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JHYPNOSIS & RELATED PHENOMENA

C.C. BRODEURÿÑÑ�ÿÿ

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KAÄ1984 04 15ÿÑÃ�(ÃCONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGYƒ

 

Ã�( ÃHISTORY OF IDEASƒ

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The hypnotic experience depends upon a special relationship. This has not always been recognized. 

Egyptian papyri describe ancient medical practices which seemto resemble what we today call hypnosis.  In the temple of Aescu­lapius, at Epidaurus, patients were put to sleep in a way thatseems very similar to procedures now used in hypnotizing [LeonChertok, Psychoanalysis and Hypnosis Theory: Comments on FiveCase Histories, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL HYPNOSIS, vol 25,no 4, apirl 1983, 209-224].

The idea of "rapport" seems to have been introduced by Mesmerin the late 18th century.  The hypnotic effect was thought tohave something to do with this rapport between doctor andpatient.  The magnetists at the time discounted this psychologic­al explanation of hypnosis and introduced the idea of a specialmagnetic "fluid" that they believed was the principal factorreponsible for the effectiveness of hypnosis in curing patients. 

But later, from about 1850, the "fluid" theory was replacedby the idea of "suggestion", making the hypnotic effect dueto some psychological process, and one which could be explainedin terms of the physiology of the central nervous system. 

Freud expanded on the idea of suggestion and offered his theoryof "transference" as the source of the kind of influence thedoctor can have on the patient through suggestion.  His theoryallowed the patient also to have an influence on the doctorthrough this "transference" phenomenon.

In other words, some kinds of contact we have with others cancreate a special "bonding" effect.  To minimize this "bonding"effect, Freud abandoned the techniques of hypnosis and devisedhis technique of free association.

Freud's so-called "cures" were supposed to be the result ofrecollecting long forgotten memories, which once made consciouscould be used by rational analysis to overcome the problem beingtreated.

Objection: how accurate or veridical are such retrieved memories?

Evidence suggests the past is hardly ever reconstructed frommemory as it occurred, either through free association or indeep hypnotic trance [Freud, Constructions in Analysis, 1937]and [Francois Roustang, Elle ne le lache plus, 1980].

 

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SUGGESTION

What is suggestion?  How does it work?  One authoritative workin psychoanalysis doesn't even mention the word suggestion [J Laplanche and J. B. Pontalis, The language of psycho-analysis,London, 1973].

Some think it's a bodily-affective sort of phenomenon, "an indis­sociable psycho-biological" phenomenon (Chertok), operatingat an unconscious level, and a way individuals influence oneanother, having nothing to do with transference.

The current opinion seems to be that we don't know much aboutsuggestion and how it operates between individuals.

In hyponsis the subject is removed from contact with the environ­ment expect through the hypnotist.  A kind of "sensory isolation"takes place, in which the subject depends upon the hypnotistfor environmental support.