Home » Hypnosis » Hypnosis Case Study Essay

Hypnosis Case Study Essay

What is hypnosis? There are many varying definitions that try to define exactly what hypnosis means and how it is used. The American Psychological Association defines hypnosis as a “cooperative interaction in which the participant responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist”. While hypnosis has become famous as an act where people are used to perform ridiculous actions for others amusement, it has also been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits. These benefits usually center on pain and anxiety, but what about other forms of hypnosis.

There have been case studies on hypnosis for exploring nightmares, for past lives regression, and for discovering or recovering memories in traumatic events in our lives. Hypnosis is a procedure used in many medical evaluations and treatments. The procedure while looked down upon by some is still used by reputable doctors and psycologist today. There are those who believe it to be a valid medical tool of science. The word hypnosis is a broad term. It covers many, many different states of consciousness and many different types of suggestive therapy.

The details of a hypnotic procedure or hypnotic suggestion can be different depending on what goal the practitioner is trying to accomplish and what is the purpose of the action. The introduction of hypnosis is first presented to the patient. The procedure involves telling the subject that suggestions for imaginative experiences will be presented to him/her. Hypnotic induction is a suggestion for someone to use their imagination, and can contain more elaborations of the introduction. Hypnotic procedure, however; is used to encourage and evaluate the person’s responses to suggestions.

The person being Hypnotized is guided by the hypnotist to respond to suggestions for changes in subjective alterations of perceptions, experiences, emotions, or behavior. If the subject indeed responds to hypnotic suggestions, it can be inferred that hypnosis has been induced and was successful. Suggestions which permit the extent of the hypnosis to be assessed, can be used in both clinical and research settings, by comparing responses to standardized scales. Hypnosis the Nightmare Aspect

Hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences (HHES) accompanying sleep paralysis (SP) are often linked as sources of accounts of supernatural assaults and paranormal experiences during the nighttime. Accounts of such experiences are surprisingly familiar throughout the years and are shared by different cultures. They are consistent with known states of REM. In this case-study a three-factor structural model of HHES is developed and tested with large samples. The samples were based on their relations both to cultural narratives and REM neurophysiology. One factor, labeled Intruder, consisting of sensed presence, fear, and auditory and visual hallucinations, is conjectured to originate in a hypervigilant state initiated in the midbrain. Another factor, Incubus, comprising pressure on the chest, breathing difficulties, and pain, is attributed to effects of hyperpolarization of motoneurons on perceptions of respiration. These two factors have in common an implied alien “other” consistent with occult narratives identified in numerous contemporary and historical cultures.

A third factor, labeled Unusual Bodily Experiences, consisting of floating/flying sensations, out-of-body experiences, and feelings of bliss, is related to physically impossible experiences generated by conflicts of endogenous and exogenous activation related to body position, orientation, and movement. ” (1999 Academic Press. ) The central features of this model are consistent with the recent work that has been done on hallucinations that are associated with hypnosis and schizophrenia.

It has been conjectured that complex combinations of SPrelated HHEs form the basis of diverse worldwide cultural accounts of nocturnal incubus/succubus assaults, spirit possessions, old hag attacks, ghostly visitations, and alien abductions (Adler, 1994; Bloom & Gelardin, 1976; Firestone, 1985; Fukuda, 1989; Hufford, 1976, 1982;Liddon, 1967; Ness, 1978; Wing, Lee, & Chen, 1994). During these accounts the person who is helplessly asleep claims that some unknown evil presence tries to harm them in their sleep.

These encounters can claim to be from such creatures as vampires, demons, evil spirits or even witches. The sleeper or victim in these cases are sometimes awoken by the inability to breath as though something was choking them while they slept, that coincides with the events of their nightmare. During these nightmares, most cases claim to be unable to move or wake themselves. They only awoke due to the inability to not breath at all or from someone outside of their unconsciousness.

Subjects consistently awake from hypnosis drenched in sweat, exhausted and terrified. Despite the many different cultural variations in beliefs about the provenance and meaning of the night-mare, the consistencies in the fundamental experience across time and locale are consonant with what has been called the experiential-source hypothesis for the origins of folklore and legend (Hufford, 1982, 1988; McLenon, 1994). So, what is the real origins of these nightmares? The subjects clearly believe they are experiencing some other world phenome.

Are they truly the victims of ancient folk-tales and evil spirits come to live or is there a more grounded answer we should be seeking? A person’s subconscious is a complicated and easily manipulative being. Nightmares can stem from simple unconscious anxiety or even dark parts of ourselves that we normally wouldn’t confront in our waking states. When a person is experiencing just a part of REM, they may even reach for their necks, unaware that they are leaving fingerprints or marks on their selves as they desperately try to catch their breath.

As a result, they may notice marks on their neck have begun to develop and leap at the conclusion that some evil force or entity is after them. A study that was released in 2009, has found that more than 90 percent of children of Mexican descent can identify the meaning of or has heard of the phrase “a dead body climbed on top of me” to describe the disorder. More than 25 percent of them has claimed to experience it themselves. As David McCarty, a sleep researcher at Louisiana

State University Health Sciences Center’s Sleep Medicine Program, explained it, humans tend to think about the elements of the different stages of sleep as packaged nicely together. So, in REM sleep, you’re unconscious, experiencing a variety of sensory experiences, and almost all, of your muscles are paralyzed (that’s called atonia). “But in, reality, you can disassociate those elements,” McCarty said. Dreaming is more common and vivid during REM than during NREM sleep (Dement & Kleitman, 1957).

SP constitutes an anomalous REM state involving complicated combinations of endogenous and exogenous inputs. They create challenging conditions for clear and meaningful interpretation. These combinations are not all random, however, their patterning being constrained by preexisting predispositions of the brain to be active in, particular ways (Llina’s & Pare’, 1991). Taking this theory in to account, means that REM starts through inhibitory activity of the REM-off cells. These are brain-stem mechanisms that inhibit motor output and sensory input.

They also provide the cortex with internal generated activation. This dream state can become highly intensified when coupled with feelings of extreme fear. The sample analysis was taken from the responses of 197 men and 262 women. 214 women and 160 men provided details about their age. Sixty-one percent of the cases reported their last SP experience had occurred within the last month. Seventeen percent reported experiencing SP within the previous 24 hours, and fourteen percent reported that it had been one year or more since they had experienced SP.

The current findings and arguments also have implications for hallucinations more generally. A major conclusion of the present research is that nocturnal hallucinations associations with sleep paralysis begin with an affectively charged “sense of prescence” leading to interpretive efforts to corroborate that conviction. This view is consistent with recent observations regarding hallucinations in other contexts (Bentall,1990; Woody & Szechtman, 1999). Hypnosis and Past Life Regression Scientific consensus is that the memories are the result of cryptomnesia.

These are narratives created by the subconscious mind using imagination, forgotten information and suggestions from the therapist. Memories created under hypnosis are indistinguishable from actual memories and can be more vivid than factual memories. Most hypnotic susceptibility scales assume that overt performance in response to hypnotic suggestions are experienced as occurring involuntarily instead of being voluntarily performed. Spanos et al. (1983a, 1983b) found that standard hypnotic susceptibility scales confound involuntary and voluntary responses of responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions.

A study that was done in 1976, found that 40% of hypnotizable subjects would call themselves by different names and describe their new identities in detail when given the suggestion to regress past their birth. In the 1990s, Professor Nicholas Spanos undertook a series of experiments that examined past life memories and where they come from. Details of these alleged past lives were extremely elaborate and vivid. Subjects were highly hypnotizable and demonstrated that the expectations of the person hypnotizing them were most important in determining the characteristics of their reported memories.

The experimental subjects that considered their accounts as credible correlated significantly to the subjects’ own beliefs about reincarnation and their expectation to remember a past life rather than being hypnotized. Spanos’ research lead him to the conclusion that past lives are not regressive memories, but actually social constructions based on patients acting “as if” they were someone else. In this study four individuals received hypnotic suggestions to regress beyond the point of birth to a life in which they had lived before. In the first study the development of the subject’s past life was not related to indexes of psychopathology.

In the studies of number two and three, there were past-life identities that reflected the expectations of the hypnotist. In Study number four the subject assigned credibility to past life experiences that were influenced by whether the hypnotist defined such experiences as tangible or imaginative. The combined data from the first three studies indicated that the subject’s intensity of past-life experiences relied on how easily the subject’s hypnotizabillity was but did not decipher how credible the experiences were. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61. 2 (Aug. 1991): p308

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.