Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#21  Postby Lazar » Apr 29, 2010 9:23 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
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.


Im so sad that CBT and Psychotherapy is in that list :waah:
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#22  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 29, 2010 9:28 pm

Lazar wrote:Im so sad that CBT and Psychotherapy is in that list :waah:


You mean because I have included them in a list of therapies that require the correct mindset of either/both the practitioner and the patient to work, or because you think they are in a list that Babel might label 'Woo'?

:lol:
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#23  Postby Lazar » Apr 29, 2010 9:36 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Lazar wrote:Im so sad that CBT and Psychotherapy is in that list :waah:


You mean because I have included them in a list of therapies that require the correct mindset of either/both the practitioner and the patient to work, or because you think they are in a list that Babel might label 'Woo'?

:lol:

:lol: they might be in a list that I would label woo :grin:

Sorry i don't mean to derail your thread. Im looking into finding some good stuff on change readiness and smoking cessation and will get back to you if i find it.
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#24  Postby Mr.Samsa » Apr 30, 2010 12:27 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
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.


Uh.... yes and no. I can't help but feel that your use of the term "correct frame of mind for success" is conflating two different and distinct meanings. Claiming that say, CBT and chiropractic both require the "correct frame of mind" to succeed is like saying both medicine and homeopathy require the "correct chemical composition" to succeed. Whilst true, this omits the fact that the "correct chemical composition" for doctors is finding an empirically verified drug that has been demonstrated to help treat some specified illness, whereas for the homeopath the "correct chemical composition" is one that requires the discovery of a form of water that retains the memory of ingredients that have long since been removed from contact.

In other words, it's true that CBT, learning and psychotherapy require you to be in the "correct frame of mind", the difference is that this frame of mind is "being conscious and able to follow instructions", whereas in the other cases it means succumbing to confirmation biases and placebos in order to ignore the fact that they clearly offer no possible causal mechanism in which to work - and this is why they can't ever be demonstrated to have any more effect than doing nothing at all.

Doubtdispelled wrote: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.


The great thing about CBT and other things in life that have a real world effect, is that even if you go there not really willing to give it a try, you will still notice some effects. This is because it works independent of whether you pray to fairies or believe old men with needles can cure asthma by stabbing your chi line. So if you are depressed and CBT makes you feel a little less depressed, then you are most likely going to give it a more concerted effort which means you'll follow most of the instructions given to you by the therapist and you'll show substantial improvements.

Getting more on topic though, the problem with overcoming addiction is a basic mathematical one. If we just look at self control, there is one thing that anybody who has had any kind of addiction (ranging from heroin addiction, to having a really bad craving for chocolate cake) knows which is the fact that, ignoring all extraneous influences like family support, nicotine patches etc, our self control weakens over time. On a slightly more complicated level, we know that the reason we feel our self control 'weaken', is the fact that time affects the value of any given thing according to a hyperbolic decay.

Exponential vs Hyperbolic graph.jpg
Exponential vs Hyperbolic graph.jpg (17.88 KiB) Viewed 752 times


In this graph, the top panel shows what really happens and the bottom panel shows what should happen according to the economists' idea of the rational agent and an exponential discounting decay. In very simple terms, the bottom panel assumes that the value of two things (e.g. the left bar being a smaller, sooner reward like "a cigarette" and the right bar being a larger, delayed reward like "sobriety") decreases at the same rate. So the relative difference in values at Time 6 is the same as at Time 0, Time 2, etc etc.

However, like I said, this isn't what happens. Instead what happens is that the value of each item decreases at different rates and this means that although at a distance (Time 0) you can accurately judge the values of the two items, as time increases and you approach an opportunity to, for example, smoke a cigarette, the value of this item increases so much that we get a preference reversal (approx. Time 5 on the graph). Self control researchers compare the situation to looking at two buildings from a distance - whilst you can accurately judge which of the two is taller, as you get closer to the smaller front one you can no longer see the building behind it and fail to accurately judge the relative differences in height.

The importance of knowing about preference reversals is that since we know why they happen (or in other words, why we sometimes act impulsively whilst knowing what the better option should be) is that we can manipulate these curves to our advantage. One of the problems with quitting an addiction is that since "sobriety" is a reward that is offset so far into the future (i.e. basically till the day you die), the value of it is effectively negligible when we are faced with a daily opportunity to engage in the smaller, immediate reward. The key then, is to set up numerous rewards that counteract the effects of the smaller reward - for example, if you were health conscious you could maybe set up monthly checkups to watch how your health improves after quitting smoking, or even simpler just set up a chart on the wall where everyday you give yourself something like a smiley face or a tick for not smoking, and if you go a whole week without having a cigarette then you reward yourself with something you enjoy like a bottle of wine, a nice slice of chocolate cake etc. It obviously all depends on what you enjoy and what works for you.

The other, and perhaps more controversial, approach is the suggestion that sometimes complete abstinence is not always possible and at least not when starting out. The idea is that the aim should be a reduction in engaging in the addictive substance, rather than a complete removal of it. A lot of people will tell you that this doesn't work but this is because they don't structure and monitor their intake. Instead of reducing your intake by simply having the odd one every now and then (which will inevitably lead back to the full level of addiction you were previously at), the recommended approach is to set up a designated time in which you are "allowed" a cigarette. For example, you could say "I am allowed one cigarette before work, and one after 6pm". The trick is just getting into a habit where this is normal, and you no longer instinctually just reach for a cigarette whenever you are outside, or with friends, or having a drink etc. The drawbacks of this approach is obviously that you don't quit - but sometimes a reduction is the best outcome for some people, and perhaps with time you'd be able to limit yourself to one cigarette before work and nothing else, then only one cigarette on a Friday evening, etc.
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#25  Postby Lazar » Apr 30, 2010 8:12 am

Mr Samsa Wrote:
In other words, it's true that CBT, learning and psychotherapy require you to be in the "correct frame of mind", the difference is that this frame of mind is "being conscious and able to follow instructions", whereas in the other cases it means succumbing to confirmation biases and placebos in order to ignore the fact that they clearly offer no possible causal mechanism in which to work - and this is why they can't ever be demonstrated to have any more effect than doing nothing at all.

^This.
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#26  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 30, 2010 10:18 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:In other words, it's true that CBT, learning and psychotherapy require you to be in the "correct frame of mind", the difference is that this frame of mind is "being conscious and able to follow instructions", whereas in the other cases it means succumbing to confirmation biases and placebos in order to ignore the fact that they clearly offer no possible causal mechanism in which to work - and this is why they can't ever be demonstrated to have any more effect than doing nothing at all.

Exactly, Mr S. I was merely responding to Babel's request for examples. ;)

The graph illustration is very interesting. It reminds me of the marshmallow test on children, and it looks like I am the one who ate the first marshmallow when it comes to ciggies.

Mr.Samsa wrote:The other, and perhaps more controversial, approach is the suggestion that sometimes complete abstinence is not always possible and at least not when starting out. The idea is that the aim should be a reduction in engaging in the addictive substance, rather than a complete removal of it. A lot of people will tell you that this doesn't work but this is because they don't structure and monitor their intake. Instead of reducing your intake by simply having the odd one every now and then (which will inevitably lead back to the full level of addiction you were previously at), the recommended approach is to set up a designated time in which you are "allowed" a cigarette. For example, you could say "I am allowed one cigarette before work, and one after 6pm". The trick is just getting into a habit where this is normal, and you no longer instinctually just reach for a cigarette whenever you are outside, or with friends, or having a drink etc. The drawbacks of this approach is obviously that you don't quit - but sometimes a reduction is the best outcome for some people, and perhaps with time you'd be able to limit yourself to one cigarette before work and nothing else, then only one cigarette on a Friday evening, etc.


Been there, done that. "The trick is just getting into a habit where this is normal" Is it just me, or is it actually far harder, if not nigh-on impossible, to actually deliberately create a 'habit' rather than it just forming? Aren't habits usually subconscious?
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#27  Postby Doubtdispelled » Apr 30, 2010 10:26 am

ConnyRaSk wrote:

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:

I used to do this too, Conny, when life was horribly busy with small children and any opportunity for relaxation was paramount. It worked too, but I never thought of it as self-hypnosis. I'm a great believer in 'mind-over-matter', and think that our brains can have far more conscious control of our bodies than most people would accept. I can slow my heartbeat at will, and it takes only a little concentration. :smile:
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#28  Postby Mr.Samsa » Apr 30, 2010 10:34 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Been there, done that. "The trick is just getting into a habit where this is normal" Is it just me, or is it actually far harder, if not nigh-on impossible, to actually deliberately create a 'habit' rather than it just forming? Aren't habits usually subconscious?


Hmm.. 'subconscious' isn't really a valid term in science - at the very core of it, all of our learning is "subconscious". Sometimes we become aware of what we're learning, but our awareness doesn't change what we've learnt really.

The only problem with deliberately forming a habit is the fact that it's easy to cheat yourself since you know what's happening. For example, an incredibly effective treatment for smoking is to wear an elastic band around your wrist and every time you want a cigarette, you pull on the band and let it slap back on your wrist. This severely reduces smoking in people, but the problem is that after a few weeks they stop pulling on the band so hard to stop it from hurting so much, which then makes the whole exercise futile...
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#29  Postby babel » Apr 30, 2010 10:44 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
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.
Psychological problems/treatments are obvious examples, but I was referring to physical treatments that require a certain mindset. I can imagine that someone who isn't in the right mindset for opiates, still experiences the effects. I should have phrased my question better. Sorry.
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Re: Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

#30  Postby rejoin11 » Nov 02, 2020 3:27 am

Neither CBT nor Psychotherapie require "a certain mindset" to work. It's just that they don't simply work on everybody in any given situation, like a pain medication might. As with medication --> if you don't take it, it wont work. If you refuse to participate, CBT and Psychotherapie won't work. But they don't require to believe in them to work. Hypnosis does - unless your extremely suggestible. So if it failed once..........
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