Volume 7, Double-issue 1+2, October 2012, 224 pages

Of the journal Hypnose – Zeitschrift für Hypnose und Hypnotherapie (Hypnose-ZHH)

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Table of Contents

  • Christina Bose, Burkhard Peter, Christoph Piesbergen, Melina Staudacher und Maria Hagl
    Work patterns of German-speaking practitioners of hypnosis
  • Burkhard Peter, Christina Bose, Christoph Piesbergen, Maria Hagl, und Dirk Revenstorf
    Personality profiles of German-speaking practitioners of hypnosis and hypnotherapy
  • Burkhard Peter, Maria Hagl, Alexandra Bazijan und Christoph Piesbergen
    Hypnotic suggestibility and adult attachment
  • Melina Staudacher, Maria Hagl, Christoph Piesbergen und Burkhard Peter
    Are hypnotizabiliy and attachment correlated after all? Report on a replication
  • Burkhard Peter, Philipp Schiebler, Christoph Piesbergen und Maria Hagl
    Elektromyographic investigation of hypnotic arm levitation: Differences between voluntary arm elevation and involuntary arm levitation
  • Björn Riegel
    Current data on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation – A systematic review
  • Björn Riegel und Sven Tönnies
    Smoking cessation in psychotherapeutic practice: An evaluation of the SMOKEX program
  • Bernd Schick
    “…as if someone responded with a perpetual cry.” About the relationship between hypnotherapy and general psychology. On the occasion of the Festschrift for Vladimir Gheorghiu. Hypnose-ZHH, 6(1+2), October 2011. An essay
  • Stella Nkenke
    Selfhypnosis in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). A case report
  • Ulrich Freund
    On power hypnosis. The fairy tale „The buffalo leather boots“ of the Brothers Grimm (KHM 199)

 

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Christina Bose, Burkhard Peter, Christoph Piesbergen, Melina Staudacher und Maria Hagl

Work patterns of German-speaking practitioners of hypnosis
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 7-30

Aim: After more than 30 years of dissemination of techniques and theoretical concepts of modern hypnosis and hypnotherapy, it was interesting to learn more about their practical ap­pli­cation in psychotherapy, medical and dental practice and to investigate the use of direct and indirect techniques. For this reason, work patterns of 203 practitioners of hypnosis and hypnothe­rapy from German-speaking hypnosis organizations were examined. There were mainly medical and psychological psychotherapists, physicians and dentists involved.

Methodology: A 70 item questionnaire was administered, including questions on socio-demographic characteristics, educational and hypnosis related information and questions re­gar­ding the use of indirect and direct techniques. Concerning the latter, the frequency of use as well as experiences and attitudes that influence the frequency of application and the application success were of particular interest.

Results: Participants indicated an overall frequent use of hypnosis, with many of the participants perceiving their work areas as overlapping. About 43% of the respondents each do or do not make explicit use of the word “hypnosis” when working with their clients. About 90 % of the respondents consider themselves as medium to high hypnotizable. Furthermore, results show that indirect techniques are used predominantly while there is comparatively little use of direct techniques. About 30% of the participants indicated deficient competences in using direct techniques; factors such as feelings of safety and well-being, fear of making mistakes and manipulating, private experiences, opinions regarding potential advantages and experiences of success influence the application of direct techniques. Conclusions: Two factors, expertise acquired through extensive training and positive personal experience, both providing an increase of professional self-efficacy, seem to be of central importance for the use of direct techniques. Limitations of the study and possible implications for professional training in hypnosis and hypnotherapy are discussed.

Key words: Practitioners of hypnosis, hypnotherapists, psychotherapists, physicians, dentists, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, work patterns, indirect techniques, direct techniques

Burkhard Peter, Christina Bose, Christoph Piesbergen, Maria Hagl, und Dirk Revenstorf

Personality profiles of German-speaking practitioners of hypnosis and hypnotherapy
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 31-59

Aim: Psychotherapy research usually focuses on the effectiveness of a therapeutic procedure. However, therapist variables have rarely been examined. So far there are no studies which focus on the personality profiles of therapists.

Description: In a pilot study, personality profiles of 203 practitioners of hypnosis and hypnotherapy from German-speaking hypnosis organizations have been examined. The target population was mainly medical and psychological psychotherapists, physicians and dentists.

Methodology: Personality styles were assessed using the Personality-Styles-and-Disorders-Inventory (PSSI), which measures the relative expression of personality styles and their non-pathological manifestations on 14 subscales.

Results: Com­pared to the values of the normative sample, there were moderate to strong, but no clinically re­markable effects on nine of the 14 subscales: below average characteristics in the willful-paranoid (PN), independent-schizoid (SZ), impulsive-borderline (BL), self-critical-avoidant (SU), loyal-dependent (AB), critical-negativistic (NT), calm-depressive (DP) and the helpful-selfless (SL) personality styles and above average characteristics in the agreeable-histrionic (HI) style. Comparisons between the occupational groups revealed significant differences on five subscales: intuitive-schizotypical (ST), impulsive-borderline (BL), loyal-dependent (AB), conscientious-compulsive (ZW) and helpful-selfless (SL), while mainly dentists and psychological psychotherapists differed from each other. Comparisons of practitioners of direct and indirect hypnosis techniques revealed no significant differences in terms of personality styles. Conclusions: The results can be interpreted in the following way: practitioners of hypnosis and hypnothe­rapy are capable of (1) entering and maintaining a respectful and trusting therapeutic relationship with their patients, (2) building on the resources of the patient, (3) but also intervening actively when therapeutically necessary. Limitations of the study are pointed out and further in­vestigations are suggested.

Keywords: Practitioners of hypnosis, hypnotherapists, psychotherapists, physicians, dentists, personality style, therapist variables, PSSI

Burkhard Peter, Maria Hagl, Alexandra Bazijan und Christoph Piesbergen

Hypnotic suggestibility and adult attachment
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 61-80

Aim: Many attempts have been made to connect hypnotic suggestibility with certain personaity traits. These efforts resulted in the discovery of “positive” as well as “problematic” as­pects of hypnotic suggestibility. In a pilot project, the association between hypnotic suggestibility and attachment style of young adults was examined.

Methods: We assessed the relationship attitudes in a sample of 117 undergraduate students with a German modification of the Relationship Style Questionnaire (RSQ) as well as their hypnotic suggestibility measured with the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS:A).

Results: Participants with in­secure attachment styles showed higher hypnotic suggestibility. Two RSQ scales in particular, namely “anxiety" and “lack of trust”, correlated positively with hypnotic suggestibility. Conclusions: Thus, hypnotic suggestibility seems to be connected rather to the “problematic” aspects of human personality traits; a result which has to be questioned further.

Keywords: Hypnosis, suggestibility, hypnotizability, attachment, relationship style questionnaire, RSQ.

Melina Staudacher, Maria Hagl, Christoph Piesbergen und Burkhard Peter

Are hypnotizabiliy and attachment correlated after all? Report on a replication
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 81-98

Study purpose: In search of characteristics that are associated with hypnotic suggestibility, and holding J.R. Hilgard's theories on the development of hypnotizability in mind, both aver­sive early attachment experiences and the ability to establish trusting relationships may be relevant. In an initial pilot study Peter, Hagl, Bazijan and Piesbergen (2011, 2012) found a significant correlation between higher hypnotic suggestibility and insecure attachment style in stu­dents. Aim of the present study was to replicate and further confirm this finding while taking possible other moderators into account.

Subjects and Methodology: Hypnotic suggestibility (Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, HGSHS: A), attachment attitudes and styles (Relationship Style Questionnaire, RSQ) and dissociative experiences (Dissociative Ex­pe­rien­ces Scale, DES) of 236 students were assessed among other variables.

Results and conclusions: Results indicated a weak but significant correlation between dissociation and hypnotic suggestibility, as already described in some of the research literature. In contrast to Peter et al. (2011, 2012) neither the reported attachment attitudes nor the resulting attachment styles were associated with hypnotic suggestibility. Looking only at the subgroup of highly suggestible subjects there was no correlation with attachment attitudes either. However, after a median split on the basis of dissociation scores, there were significantly higher scores in the RSQ scale lack of trust within the highly dissociative subgroup comparing to the subgroup of highly suggestible subjects with low dissociation. Context effects or sample differences as possible explanations for our failure to the basis of dissociation scores, there were significantly higher scores in the RSQ scale lack of trust within the highly dissociative subgroup comparing to the subgroup of highly suggestible subjects with low dissociation. Context effects or sample differences as possible explanations for our failure to replicate previous findings seem rather unlikely. A more sophisticated analysis of possible subtypes with regard to moderating variables might clarify the issue further.

Keywords: Hypnosis, Hypnotizability, Hypnotic suggestibility, Attachment, Relationship Style Questionnaire, RSQ.

Burkhard Peter, Philipp Schiebler, Christoph Piesbergen und Maria Hagl

Elektromyographic investigation of hypnotic arm levitation: Differences between voluntary arm elevation and involuntary arm levitation
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 99-124

Purpose: The aim of this pilot study was to examine the technique of the hypnotic arm levitation with subjective and physiological measures. An arm lifted and hold up unvoluntarily through ideo-motoric arm levitation in hypnosis was compared with that arm lifted and hold up voluntarily without hypnosis. In addition the subjects performed an non-hypnotic imagined arm lifting, without actually lifting it.

Method: 33 psychology students underwent a within sub­ject design with three conditions: hypnotic arm levitation, holding up the arm voluntarily without hypnosis, and imagined arm lifting without hypnosis in randomised order. Six muscles were measured simultaniously (trapecius, deltoideus, extensor digitorum communis, flexor digitorum profundus, biceps brachii and triceps brachii). Felt strain and muscle activity (electro­myography, EMG) during lifting and holding up the right arm for 3 min were used as dependent variables.

Results: During hypnotic arm levitation the total muscle activity in the right arm was 13% lower (p < .008) than during holding it up voluntarily; moreover, the activity in the deltoideus was 27% lower (p < .001). The hypnotic arm levitation was subjectively felt less strenuous (p < .027). Without hypnosis the muscle activity showed a positive correlation with the felt strain (r = .31; p < .006). However, there was no such correlation in the condition of hypnotic, involuntary arm levitation (r = .08). The muscle activity generated through non-hypnotic imagination was lower than in the other conditions but higher than baseline muscle activity (p < .001). No correlation was found between pretest HGSHS:A and muscle activity. Conclusion: It is possible to reduce as well the subjectively felt strain as the objectively measured muscle activity in an uplifted arm through hypnotic arm levitation. During hypnosis the felt strain shows no correlation with the measured muscle activity.

Keywords: hypnosis, arm levitation, voluntariness, involuntariness, imagination, muscle activity, electromyography, hypnotizability

Björn Riegel

Current data on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation – A systematic review
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 125-138

Scope of the review: For Smokers hypnotherapy is a popular method of cessation, although its efficacy has not yet been satisfactorily proven. The review provides an overview of recent re­search in smoking cessation using hypnosis.

Publication time span: The article presents the current data on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation and integrates the pub­lications from January 2000 until April 2012 in the phase model of psychotherapy research. The database pubmed as well as German hypnosis journals were systematically searched. On­ly publications dealing with hypnotherapeutic interventions for smokers were included in the analysis.

Results: Sixteen publications were identified. Nine of them are intervention studies, one is a review and the other six are meta-analysis. Except two meta-analysis efficacy of smoking cessation using hypnosis is proven consistently. However none of the intervention studies meets the criteria of scientific research in smoking cessation (Russel-Standard). Only two pub­lications belong to the category of randomized-controlled trial.

Discuss­ion: Recent research in smoking cessation using hypnosis shows promising result, but most often fails to meet crite­ria of high quality research. More evidence is necessary to determine the effectiveness of hypno­sis in smoking cessation.

Keywords: smoking, tobacco, cessation, addiction, hypnosis, hypnotherapy

Björn Riegel und Sven Tönnies

Smoking cessation in psychotherapeutic practice: An evaluation of the SMOKEX program
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 139-167

Study purpose: Smoking cigarettes is one of the most widespread addictions. Prolonged con­sumption is associated with an increasing danger of serious damage to health. In consequence it is necessary to provide effective and efficient treatments towards smoking cessation. At the moment behavioral therapy in connection with nicotine replacement therapy is considered as the first line therapy. Due to heterogenic data and a small number of high quality studies, hypnosis is not recommended as alternative treatment of smoking yet. The purpose of this study is to provide more knowledge about the effectiveness of hypnotherapeutic treatment of smoking.

Methodology: The semi-standardized smoking cessation program called SMOKEX is evaluated. The single-arm study took place in clinical practice using a naturalistic design by treating a total of 94 smokers. The primary outcome is abstinence at 12 months, ascertained in accordance with internationally established standards of smoking cessation research. The second goal of the present study is the analysis of predictors for treatment success.

Results and conclusions: Quit rates are reported following the Russel-Standard. At the end of treatment 55.4% of participants stopped smoking. At follow-up after twelve month 32.9% of former smokers report continuous abstinence. Abstinence is validated by CO-measurement and debriefing of relatives in a subgroup. Abstinence rates reached by hypnosis treatment are found to be superior to no-treatment. Furthermore they are comparable to treatment-as-usual (defined as behavioral therapy) as well as to hypnosis treatment described in recent research. While no predictors can be found in baseline-variables, changes during the treatment time can predict abstinence after 12 month (anger and stress management). The quality of the therapeutic relationship is higher for successful participants.

Keywords: smoking, tobacco, cessation, addiction, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, smokex

Bernd Schick

“…as if someone responded with a perpetual cry.” About the relationship between hypnotherapy and general psychology. On the occasion of the Festschrift for Vladimir Gheorghiu. Hypnose-ZHH, 6(1+2), October 2011. An essay
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 169-178

Theme: The focus of this essay is on the question of the systematic place of hypnotherapeutic interventions in the context of general psychology.

Development of the theme: Taking as a point of departure Vladimir Gheorghiu’s research about suggestibility (Hypnose-ZHH, 6, 1+2) and its methodological affinity to the psychology of organismic information processing as represented by the Berlin School, we will present a largely unknown essay by its founder and leader from 1962 to 1990, Friedhart Klix, “About certain connections between general psychology, the theory of neuroses and psychotherapy.”

Author's point of view: We will discuss general psychology’s positioning of hypnotherapy, and its underlying unconscious and involuntary process variables, first, in distinction from the arbitrary descriptions of psychoanalytic drive theory, and second, in comparison with a constructivist reading of the works of Milton H. Erickson.

Conclusion: As essential focal elements of hypnotherapeutic intervention, we will emphasize its orientation to behavior and resolving decision-making blocks, along with its transparency of cognitive interaction versus ontological manipulation.

Keywords: Hypnotherapy, general psychology, suggestion, decision-making behavior, constructivism

Stella Nkenke

Selfhypnosis in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). A case report
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 179-186

The author of the present case report broke her left forearm as a consequence of a sporting accident. A comminuted fracture was diagnosed. During the initial medical treatment I heard that somebody of the staff said “this is an irreparable damage”. I took this statement as a ne­ga­tive suggestion and felt seriously affected by it. On the other hand I derived motivation for the pursuit of healing from this statement. Severe pain, restriction of motion of fingers and wrist joint, alienation of the affected extremity and a number of additional typical symptoms lead to the diagnosis of a chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) three months after the accident. Over time I found out that selfhypnosis lead to a significant relief of pain. As a consequence I used specifically selected selfhypnotic exercises to support the treatment of the different symptoms of CRPS in addition to ergo- and physiotherapy. Except for a minimally reduced motility of the left wrist joint which is caused directly by the trauma, all symptoms of CRPS had vanished eight months after the accident.

The case report reveals that selfhypnosis effectively complements the common therapeutic ap­pro­a­ches to the treatment of CRPS and accelerates the course of healing.

Keywords: hypnosis, selfhypnosis, chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), negative suggestion

Ulrich Freund

On power hypnosis. The fairy tale „The buffalo leather boots“ of the Brothers Grimm (KHM 199)
Hypnose-ZHH 2012, 7 (1+2), 187-198

A hypnosis related interpretation of the fairy tale “The buffalo leather boots” (KHM 199): A resigned soldier represents a tough, fearless “Ego”, a gang of robbers the “It”, and a king the “Super-Ego”. By a “blue miracle” - as the soldier calls his autoritarian hypnotic interven­tion - he forces the robbers into a cataleptic stiffness which makes it possible to arrest them. The technique of this “power hypnosis” is described. Only after returning from the woods of the “unconscious” into the town the king can restore his institutional power.

Key words: Hypnosis, power hypnosis, fairy tales, Brothers Grimm