had serious psychopathology. Since these results were in an experimental context, they are more likely to reflect the effects of hypnosis per se than the effects of either a therapeutic relationship or therapeutic sug gestion, and these results suggest that hypnosis itself is a safe procedure.

Orne further notes that although minor problems experienced by amateur hypnotists might be concealed, it would be hard for them to hide major problems. Although major problems can occur, they are quite rare, in spite of the incompetence and irresponsibility of the hypnotist. This scarcity of untoward reactions is probably due to the episodic and nontherapeutic nature of the hypnotic session.

The low incidence of serious aversive reactions in experimental work is in contrast to their relatively high incidence in the reports of experienced clini cians. Levitt and Hershman (1961, 1963) surveyed 866 hypnotherapists and found that about 27% of the 301 respondents reported observing major or minor untoward reactions to hypnosis, including anxiety, panic, depression, headache, crying, vomiting, fainting, dizziness, excessive dependency, and eight cases of sexual difficulties and psychotic behavior. Forty-three percent of the psychologists (as compared to 27% of the other respondents) reported these difficulties. J. Hilgard (1974) notes that often the more experienced hypnotists reported the most problems.

Orne (1965a) and Conn(1972) interpret this finding quite differently. Conn believes the prevalence of sequelae reflects an incompetence on the part of the hypnotist, who failed either to dehypnotize subjects properly or to screen them adequately prior to hypnosis. Orne, on the other hand, suggests that only the better-trained therapists adequately observed and recorded sequelae.

Wineburg and Straker (1973) report an acute, self-limiting depersonali zation reaction in a 26-year-old female paraprofessional hospital worker. This woman was used as a demonstration subject in a hospital training course in hypnosis and was given weight reduction suggestions. They believe that the adverse reaction was due to the subject's misconceptions about hypnosis and the fear that it could weaken superego controls over her sexual fantasies. The authors recommend that to prevent reactions such as this, all patients should be observed after hypnotic treatment. Moreover, the patients' beliefs and ex pectations concerning hypnosis should be investigated beforehand, at which time they should be given an explanation of the true nature of hypnosis. This type of reaction, although certainly a risk in hypnotherapy, seems clearly to be the result not of hypnosis but of the patient's fears and inrrapersonal dy namics. It should be preventable by an adequate consideration of these fac tors prior to and during hypnosis. Straker (1973) presents two other cases in which patients developed emotional upsets during a therapeutic induction because of intrapersonal dynamic reasons. In one instance, the induction re sulted in a rapid regression and enhanced transference that flooded the pa tient with childhood memories of early fears and recurrent nightmares. In the other instance, a hypnotic induction took on the significance of a sexual at tack to a 36-year-old female patient because of her previous beliefs about hypnosis. This resonated with earlier rape fantasies, greatly upsetting her. These types of reactions are not different from those obtained in ordinary psychotherapy, but the fostering of regression and transference by hypnosis can make them occur more rapidly and dramatically and give the illusion that they are caused primarily by hypnosis.

Sometimes the unusual nature of the hypnotic state causes even an ex perienced therapist to forget that a hypnotic induction does not cause all of the usual principles of human behavior and interaction to cease to operate. As an illustration, Orne (1965a) cites the case of a dentist whose wife was constantly asking him to hypnotize her for weight reduction suggestions, which he steadfastly refused to do. Instead, he insisted that she see a physician to get diet recommendations. The dentist finally relented and hypnotized his wife, but, instead of making weight loss suggestions, he made the suggestion that she would see her doctor. This suggestion was unsuccessful and resulted In the formation of a minor symptom. The idea of consulting a doctor was unacceptable to this woman in the waking state, and it was equally unacceptable under hypnosis.

Rosen (1960a) cited clinical examples of what he considered to be very serious dangers of hypnosis. These included the development of psychoses and a suicide following the hypnotic removal of phantom limb or low back pain and pruritus. He believes that pain that persists for emotional reasons may be a depressive equivalent and hold a severe depression in check. He is quite critical of weekend hypnotic courses touting hypnosis as an uncov- ering device and believes that neither uncovering techniques nor regressions are safe in the hands of persons ignorant of psychodynamics. Although it is hard to disagree with his contention that no one should treat a patient under hypnosis beyond his competence to treat him while awake, it is equally hard to agree with his view concerning the dangers of hypnosis. The cases he cited are clinical examples and as such cannot establish the causal agency of either the hypnosis or the symptom removal in producing the sequelae claimed. The fact that a psychosis follows hypnosis does not logically demonstrate that II was caused by the hypnosis. Conn (1972), after 30 years of practicing hypnotherapy on over 3,000 patients, denies ever seeing a psychosis pre cipitated by hypnosis. Also, even if such causality could be established, It Hems clear that the cause of adverse reactions reported is less likely to be the hypnosis than the method of psychotherapy. These cases really relate to the issue of symptom substitution, not hypnosis, and the weight of the lit-erature does not support the view that symptom substitution involving new, psychotic, or life threatening symptoms is a high-risk phenomenon.

Miscellaneous Applications of Hypnosis

Hypnosis has been used in education as a learning aid, and as a methodof dealing with examination anxiety, and for self-improvement suggestions (e.g., of greater self-confidence) in social and business situations (Boutin, 1978; Cohen, 1979; Hebert, 1984; Porter, 1978; Spies, 1979; Wollman, 1978). Cole (1979) found that hypnosis was no more effective in improving the academic performance of 31 students in a college preparation course (who were exposed to a 40-minute induction and deepening tape plus four sub- sequent 15-minute hypnotic tapes making suggestions of enhanced academic performance) than exposing students to control tapes making the same sug- gestions without hypnosis or lectures. These results are not particularly sur- prising. Hypnosis would not be expected to improve academic performance unless poor performance was caused by psychological factors (other than a low level of ability) and these factors were identified and addressed by the hypnotic technique used. Van Pelt (1975a, 1975b) suggested the use of hyp- nosis in business as a method of coping with interpersonal problems and in space travel to deal with boredom, nervous strain, and problems produced by weightlessness, interruption of sleep cycles, and space sickness. Christie (1982) discusses a variety of industrial uses of hypnosis, such as attitude change, performance facilitation, vocational counseling, advertising, and consumer research, both with and without formal trance induction.

Hypnotic phenomena play an indirect role in entertainment. Most mem- bers of a movie audience resemble people in a hypnotic trance. The movie itself probably functions similarly to the word picture painted by a hypnotist in a cognitive induction and detaches the audience members from their im- mediate surroundings. Good subjects trained in self-hypnosis can probably use this skill to enhance the vividness of the private fantasies in which all people engage. It is likely that creative people like authors or playwrights can use hypnotic fantasy productively to generate new ideas for their work. Rob- ert Louis Stevenson got the idea for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from a nocturnal dream (Dement, 1974). Hypnotic suggestions have not only been used to help actors assume a character but also to generate appropriate facial expres- sions in photographers' models (Kondreck, 1963).

Hypnosis even comes into play in modern religious life. Many people have had the experience of being so entranced by the charismatic style of a tele- vision evangelist that they listened captivated for an entire sermon without having had prior interest in the message being conveyed. Indeed, the ability to attract and hold the attention of an audience is much like a hypnotist's getting a subject to concentrate on a fixation object or instructing him to "at- tend only to the sound of my voice."

Matheson (1979b) points out the similarities between religious experiences and healing and hypnotic phenomena. Tappeiner (1977), a theologian who notes the operation of hypnotic factors in several varieties of religious ex- perience, argues that the fact that religious phenomena can be explained in terms of hypnotic principles does not negate their spiritual validity, that is, God works through natural mechanisms.

The present author would agree that noticing the hypnotic qualities and techniques of an evangelist commits the observer to nothing regarding the spiritual validity of his message.

Walker (1984) notes the common factor of what he calls "inadequate re- ligious attitudes," which can complicate psychotherapy, and suggests a role both for hypnosis and ministers of religion in an effort to correct these and facilitate therapy. This thought-provoking article suggests that perhaps psy- chotherapists, as part of their training, should be exposed to the major tenets of the various religious denominations, for guilt is commonly seen in patients with overly strict religious beliefs, and psychotherapists are often reluctant to address such issues. Perhaps if they were more knowledgeable concerning the beliefs of the major religious denominations, they might recognize when their patient's beliefs were idiosyncratic or "inappropriate" and when a con- sultation with a clergyman might prove helpful in correcting them (just as therapists are trained to recognize when a medical consultation is necessary).

The diverse applications of hypnosis discussed tend to ob- scure the fact that hypnosis is basically a phenomenon rather than a tech- nique. It would be strange indeed if a natural phenomenon like hypnosis did not occur often in daily life, but when it does occur naturally in such prosaic settings as the movies or while watching television, we usually fail to recognize a spontaneous trance for what it is. Sometimes naturally occurring trances can have unfortunate consequences, as in the case of highway hypnosis. Recognizing that effects of this nature can occur makes it possible for engi- neers to design cars and highways to minimize or eliminate such risks.

Training in self-hypnosis opens the door for the employment of hypnosis in many minor applications, such as the control of normal levels of anxiety before giving a speech or prior to an important business interview, where it would normally not be practical to incur the expense of a professional con- sultation.

While this chapter has considered some of the major applications of hyp- nosis, it is not possible to consider all of its potential uses, for these extend to any situation that requires relaxation; the stimulation of imagery, emotion or motivation; or the enhancement of the ability to concentrate on something and become detached from the environment.

Hypnosis and Legislative Problems

The arguments that Stage Hypnosis is dangerous are for the most part based on atypical and anecdotal reports, such as the case Kline cited of a woman who sustained a serious burn to her hand because of the incomplete removal of suggested of anesthesia made by a Stage Hypnotist. The bulk of the evidence appears to indicate that Stage hypnosis, even in incompetent hands, is no more dangerous than experimental hypnosis because of the episodic character of the session and the fact that neither the subject nor the hypnotist expects to produce permanent changes in the subject's behavior.

The argument that Stage hypnosis can be humiliating to the subject or in bad taste is a more interesting one but would be difficult to resolve. The problem is in deciding whose standards of good taste to adopt. The argument that hypnosis is a medical device is neither true nor relevant. First, if hypnosis were to be looked upon as a device, it would clearly be a psychological and not a medical one. Second, it is neither a device nor the exclusive property of any professional group but is, in fact, a naturally occurring phenomenon. If it were a medical device, it would make no sense to restrict its nonmedical uses to physicians anymore than it would to prevent an auto mechanic from listening to a noisy engine with a stethoscope to localize the noise. Stage hypnosis is neither a medical nor a psychological use of hypnosis.

There are three major reasons why legislation restricting the practice of stage hypnosis should not be enacted. First, there is no need for such legislation to protect subjects. If a stage hypnotist did something either to harm or embarrass a subject, he or she would presently be fully liable in tort for these actions. Merely consenting to be a subject in such a performance in no way waives the participants rights against the hypnotist for any injury sustained, and if a demonstration subject (or an experimental subject for that matter) were induced to sign a release of all claims prior to the procedure, such a document would be without legal effect in most jurisdictions.

A more important reason for opposing this type of legislation is that hypnosis involves nothing more than a hypnotist talking to a subject. Legislation restricting the freedom of one person to talk to another seems to be a dangerous violation of the freedom of speech assurances of the Constitution. If the government can restrict the freedom of one citizen to talk to another, to protect the latter from some undefined danger of hypnosis, it is a simple step to take similar action to protect him from the dangers intrinsic in unpopular political ideas. For this reason alone, legislation to limit stage hypnosis should be opposed, even if it could be shown to have substantial capacity to harm a subject.

A third reason for reluctance to support antistage hypnosis legislation is of particular concern to psychologists. Kline (1976) believes that hypnosis can be defined clearly enough to enable legislation concerning ------Psychologists need to be particularly cautious in supporting legislation restricting the practice of hypnosis. Often medical lobbyists have used such legislation as a means of downgrading psychologists. For example, although some states, such as California, have statutes defining the practice of psychology and specifically listing hypnosis as included within it, other states, such as Florida, have a hypnosis law that reduces a psychologist to the level of a hypnotechnician and authorizes only physicians, dentists, and a variety of other unqualified practitioners, to practice hypnosis without medical supervision. In effect, such a law requires a psychologist with over six years of graduate training to be supervised in the practice of his or her profession by a layperson who may have no training at all in either psychiatry or hypnosis.--------In addition, the proper method for using hypnosis with a particular patient must take into account the underlying dynamics of his personality. There is no doubt that many lay hypnotists are extremely skillful in inducing hypnosis, and some have taught this technique to professional people. There is no reason why they should not do so; but it is a very different thing to be able to induce a hypnotic state, which can be learned in a few minutes, and to use it to help a patient, which takes many years of training.

--------Although the author believes that stage hypnosis is a proper activity, he does not believe that the practice of hypnosis by hypnotechnician is. Professionals should decline to refer patients to such individuals for treatment. This view may seem to contradict the view that stage hypnosis should not be outlawed because it involves the issue of freedom of speech. Hence, this matter needs clarification. After all, the practice of psychotherapy also is nothing more than two people talking to each other. It is the authorÕs belief that freedom must necessarily include the right to do something that others may consider ill advised or even stupid If a person wants to be treated psychologically (or medically for that matter) by an untrained layperson, he should have the right to do so, and this treatment should not be made illegal. What should be illegal is not the conducting of therapy by a layperson to charge a fee for practicing psychotherapy; this restraint would effectively prevent him or her from making a living by practicing psychology and at the same time preserve the rights of the patient.

Hypnosis Defined

Hypnosis is popularly understood to be a psychological condition in which an individual may be induced to exhibit apparent changes in behavior or thought patterns-in particular an increase in suggestibility and subjective feelings of relaxation. The procedure by which this is achieved is called hypnotism

Intense debates surround the topic of hypnosis Many scientists dispute its very existence, while many therapists insist upon its value. One of the problems that creates controversy is the wide variety of theories of hypnosis. The definitions of hypnosis are as varied as the definers. Dr William S. Kroger states:

Like the nature of human behavior, there will be different theories about hypnosis since all hypnotic phenomena have their counterpart in the various aspects of human behavior (1977)

The applications of hypnosis vary widely. Currently, two distinct applications of hypnosis include its use in entertainment and in health applications and in health applications. The popular perception of the hypnotic experience is that of the entertainment version. The stage hypnotist uses a variety of methods to relax and focus the subject eventually making it appear to the audience that the subject is asleep or, popularly termed, in trance. During the performance, the subjects seem to obey the commands of the hypnotist to engage in behaviors they might not normally choose to perform.

On the other hand, hypnosis applications in the medical ion, and health-related fields are often experienced very differently. Clinical hypnosis is used in attempts to increase the ability to recall memories, assist with dieting, smoking cessation, pain reduction or elimination, eliminating irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) as well as resolving mental disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder( PTSD), anxiety and depression ion

Hypnosis Defined By The American Psychological Association

In 1933, the American Psychological Association defined hypnosis as “a procedure which a health professional or researcher suggests that a client, patient, or experimental participant experiences changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior”

This definition was revised and expanded March 2005. It begins, ÒHypnosis typically involves an introduction to the procedure during which the subject is told that suggestions for imaginative experiences will experience will be presented”

Hypnosis Defined In Physiological Terms: Alpha and Theta State-based Definitions

Through data collected via electroencephalography (EEGs), four major brain wave –patterns-frequency of electrical impulses firing from the brain-have been identified. The Beta state (alert/working) is defined as 14-32 cycles per second (CPS), the Alpha state (relaxed/reflecting) falls in the 7-14 CPS range, the Theta state (drowsy) from 4-7 CPS,

And Delta state (sleeping/dreaming/deep sleep) is defined as approximately 3-5 CPS.

One physiological definition of hypnosis states that the brainwave level necessary to work on issues such as stopping smoking, weight management, reduction of phobias, sports improvement, etc, is the alpha state. The alpha state is commonly associated with closing oneÕs eyes, relaxation, and daydreaming.

Another physiological definition states that the theta state is required for therapeutic change. The theta state is associated with hypnosis for surgery, hynoanesthesia andhypnoanalgesia, which occur more readily in the theta and delta states. It should be noted that hypnoanalesia of the skin is a common test for somnambulism. Arm and body catalepsy are one of a few tests done to determine readiness for these surgical applications.

However, it is important to reflect upon the fact that both arm and body catalepsy can be induced in non-hypnotized subjects. Indeed, arm catalepsy is a standard stage-hypnotist test of susceptibility. Moreover, normal, non-hypnotized subjects can be found in any of these states of cortical arousal without also displaying any of the behavior, traits or the enhanced suggestibility associated with being hypnotized

Dave Elman Definition Of Hypnosis

He defines hypnosis as “a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human mind is bypassed, and selective thinking established.” The critical faculty of your mind is that part which passes judgment. It distinguishes between concepts of hot and cold, sweet and sour, large and small, dark and light. If we can bypass this critical faculty in such a way that you no longer distinguish between hot and cold, sweet and sour, we can substitute selective thinking for conventional judgment making

Michael Yapko defines hypnosis: hypnosis is a process of influential communication in which the clinician elicits and guides the inner associations of the client in order to establish or strengthen therapeutic associations in the context of a collaborative and mutually responsive goal-oriented relationship”

Stage Application Of Hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is where a hypnotist chooses volunteers from the audience, puts the volunteers into a trance using hypnosis, and then has them perform certain silly, funny, or supposedly “amazing” suggestions. This could be like having the volunteers believe they are: drunk: aliens speaking a strange alien language and having another volunteer translate the language; naked or seeing others naked; 6-year-old children; ballet dancers-and the list goes on. All suggestions are temporary and usually only last during the show. When performed correctly, stage hypnosis is basically having fun with the subconscious is basically having fun with the subconscious mind without any serious detrimental side effects. It’s all performed for entertainment and with the welfare of the volunteers in mind. Stage hypnosis can be the most entertaining field because it involves “ real” people from the audience responding in a variety of ways which usually makes no two shows the same.

Hypnotically Induced Emotional States

Since an emotion is generally regarded as a combination of the activities of the ANS, the subjective perception of these activities, and the accompanying ideation, it follows that hypnotically suggested emotional states are closely related to the physiological effects of hypnosis. Because the ANS is generally not under voluntary control, many of the physiological effects producible under hypnosis may in fact be mediated by emotional states that are more directly produced by hypnotic suggestion.

Hodge and Wagner (1964) cited a collection of studies that utilized hypnotically induced emotional states to test the validity of the Rorschach test by inducing various emotional states in subjects and seeing if the resultant Rorschach protocol was changed in the predicted direction (Bergmann, Graham, and Leavitt, 1947; Counts and Mensh, 1950; Lane, 1948; Levine, Grassi, and Gerson, 1943; Mercer and Gibson, 1950; Sarbin, 1939). They then embarked on a line of inverse research designed not to demonstrate the validity of a projective technique but to show the reality of hypnotically suggested emotional states by demonstrating that these states produced appropriate changes in responses to a projective test assumed to be valid. For this purpose, the Hands Test, which consists of nine pictures of a pair of hands in ambiguous positions, was used. The subject was required to describe the activities the hands were engaged in. For a tenth card, which was blank, the subject was required to imagine a set of hands and describe their activities. In the first study, a middle-aged patient was used as the only subject. She was tested in the normal waking condition to establish a baseline and was diagnosed as a passive-dependent personality type. She was then given the test under neutral hypnosis, with remarkably similar results. She was subsequently administered this test under five different hypnotically induced emotional states (with instructions after each testing to forget the test). The five emotional states suggested were:

  1. Dwelling on a happy thought.
  2. Anticipating a pleasant sexual experience.
  3. Unhappiness over her husband leaving her.
  4. Anger over unjust criticism.
  5. Falling in love.

Hodge found that in each state, the patient's basic personality features were reflected in test results, but the effects of the suggested emotional state were also apparent.

In a follow-up study, seven subjects were tested to permit a statistical analysis of results. Only two induced emotional states, affection and aggression, were used. Responses to the Hands Test obtained in these states were compared to the results obtained from the administration of the test in the waking and neutral hypnosis conditions. In both emotions, it was found that the number of test responses appropriate to the suggested emotion increased from the baseline condition. It was also noted that responses appropriate to the noninduced emotion were lower than in the baseline condition (Hodge, Wag-ner, and Schreiner, 1966a). Hodge, Wagner, and Schreiner (1966b) con-cluded that a hypnotically induced emotion can be considered similar to a naturally occurring one, provided it can be demonstrated that the behavior and test responses of subjects are similar (under the hypnotically induced emotion) to their behavior and test responses under the naturally occurring emotion. They also found that the subject's behavior was different from that In the control state, that each test situation was perceived by the subject as a new experience, and that the effects of acting could be eliminated.

Hypnotically Induced Dreams

Hypnotically induced dreams can be generated either under Hypnosis or subsequent to it, in which case they are just a specific type of Posthypnotic phenomenon. The subject may be told to have and remember a dream, or the theme of the dream can be suggested with varying degrees of specificity. If the dream is produced under Hypnosis, the subject can be asked to describe it as he is experiencing it. However, since dreams are predominantly visual experiences and one picture will take much more than the proverbial 1,000 words to describe it in all of its details, such simultaneous verbal reports must of necessity be gross abstractions and therefore distortions of the ongoing dream process. What will be reported is a function of the subject's expectations and mental set and what he perceives the experimenter expects.

There is a general agreement that Hypnotic and Posthypnotic dreams, especially the former, tend to differ from naturally occurring nocturnal dreams. Specifically, they tend to be shorter, more verbal, less bizarre, and contain less symbolism. Barber (1962) says that they are often difficult to distinguish from simple verbal associations to the dream topic suggested. They resemble non-rem nocturnal dreams, which are often described by subjects in dream studies as thinking rather than dreaming. In a review of the literature on Hypnotic and Posthypnotic dreams Barber concluded that:

  1. Hypnotic dreams typically contain very little evidence of the operation of the dream work; that is, they are not distorted or symbolic representations and good Hypnotic subjects often describe their imaginative products as dreams in order to comply with the expectations of the experimenter.
  2. When Hypnotic dreams are reported involving predominantly pictorial images and a high degree of symbolic material, they do not differ significantly from reports of some nonhypnotized subjects instructed to make up symbolic dreamlike material.
  3. Some subjects who report dreaming about the Hypnotic situation the following night in response to a posthypnotic suggestions might have done so without the suggestion since the interesting experimental situation could have functioned as an ordinary day residue.
  4. Evidence was found in some studies that both Hypnotic and control subjects given posthypnotic suggestions to dream at night did not sleep normally and actually awakened during the night and purposely created dreams that they were motivated to produce.
  5. The notion that subjects are better able to interpret dreams under Hypnosis in the absence of the familiarity with psychology has not been demonstrated.

Barrett (1979), on the other hand, in comparing the Hypnotic dreams of 16 medium-to high-susceptibility male and female subjects with the non Hypnotic nocturnal dreams and daydreams of the same subjects, found a clear relationship between depth of trance and the characteristics of Hypnotic dreams. She found that the Hypnotic dreams of deeply Hypnotized subjects were quite similar to nocturnal dreams and concluded that it was therefore appropriate to use them in therapy as though they were nocturnal dreams; but for medium-susceptibility subjects, content difference were found between Hypnotic and nocturnal dreams.

Dave (1979) reports a study demonstrating the value of hypnotically induced dreams, not in psychotherapy but to aid in the development of creative solutions to problems of an academic, vocational, avocational, or personal nature about which subjects were at an impasse prior to dream manipulation.

Six out of eight subjects in the Hypnotic dream group were successful in solving their problem, as compared to one out of eight in a rational-cognitive treatment group and none out of eight in a control group given only a personal interview.

Torda (1975) used posthypnotic suggestions creating emotional states to study the effects of these emotions on naturally occurring nocturnal dreams in subjects sleeping in her laboratory. Subjects were awakened after each REM period with instructions to verbalize their dreams. The effectiveness of the posthypnotic suggestions in generating the emotional states was confirmed by various physiological measures made on the subjects. This study, although more typical of ordinary dream research than research on Hypnotically induced dreams, suggests that future Hypnotic dream studies ought to adopt the methodology of monitoring sleep continuously with an EEG and waking subjects for dream reports after each REM period. In addition to answering Barbers questions concerning the reality of the reported dream experience, EEG research is capable of producing a greater yield of dreams and hence could pick up dreams compliant with posthypnotic suggestions that were forgotten in spite of suggestions to remember them. Most research on posthypnotic dreams relies on the memory of the subjects the following morning

----Five subjects were given suggestions to make an effort not to dream, eight were given suggestions to facilitate dreaming, and four were given a posthyhpnotic suggestion unrelated to sleep or dreaming. Suggestions to inhibit or facilitate dreaming had a marked effect in the expected direction, based on subjective reports of the subjects the following morning. In addition EEG tracings made on the subjects throughout the night showed that two of the five dream-inhibition subjects had a dramatic reduction in REM sleep. This reduction demonstrated that there was more than the demand characteristics of the experimental situation involved in the subjective effects. No increase in REM sleep was found for the dream <ETH>facilitation subjects, and subjects in the three groups did not differ significantly in NREM sleep.

Techniques of Autohypnosis

Just as there are a great number of ways of inducing heterohypnosis, thereis also almost no limit to the varieties of autohypnotic techniques. Some of the works listed in the References and Bibliography of this book that were addressed to lay audiences provide an idea of this variety. It is improbable, however, that even a good subject would be successful in inducing self-hyp- nosis as a result of reading a book. What is generally required is personal training by a hypnotist, and this always includes some degree of heterohyp- nosis, whether in the form of a formal trance induction or in the form of helpful suggestions and supervision. An example of a self-hypnosis training procedure that the author has found effective (and which the reader may modify as he desires, to meet the requirements of his own personality and the needs of his patients) will now be described.

If a subject is to be trained in self-hypnosis by means of heterohypnosis, this should be taken into account in the selection of the heterohypnotic in- duction procedure. Specifically, hypnosis should be attempted in the most permissive manner possible and the subject's own role in producing all of the hypnotic phenomena emphasized. Following the induction phase, time should be spent in deepening the trance as much as possible so that the subject can experience the subjective feelings accompanying hypnosis. These feelings should be suggested to be pleasant and positive ones. The fact that the subject is always in control of what he thinks, feels,and does and is in no way under the control of the hypnotist should also be made clear. After the subject has had a chance to experience and enjoy the deep relaxation of the hypnotic state and his fears of the new experience have been allayed, he should be told that he can reproduce this pleasant, secure, relaxed state whenever he desires, without the aid of the hypnotist, by going through an induction ritual that he is then taught.

The particular ritual described is not important. Few subjects will be able to go into a self-hypnotic state instantly on a posthypnotic signal, and it is preferable to give the subject an induction ritual that permits him to enter the state gradually. For example, he may be told to say to himself: "When 1 reach the count of 10, I will be in a very deep, relaxed, hypnotic state," and then to start counting. Whatever posthypnotic quality may result from giving these instructions under hypnosis will aid the subject in his early efforts, but the method does not depend on posthypnotic suggestion and could be taught to a waking subject as well. Even in the latter case, however, a previous hyp- notic induction is desirable to permit the subject to experience the state he is trying to produce.

The subject should also be instructed, while still under hypnosis, to per- form all self-hypnosis in a quiet, private place and to sit or lie comfortably in a position appropriate for heterohypnosis before commencing. The subject should be told that following the self-induction, he can make the same kind of deepening suggestions to himself that the hypnotist has used. One or two of these techniques should be described to him. He should be told that each time he Induces hypnosis, it will be easier, and he will go deeper than the last time. A good practice is to train a subject in a self-induction technique related to the one by which he has been successfully hypnotized since he will have experience and confidence in such a method. Thus, if heterohypnosis was induced by an arm levitation, the subject can be trained to levitate his arm to induce hypnosis. In the initial induction, the hypnotist will elect the method he or she believes will be easiest for the subject, and, if it is successful, will use it as the basis of the self-induction method to be taught. If the hyp- notist had difficulty with the method originally attempted and had to switch to another technique to induce a trance, then he or she will also have to modify the self-induction procedure taught.

The subject should be told that following self-induction and deepening, he will be able to make any desired suggestions to himself, just as an external hypnotist could. He is then told that when he is finished making the sugges- tions, he is to awaken himself by the use of a simple formula, such as counting to 3, to ensure a comfortable and gradual return to the waking state. It should be suggested that he will never experience any unpleasant after effects of hypnosis, such as headache, muscle cramp, or a feeling of numbness, and that if any emergency occurs while he is under hypnosis, he will instantly awaken and be able to deal with the situation. Just how effective this latter suggestion is, or whether the same result would not occur without it, is un- certain, but it is never a mistake to err on the side of caution. Just making such a suggestion may have the effect of putting some of a subject's unspoken fears to rest.

After explaining the procedure to the subject under hypnosis and ensuring that he understands what is required of him, the subject should be returned to the waking state. Any additional questions he may have should be an- swered, and then he should immediately be given the opportunity to try out the procedure with the hypnotist present. The subject should be told to go ahead and induce the hypnotic state by himself, enjoy the pleasant, relaxed feeling for a few minutes, and then awaken himself. It is useful to tell him to raise his hand when he has attained a state as deep as or deeper than that induced by the hypnotist so that the instructor-hypnotist can gauge the sub- ject's progress.

The immediate practice of the self-hypnotic procedure makes it most likely to succeed because it capitalizes on the subject's heightened expectancy pro- duced by the successful heterohypnosis. It also permits any misunderstand- ings or problems to be corrected while the hypnotist is present to supervise the procedure. If the patient reports he is unable to produce hypnosis by himself it may be helpful to point out to him that he has already proved that he can do it (under heterohypnosis), for he and not the hypnotist was re- sponsible for whatever effects were obtained.

Following the successful completion of this exercise, the subject should be told that he must practice the procedure one or more times daily to attain proficiency in it and to reinforce the therapeutic suggestions that he has been instructed to make to himself. These will be specific to the patient's treatment plan but may additionally include general positive suggestions of well-being. These final instructions give the hypnotist the opportunity to repeat his sug- gestion, this time while the subject is in the waking state, that with each sub- sequent induction, the subject will go deeper. (For examples of other vari- ations in the teaching of patients to induce or utilize self-hypnosis, see Garver, 1984, and Sacerdote, 1984),

If self-hypnotic suggestions are part of a patient's treatment plan, the pa- tient should always be the one to induce the trance state, even in hetero- hypnotic sessions in the therapist's office. The therapist can thus monitor the patient's technique, and it motivates the latter to do his homework, for in effect.he is being tested on his performance.

Once a patient masters the generation of an autohypnotic state, he is free to modify it in a variety of useful ways. For example, he can leam to induce this state with his eyes open and without any external indications of being hypnotized. He can then induce a brief trance in a public place without at- tracting attention to himself, a useful skill should he have a need for an im- mediate, supportive self-suggestion, such as one to diminish a desire he may be experiencing to smoke a cigarette while trying to stop smoking (Spiegel, 1974a).

If a patient is unable to learn self-hypnosis because he is unwilling to de- vote the time necessary for practice (or for any other reason) but is a good enough subject for heterohypnosis, some of the advantages of self-hypnosis (such as the daily repetition of therapeutic suggestions) may be attainable by making a tape recording for the patient to listen to at home. These tapes should be tailor-made for the requirements of a particular patient, and ideally they should be made during an actual hypnotic session with the patient so that suggestions may be timed in response to the patient's reactions. If the issue of control is important to a patient, it may be worthwhile to have him prepare the tape himself from a script. This sort of tape may lack the profes- sional quality of one made by the therapist and may not be optimally timed, but it has the advantage of requiring a patient who resents being controlled by others to follow no one else's suggestions but his own.

Much of the potential of self-hypnosis or heterohypnosis to benefit a pa- tient may reside in the opportunity it affords him to detach himself from the external world and devote his full attention to a consideration of the positive ideas and suggestions presented. Not only are these ideas focused on in- tensely, but, because of their careful selection in consultation with the ther- apist, they are less likely to be the trivial or negative type of ideation that Barber claims is typical of most people's routine thought processes.

In addition to teaching a patient how to induce self-hypnosis, the therapist must train him or her in the preparation of the suggestions to be employed in this state. In general, these should be carefully thought out and planned by the patient prior to the induction (just as heterosuggestions should) to avoid disruption of the trance state. They should emphasize the benefits being sought rather than the negative aspects of the symptom and should be made with an attitude of belief and expectancy. Self-hypnosis provides more than the opportunity to reinforce suggestions made during heterohypnotic session.