Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. -- Tim Brunson, PhD

Hypnotic interview and age regression procedures in the elicitation of multiple personality symptoms

Full Title: Hypnotic interview and age regression procedures in the elicitation of multiple personality symptoms: a simulation study

Patients diagnosed as suffering from multiple personality (i.e., multiples) behave as though they possess two or more distinct personal identities. When behaving as one identity, these patients often display signs of amnesia for events that occurred while they were behaving as a different identity (Sutcliffe and Jones 1962; Taylor and Martin 1944). In most theoretical accounts multiples are conceptualized as the passive victims of unconscious psychological processes that are beyond their sphere of control. For instance, patients' secondary identities are typically described as "dissociated" mental entities, as "taking over" behavioral control, as behaving independently of (and often in opposition to) patients' wishes and intentions, and so on (Allison and Schwarz 1980; Gruenewald 1984; Prince 1930; Watkins and Johnson 1982). Our paper criticizes this traditional account and suggests instead that multiple personality may be more usefully conceptualized as a social role enactment. Along these lines we present a study using college student role players as subjects to test the hypothesis that the kinds of clinical interview procedures employed routinely to diagnose multiple personality may instead encourage and legitimate enactments of this syndrome.

Psychiatry. 1986 Nov;49(4):298-311. Spanos NP, Weekes JR, Menary E, Bertrand LD.

Hypnotic age regression in an experimental and clinical context

The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of a clinical context in the experience of hypnotic age regression. Twenty-five patients experienced hypnotic age regression in an experimental and clinical context in counterbalanced order. Patients obtained significantly lower scores for experimental age regression than for clinical age regression, in particular when the experimental assessment preceded the clinical assessment of age regression. Moreover, scores for clinical and experimental age regression were only significantly and positively correlated when the clinical assessment of age regression preceded the experimental assessment. These findings give a tentative indication that more patients are able to experience clinical age regression than can be predicted from their responses to an experimental suggestion for hypnotic age regression where almost no opportunities for patient contact or maximizing of hypnotic responsiveness are provided.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1992 Jul;35(1):40-6. Spinhoven P, van Wijk J. University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Pseudomemory and age regression: an exploratory study

Hypnotizable (N = 9) and simulating subjects (N = 8) were age regressed to the previous week's hypnosis session and received a suggestion to hear a phone ring during the earlier session (no phone actually rang). Pseudomemory rates in response to open-ended questions were low in this study (0% hypnotizable and simulating subjects) and in previous research (Lynn, Weekes, & Milano, 1989; 12.5% hypnotizable; 10% simulating subjects) in which the phone-ring suggestion was not embedded in the context of age regression. In response to a forced-choice question, 22.22% of the hypnotizable and 25% of the simulating subjects indicated that the suggested phone ring was an actual event, a pseudomemory rate somewhat higher than our previous study in which none of the subjects reported pseudomemories in response to a forced-choice question. When the occurrence of the target stimulus of a pseudomemory suggestion is publicly verifiable, the pseudomemory rate is low.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1992 Oct;35(2):129-37. Lynn SJ, Milano M, Weekes JR. Psychology Department, Ohio University, Athens 45701.

Effects of an affect bridge for age regression

The authors tested tailored hypnotic inductions for age regression with an affect bridge to access meaning-laden events. They used emotional intensity, spontaneity, elaboration, and transitional-object measures to assess the genuineness of the topographic shift to primary process characteristic of hypnotic age regression. An affect bridge was used to access stressful events within the age range of 3 to 6 years. The Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale, Form C was administered to determine high hypnotizables-reals, (n = 8, scores 9-12) and low hypnotizables-simulators, (n = 8, scores 3 or less). The groups behaved differently on frequency of transitional objects, spontaneity, and intensity but not on elaboration. The hypnotizable-reals but not the simulators produced a plethora of primary-process childlike affective responses that could not be produced by the role-playing simulators.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2009 Oct;57(4):402-18. Christensen C, Barabasz A, Barabasz M. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99163, USA. ciara_christensen@yahoo.com

The Anatomy of a Great Presentation

by Tim Brunson DCH

What is a great presentation? Many of our readers also do professional speaking. Others may occasionally find themselves giving talks. As a hypnotherapist, NLP and hypnotherapy trainer, as a former top training administrator for 40,000 American soldiers, and as professional speaker, I have some very definite ideas of the structure of phenomenal presentations. I've studied many of the most inspirational speeches of the Western civilization and reviewed numerous talks by talented presenters who command $10,000 to $20,000 per keynote. What I've learned is contrary to most conventional thought.


Silence is not golden: a case for socially shared retrieval-induced forgetting.

The present research explored the effect of selective remembering and the resulting "silences" on memory. In particular, we examined whether unmentioned information is more likely to be forgotten by a listener if related information is recollected by the speaker than if related information is not recollected by the speaker. In a modification of the retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm, pairs of individuals studied material, but in the practice phase, only one member of each pair selectively recalled it, while the other listened. Experiment 1 employed paired associates, and Experiment 2 used stories. Experiment 3 involved not controlled practice, but free-flowing conversation. In each case, results from a final memory test established not only within-individual retrieval-induced forgetting, but also socially shared retrieval-induced forgetting. The results demonstrate that listening to a speaker remember selectively can induce forgetting of related information in the listener.

Psychol Sci. 2007 Aug;18(8):727-33. Cuc A, Koppel J, Hirst W. Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL 33314, USA. calex@nova.edu

Age regression: tailored versus scripted inductions

The effects of tailored versus scripted hypnotic inductions were tested with the intention of shedding light on age regression phenomena. From an initial pool of 31 volunteers, 10 males and 10 females who scored 3 or better on the Stanford Hypnotic Clinical Scale, participated in this study. Participants were assigned to either scripted or tailored hypnotic induction conditions for regression to age 5. The age specific developmental task was to indicate for each of 10 abstract figure pairs, which of each pair "was upside down". Both groups showed significant focal point dependency. However, the tailored induction group showed significantly greater focal point dependency characteristic of 5-year-old children, in contrast to the scripted induction group. It appears that tailored hypnotic inductions may provide a better avenue for the ego to regulate its own degree of regression. The better match to personality style takes advantage of the naturally occurring ego-syntonic capacities of the participant, thereby facilitating greater hypnotic responsiveness.

Washington State University, Pullman 99164-2114, USA. arreed_barabasz@wsu.edu

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