Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#1  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 27, 2010 12:28 pm

About 30 years ago I tried hypnosis to help me give up smoking. It didn't work the way the hypnotist expected it to. He told me at the end of the sessions that he had determined the reason I smoked was because I lacked self-confidence, and that was the position he had worked from. Well, I came away in the end wanting a cigarette, and I am still smoking, in spite of many attempts to give up, including trying Zyban, which made me feel like killing myself.

Whether it's coincidence, or the effects of what the hypnotist attempted, it is true however that within the next 2-3 years, I made several life changes which were beneficial. I stood up to a bullying husband, I got promoted twice, I bought my own house, and got divorced.

Now a neighbour who is a qualifed hypnotherapist (DIP HYP LHS, whatever that means) has offered to help me try again with some sessions in return for me making her a skirt - so it wouldn't even cost me any money, unlike my continuing love/hate relationship with the nicotine weed - and I am very tempted to give it a go. But I keep putting it off. I now think that, apart from the physical addiction to nicotine, I continue to smoke partly as a - well, a way of being disobedient. People say I shouldn't, and it seems the more they say that, the more I am determined to cock-a-snook, as it were.

Anyway, what I want to know is:

Has anyone else here tried hypnotism, either as therapy or just for fun, or observed it in action?

If so, what were your impressions of the process, and the results, if any.

Hypnotism has a long history, and I think it's generally agreed that there is some validity to it, i.e. it isn't just hocus-pocus or pseudo-psychology, but how does it work?

Is there anyone here who actually can hypnotise others, or knows much about the process?

:smile:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#2  Postby Lazar » Apr 28, 2010 8:02 pm

My undergrad course had a set of session on hypnosis. I was a very devoted fundie back then so i refused to participate BUT I got to watch. They used a tape associated with the Stanford hypnosis susceptibility scale and the results in terms of following instructions given on the tape both during the session and slightly afterward were impressive. The question however, is whether it is anything more than a neat party trick. Results from meta analysis on smoking cessation are not encouraging with results suggesting that there is little evidence that it is any more effective than non-treatment. An extended abstract can be found here

Sorry :(
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 37
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#3  Postby Aern Rakesh » Apr 28, 2010 8:07 pm

I have a friend who is a hypnotherapist and she has always said that she hates working with people who want to give up smoking, because it never works unless the person already has a strong will to give it up.
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 72
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#4  Postby The_Metatron » Apr 28, 2010 8:19 pm

From An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural entry on hypnosis:

"... Since there are no adequate definitions of trance and no means whereby one can test for that state, it appears more likely that hypnotism is a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions and in acting out various suggested scenarios. As such, hypnotism may be a valuable tool in psychology. ..."

In regards to your particular application, the article has this to say:

"Recent research has shown that weight loss and cessation of smoking, both popularly advertised as curable by hypnotism, cannot be accomplished without the earnest desire of the sufferer to achieve the desired result; this leads to the question of whether or not the results might be as easily attained by some other form of approach, such as religious inspiration, the caring of a family member, or the intervention of another mystic-sounding but ineffective therapy. This is an idea that professional hypnotists do not care to hear."

I seem to be immune to hypnotism.

Sounds like woo to me.
I AM Skepdickus!

Check out Hack's blog, too. He writes good.
User avatar
The_Metatron
Moderator
 
Name: Jesse
Posts: 21066
Age: 57
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#5  Postby ConnyRaSk » Apr 28, 2010 10:51 pm

I've learned to use self-hypnosis to help me fall asleep at those times where i was having trouble falling asleep. Good for when travelling ( different bed , location etc ) I've used it to relax when in a dentist chair. I've seen it work really well on my daughter having her wisdom tooth removed. I've seen it have a major effect on a young man's fear of heights.
Yes, there is a sort of "contract": You agree to the suggestions being made to you while in a very relaxed state of mind, where you are very concentrated on the words being said. But you first have to agree that letting yourself relax and listening to those suggestions is what you really want to do.
Literature, fiction, poetry, whatever, makes justice in the world. That’s why it almost always has to be on the side of the underdog. ~Grace Paley
User avatar
ConnyRaSk
 
Posts: 4828

Country: Austria
Austria (at)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#6  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 8:45 am

Lazar wrote:My undergrad course had a set of session on hypnosis. I was a very devoted fundie back then so i refused to participate BUT I got to watch. They used a tape associated with the Stanford hypnosis susceptibility scale and the results in terms of following instructions given on the tape both during the session and slightly afterward were impressive. The question however, is whether it is anything more than a neat party trick. Results from meta analysis on smoking cessation are not encouraging with results suggesting that there is little evidence that it is any more effective than non-treatment. An extended abstract can be found here

Sorry :(

Yeah, I've read that too, about the results on smoking, I mean. :( I think I'm in the process of attempting to convince myself that I really do want to stop before I go in for any sessions, aware that it isn't a magic cure.

What was the reasoning behind your refusal to participate, Lazar? How did your particular religion view hypnosis?
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#7  Postby Aern Rakesh » Apr 29, 2010 8:50 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
I think I'm in the process of attempting to convince myself that I really do want to stop before I go in for any sessions, aware that it isn't a magic cure.


Well if you finish that process, DD, i.e. become firm in your conviction that you really do want to stop, then it might be worth giving hypnotherapy a go. If the therapist is any good they will be able to tell in your initial discussion whether you are truly ready to benefit from it. Of course if they aren't any good they will probably take you on regardless... So it's worth getting a personal recommendation from someone you trust.
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 72
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#8  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 8:51 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:I have a friend who is a hypnotherapist and she has always said that she hates working with people who want to give up smoking, because it never works unless the person already has a strong will to give it up.

I can believe that, Nora. The trouble is, I'm having difficulty convincing myself that I really do want to stop. The idea, and this is utterly ridiculous, of never having another cigarette is scary. How stupid is that?
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#9  Postby Aern Rakesh » Apr 29, 2010 8:54 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:I have a friend who is a hypnotherapist and she has always said that she hates working with people who want to give up smoking, because it never works unless the person already has a strong will to give it up.

I can believe that, Nora. The trouble is, I'm having difficulty convincing myself that I really do want to stop. The idea, and this is utterly ridiculous, of never having another cigarette is scary. How stupid is that?


Well it may be worth your while to go see an ordinary therapist just to talk about it for a few sessions, i.e. track down the 'reasons' behind that feeling.
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 72
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#10  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:01 am

The_Metatron wrote:"... Since there are no adequate definitions of trance and no means whereby one can test for that state, it appears more likely that hypnotism is a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions and in acting out various suggested scenarios. As such, hypnotism may be a valuable tool in psychology. ..."

It certainly does all sound a bit woo-ish, I agree, Meta.

The only memories I have of the previous attempt are in regards to the hypnotists 'testing', for want of a better word, my hypnotic state. I was seated in a chair with my arms and hands relaxed and resting along the arms. I don't recall what he said in order 'to put me under', but shortly afterwards he asked me to raise the middle finger of my left hand. As far as I could tell, nothing happened, but he seemed satisfied, also he had said that my arms were too heavy for me to move, and I remember thinking 'I could move them if I wanted to' and 'Heck, I could open my eyes if I wanted to' but I didn't. That's all I remember.

The_Metatron wrote:I seem to be immune to hypnotism.


Your eyelids are getting very heavy........


Your eyelids are getting very heavy........


Your eyelids are getting very heavy........
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#11  Postby Lazar » Apr 29, 2010 9:03 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Yeah, I've read that too, about the results on smoking, I mean. :( I think I'm in the process of attempting to convince myself that I really do want to stop before I go in for any sessions, aware that it isn't a magic cure.


Yes. Many psychs talk about the central importance of change readiness as being central to any meaningful change. There is a fair bit of research on the Transtheoretical model of change in relation to smoking change readiness which is probably the most dominate therapy framework for smoking. There is some literature on it which a quick google search will bring up how the model can be used to frame interventions and increase change readiness. You should be aware that the research on its usefulness is not great with some showing it works really well and others showing it does not work at all.

What was the reasoning behind your refusal to participate, Lazar? How did your particular religion view hypnosis?


I was in the AOG (light bulb and a car away from being Armish) at the time. I think the refusal was a typical fundie reaction to anything I did not understand. That is to treat it with fear and distrust. It was suggested by my Christian group leader at the time that it was the devils work and too much like witchcraft and as the leader of the university witnessing group (I ran groups which proselytized to university student) it was inappropriate for me to participate.....Now in my non-religious days I really wish I had not been such a moron and could have given it a go for fun.
Image

Spinozasgalt: "And how come no one ever sigs me?"
User avatar
Lazar
 
Posts: 2280
Age: 37
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#12  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:04 am

ConnyRaSk wrote:I've learned to use self-hypnosis to help me fall asleep at those times where i was having trouble falling asleep. Good for when travelling ( different bed , location etc ) I've used it to relax when in a dentist chair. I've seen it work really well on my daughter having her wisdom tooth removed. I've seen it have a major effect on a young man's fear of heights.
Yes, there is a sort of "contract": You agree to the suggestions being made to you while in a very relaxed state of mind, where you are very concentrated on the words being said. But you first have to agree that letting yourself relax and listening to those suggestions is what you really want to do.

I've always wondered about self-hypnosis, Conny. How do you, having put yourself under, as it were, then end the session?

That's interesting about your daughter. Did she have any other form of pain relief?
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#13  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:10 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
I think I'm in the process of attempting to convince myself that I really do want to stop before I go in for any sessions, aware that it isn't a magic cure.


Well if you finish that process, DD, i.e. become firm in your conviction that you really do want to stop, then it might be worth giving hypnotherapy a go. If the therapist is any good they will be able to tell in your initial discussion whether you are truly ready to benefit from it. Of course if they aren't any good they will probably take you on regardless... So it's worth getting a personal recommendation from someone you trust.

She's a neighbour I have known for some years, Nora, and all she has done is make the offer - must be nearly a year ago now. The rest she appears to be leaving to me, as the subject doesn't arise unless I broach it, and her response is always that it is up to me when I'm ready. She is a lovely lady who has a very calm manner, and I think she would be good, but cannot perform miracles... :smile:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#14  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:25 am

Lazar wrote:Yes. Many psychs talk about the central importance of change readiness as being central to any meaningful change. There is a fair bit of research on the Transtheoretical model of change in relation to smoking change readiness which is probably the most dominate therapy framework for smoking. There is some literature on it which a quick google search will bring up how the model can be used to frame interventions and increase change readiness. You should be aware that the research on its usefulness is not great with some showing it works really well and others showing it does not work at all.

I'll look into that, thanks Lazar.

And I think you may have just stuck a pin into a conundrum which I was only peripherally aware of, if at all, which I am really going to have to think about.

I mean the idea of change. Until now I would have asserted that I am not in the least afraid of change, certainly not in the way that some people will go out of their way to avoid it, I have made many life changes and decisions that only I could make, but the central thing running through it all is that I have always -since I was introduced to it by my first husband at 18 - been a smoker, whether it was just 3 or 4 a day, or more. That I have not been able to change. So why not?

:ask:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#15  Postby Aern Rakesh » Apr 29, 2010 9:35 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Until now I would have asserted that I am not in the least afraid of change, certainly not in the way that some people will go out of their way to avoid it, I have made many life changes and decisions that only I could make, but the central thing running through it all is that I have always -since I was introduced to it by my first husband at 18 - been a smoker, whether it was just 3 or 4 a day, or more. That I have not been able to change. So why not?



Well, you've gone through a huge change recently, i.e. losing your job and then a huge change in lifestyle doing all the sewing. And you've got (potentially) another big bill looming (i.e. the plumbing). If I were in your shoes and one side of me was trying to get me to give up, say, comfort food, I'd tell that side to get stuffed! ;)
Image
User avatar
Aern Rakesh
RS Donator
 
Posts: 13582
Age: 72
Female

Country: UK (London)
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#16  Postby babel » Apr 29, 2010 9:36 am

The odd thing about hypnotism is when it fails, the hypnotist claims you have closed off your mind or aren't openminded enough so, it doesn't work. Fancy that. If it works, it's because of their hypnotic abilities, if it's not, it's your mindset that's messing up the process. As the metatron puts it: it appears to be woo.
Milton Jones: "Just bought a broken second hand time machine - plan to fix it, have lots of adventures then go back and not buy it, he he idiots.."
User avatar
babel
 
Posts: 4675
Age: 40
Male

Country: Belgium
Belgium (be)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#17  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:44 am

Nora_Leonard wrote:

Well, you've gone through a huge change recently, i.e. losing your job and then a huge change in lifestyle doing all the sewing. And you've got (potentially) another big bill looming (i.e. the plumbing). If I were in your shoes and one side of me was trying to get me to give up, say, comfort food, I'd tell that side to get stuffed! ;)

:lol: :hugs:

babel wrote:The odd thing about hypnotism is when it fails, the hypnotist claims you have closed off your mind or aren't openminded enough so, it doesn't work. Fancy that. If it works, it's because of their hypnotic abilities, if it's not, it's your mindset that's messing up the process.

That is also true of many other things, Babel.

babel wrote:As the metatron puts it: it appears to be woo.


But that's just it, Babel. It sounds woo-ish, but apparently it isn't. I intend to do some reading up when I have more time, see my sig....

So much to do, so little time.

I'm going for a smoke before work. :lol:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#18  Postby babel » Apr 29, 2010 11:54 am

That is also true of many other things, Babel.

Just out of curiosity, could you tell me what other things require the right mindset in order to work?
Milton Jones: "Just bought a broken second hand time machine - plan to fix it, have lots of adventures then go back and not buy it, he he idiots.."
User avatar
babel
 
Posts: 4675
Age: 40
Male

Country: Belgium
Belgium (be)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#19  Postby ConnyRaSk » Apr 29, 2010 3:14 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
I've always wondered about self-hypnosis, Conny. How do you, having put yourself under, as it were, then end the session?
That's interesting about your daughter. Did she have any other form of pain relief?


For the "talk myself into being sleepy" that is easy, as it is just part of a "ritual" and i use an alarm clock. Basically i just talk myself into relaxing all my limbs and feeling comfortable enough to fall asleep. Self-hypnosis= self talk+ relaxation technique.

The dentist my daughter went to is also the head of the dentists using hypnosis organisation in this country. It is rather funny, because it was i who introduced him to the idea of using this technique with all the kids he treats. He got curious and i sent him info in from the USA and UK (and translated some of it for him) and now this is his "fame".
He used an audio tape with my daughter. He first asked her, what is her favourite place to go on holiday and when she said the beach, that is the tape he gave her. The tape apparently includes a part that says, you are so at ease that your body will help itself to heal all the wounds it has, and any discomfort these wounds have while healing will be hardly noticeable... or something like that.

(Unfortunately there was some kind of argument she had with him over a filling that kept falling out and she wont go back to him.)

As to my other uses of self-hypnosis ( less these days than before ) i will set a kitchen timer or my cell phone and i as i relax i tell myself that i will wake just before the alarm, "or in X minutes from now" and it works in 8 out of 10 times.
I also tell myself as i relax, that should any emergency arise, i will be alert and ready to act on it. That is a good thing to say to self in order to be able to fully let oneself "go under". It was the best advice i got from a hypnotherapist 20 years ago. Before that i was unable to relax enough, as my inner -always questioning- self kept wondering "will i miss any clue? "will i be able to awaken in case of..(xyz)?"

BTW, i have yet to find a way to curb my appetite for sweets and cakes with self-hypnosis.... alas :whine:
Literature, fiction, poetry, whatever, makes justice in the world. That’s why it almost always has to be on the side of the underdog. ~Grace Paley
User avatar
ConnyRaSk
 
Posts: 4828

Country: Austria
Austria (at)
Print view this post

Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#20  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:20 pm

babel wrote:
That is also true of many other things, Babel.

Just out of curiosity, could you tell me what other things require the right mindset in order to work?

Things that require the 'right mindset' either of one, or of both the practitioner, and the patient, or practicee, for want of a better word?

We could go through the alphabet, although it's a sure thing I won't be able to think of something for each letter so I'll go for just a few.

Acupuncture. CBT. Chiropractic. Hypnosis. Learning. NLP. Osteopathy. Psychotherapy. Zen meditation.

Which are real, and which are woo? All apparently require the participants to be in the correct frame of mind for success. The human brain is a strange and mysterious place that as of now we understand very little. Some things work for some people, and not for others. Some people think that Chiropractic is woo, but I was relieved of severe pain in three sessions by (what I came to think of as) a very skilled practitioner. Did I just 'believe' that she could take away the pain I had suffered for months? Who knows.

I know a man who, suffering from severe difficulties in his intimate life, refused to go for therapy because he said he knew he would 'fight against it.' Was he right not to go, already anticipating failure, or should he have gone anyway, not realising that the 'wrong mindset' would guarantee failure? And then the therapist could claim it was his fault, and correctly at that.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
Doubtdispelled
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 11836

Print view this post

Next

Return to Psychology & Neuroscience

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest