Volume 16 (2021) – The “Corona”-Book

Issue 1+2, October 2021, 178 pages

of the journal Hypnose – Zeitschrift für Hypnose und Hypnotherapie (Hypnose-ZHH) (Hypnosis – Journal for hypnosis and hypnotherapy)

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Table of Contents and Abstracts

Dirk Revenstorf

Psychotherapy between algorithm and psilocybin

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 5-24

Two disciplines for facilitating psychotherapy have been unfolding during the last decade. On the one hand, with the digital technology various methods of online support for the patient have been developed. On the other hand, the therapeutic value of psychoactive substances has been rediscovered. In both approaches dealing with the Ego – the proper realm of therapy – is modified profoundly. By digitalizing in the extreme case, the therapist is replaced by a robot (chatbot) and the Ego is left alone without a human counterpart. By certain psychoactive sub- stances the Ego in its concepts of the daily routine management is deactivated. A human relationship, an important experience in psychotherapy, neither of these strains of treatment provide it. Nevertheless, both approaches are valuable resources – either for stabilizing the Ego by means of algorithmically optimized support or for destabilizing of the Ego for the purpose of cognitive and emotional reorientation.


Stephen Lankton

What Milton Erickson said about being Ericksonian

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 25-36

Over the last 15 years, as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, I have seen papers by hundreds of authors. Many authors discuss the research, theories, and case presentations with- out identifying their allegiance. However, an apparent trend has developed in the last decade in which many therapists prefer to identify their work as being “Ericksonian.” Yet, there have only been few authors identifying as such who go on to explain what it means to be Ericksonian. It is concerning that few authors seem to have returned to the original source when citing concepts that have been developed by, or attributed to, Dr. Milton Erickson. The vast majority of authors who quote techniques such as utilization or naturalistic induction usually cite a third source rather than Erickson’s writings directly. Often this cited third-party author is someone who never studied with Dr. Erickson and whose writing about the cited techniques has also not been directly taken from Dr. Erickson’s work. What evolves from this practice is sort of like the childhood game of “telephone.” That is a game where a story is repeated down the line by another author which is repeated by another author until, downline, the entire matter becomes radically incorrect and incongruent with the original. In this article, I will describe Erickson’s work regarding naturalistic induction, utilization, techniques for depoten- tiating conscious sets, and conscious–unconscious dissociation in his own words and also illustrate the evolution of his induction techniques over the years from 1929 to 1980.


Marcel Franz, Ewald Naumann und Wolfgang H.R. Miltner

Suggested deafness under hypnosis. A study of auditory and visual brain electrical potentials

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 37-68

Hypnosis is a powerful method to modify the processing and perception of stimuli. Previous positive reports about the effects of hypnosis-induced deafness are historically based on perception tests commonly applied only at the end of the hypnotic session. Therefore, various aut- hors argued that hypnotic deafness effects would less likely reflect an effect of hypnosis, but rather effects of sociocultural beliefs, placebo-like expectations, or cognitive distortions and self-delusions. In order to secure a more comprehensive basis for the assessment of possible mechanisms of hypnotically suggested deafness, it is necessary to gain information that is temporally directly associated with the processing of stimuli. Such a source of information provides the recording of event-related electrical brain activities (event-related potentials, ERPs). The present study examined the extent to which suggestions of auditory deafness produce changes of neuronal processes that underlie the cognitive processing of sounds. In addition, it was examined whether hypnotic deafness suggestions would only affect auditory stimuli, or whether they might also modulate the processing and perception of visual stimuli that were not addressed by the suggestions. For this purpose, ERPs were recorded from 31 healthy individuals during a randomized series of frequent (standard tone) and rare (distractor tone) acoustic stimuli as well as rare visual stimuli (distractor square) in a control, empty trance, and trance plus deafness suggestion condition. The retrospective assessment of the average loudness of tones at the end of the respective experimental condition resulted in significantly lower loudness ratings when participants were exposed to hypnotic suggestions than to the control condition. This effect was suggestion-specific as there were no significant loudness differences between control and empty trance. In addition, two ERP components (N1, P3b) were evaluated as electrophysiological signatures of stimulus processing. The N1 component, which predominantly marks so-called pre-attentive cognitive processes and was shown being associated with the allocation of selective attention resources to the processed stimuli, was neither influenced by the empty trance nor by hypnotic suggestions. For the P3b component, significantly smaller amplitudes were observed under the deafness condition than the control condition. This P3b effect was reflected in particular in response to the rare visual stimuli replicating observations that P3b amplitude varies as a function of stimulus probability. In this experiment, visual stimuli occurred in 15% and sounds in 85% of stimulus presentation. Functionally, the P3b component is commonly pronounced when stimuli get categorized and compared with stimulus representations in working memory, when addressing subjective stimulus relevance and orga- nizing stimulus-response coupling. Thus, the suggestion-specific effects seem to have a particular effect on cognitive processes of stimulus categorization and stimulus relevance – the latter due to modality-specific differences in probability. Overall, the study shows that suggestions of deafness can lead to a reduction of stimulus loudness, which, however, did not lead to  complete deafness in this experimental setting. Therefore, the term “deafness” may be misleading and should better be replaced by the term hypoacusis. Furthermore, the recording of electrical brain processes provides new and additional insight into the effect of hypnotic suggestion onto the perception of stimuli that remain not accessible with pure behavioral observations. However, the results of this study should be viewed with caution since these observations require replication and further intensive research.


Burkhard Peter und Eva Böbel

Does the homo hypnoticus exist? Personality styles of people interested in hypnosis. Explorative results 

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 69-106

It can be assumed that only those individuals who are interested in hypnosis will volunteer for hypnosis experiments. Do these hypnosis-prone individuals differ from hypno-neutral, non-hypnosis-prone individuals? If so, could one then speak of a universal personality type, the homo hypnoticus? Since 2010, the first author has been using Kuhl and Kazén's Personality Styles and Disorders Inventory (PSDI, 2009) to examine different samples from two pools, which essentially differed in whether there was an indication of hypnosis (HYP) during acquisition or performance or not (NON-HYP). All NON-HYP individuals, including STEM students, had similar values in the personality styles of intuitive-schizotypal (ST), optimistic-rhapsodic (RH), and charming-histrionic (HI). We focused our present exploration of relatively homogeneous samples of psychosocial occupational fields on these three personality styles by comparing 3 NON-HYP samples (N=1426) with 4 HYP samples (N=1048). Because each sample was made up of nearly 3⁄4 female participants, we calculated two contrast analyses for each one; one for the contextual effect of HYP vs. NON-HYP and one for the gender effect female vs. male. The results were as follows: There is a homo hypnoticus. He/she is intuitive schizotypal (ST). He/she tends to be rhapsodic-optimistic (RH). He/she is probably charming-histrionic (HI). He/she appears, however, mostly in women. Links to the history of hypnosis as well as to schizotypal research are being discussed, especially with regard to the acceptance of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in human sciences.


Maria Hagl

Efficacy and effectiveness research in the field of clinical hypnosis in 2020

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 107-126

Each year, a systematic literature search on the efficacy and effectiveness of clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy is conducted on behalf of the Milton Erickson Society of Clinical Hypnosis in Germany. For 2020, nine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated clinical hypnosis or hypnotherapy in comparison to a control group were identified. Two other RCTs evaluated a hypnotherapeutic group program or a mindfulness training including hypnosis, respectively, for stress reduction in samples with subclinical symptom levels. In addition, four RCTs evaluated hypnosis or hypnotherapeutic techniques in combination with other interventional approaches. Except from the two studies on stress reduction and one study targeting sleep problems in children, all other studies targeted somatic complaints or evaluated hypnosis as a method to alleviate the burden of invasive medical procedures. This is equally true for the meta-analyses published in 2020 and also for the bulk of the many newly registered RCTs identified in trial registers. Concerning the efficacy of hypnosis in adults undergoing surgery or other medical procedures, the already existing evidence base has grown some more and will most likely continue to do so. Searching trial registers also revealed that a few new studies targeting psychological disorders or behavior problems were registered.


Björn Husmann

How exercising and suggestive interventions became billable procedures in the outpatient sector of the German health insurance system – a small contribution on the (social) history of autogenic training (AT) and hypnosis

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 127-152

The billing options for autogenic training (AT) and hypnosis in the outpatient sector of the German health care system are part of the history of different psychotherapeutic methods. In order to be able to classify them, a brief overview of the (pre-)history of the heterogeneous health insurance landscape is necessary. This is followed by a presentation of fee schedules, which prevailed from 1924 to 1933 and after 1945. In addition to fee developments, the article also discusses how psychotherapeutic methods were implicitly grouped hierarchically. Overall, the article does not to provide a systematic historical analysis of the topic, as the currently available evidence is too limited and the subject matter too complex to allow for more sweeping conclusions. Instead, it aims to provide preliminary background information on the topic, which is usually regarded as 'dry' and of little significance – and is therefore largely forgotten. It is also intended to raise awareness of changing conditions in order to promote further professional political commitment in favour of AT, hypnosis and PR. (Anthony Kauders) 


Hansjörg Ebell

„Mission impossible?“ A patient with advanced cancer disease in need of psy- chooncological support. Failed communication or defeat? A case study

Hypnose-ZHH 2021,16(1+2), 153-164

Male patient in his fifties with advanced cancer disease is asking for psychooncological support. His goal is a “complete healing, no compromises like two or three years”. After the first session he refuses further contact. Possible reasons for this detrimental development and failed communication are discussed thoroughly.