Sigmund Freud was using hypnosis , thinking that repressed memory and emotions could be perceived in such a trance state. However he noticed that many patients could not achieve hypnotic trance, so he developed psychoanalysis to understand repressed memories. Psychoanalysis is considered as the first psychotherapy. After it many therapies got developed like Gestalt therapy, REBT, Cognitive behavioral therapy and Mindfulness based therapies. Now hypnosis is used as recreation, but it don’t matter much as psychotherapy.
Roughly 15 percent of the population is held to be highly hypnotizable. About 25 percent are thought to be not hypnotizable at all.
Those who seek out hypnotherapy to overthrow anxieties, phobias, or habits like smoking and overeating are, by definition, already highly motivated to change their behavior. They also have a certain amount of faith in the hypnotic process. By taking on the role of hypnotic subject and agreeing to listen to positive suggestions, they are demonstrating their commitment to overcoming personal problems. In itself, evidence suggests, this commitment may alter a person’s innermost frame of reference and impact the subtle ecology of the unconscious, with no boost needed from hypnosis.
Phobias and bulimia may be more severe disturbances, but that doesn’t make them any less subjective in nature. Recent studies at Stanford and elsewhere show that people with such disorders also tend to score high on hypnotic susceptibility scales and to respond favorably to hypnotic intervention. The connection?
Joseph Barber, Ph.D., president-elect of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. says “The very capacity that lends itself to developing the problem is the same that lends itself to solving it.” Call it suggestibility. Phobias may be especially responsive to suggestions, whether or not the suggestions are wrapped in hypnosis.
Phobias are one thing; surgery is another. The truth is, though, that beyond the initial skin incision, much internal tissue is not pain-sensitive. In anecdotal reports of surgery conducted under hypnosis, it is not clear that those who are reportedly pain-free are anything more than stoic or turning their attention away from it without entering a unique hynoptic state.
As with surgery, warts respond to suggestions alone. In one set of studies, patients simply given the suggestion their warts would disappear did as well six weeks later as patients given the same suggestion under hypnosis, and both did better than a control group given no suggestion. “Now that’s pretty amazing,” says Canada’s Spanos. “The hypnosis doesn’t do anything. But what’s amazing is that some psychological procedure is influencing a virally induced physiological process.”
And lastly, some claims for hypnosis are not what they seem. “You can find reputable clinicians who will tell you that hypnosis can be used to recover memories of past events in a totally reliable way,” says Joseph Barber. “But there’s very good evidence that’s not the case. Some will tell you that age regression in hypnosis really regresses people back to some early place in their life. That’s also not true. Age regression is a metaphor. Nobody is really regressed to an early age. Even people who accurately remember things are not literally reliving that moment.”
After examining the claims, the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association recently found no evidence that hypnosis increases the accurate recollection of the past. In fact, it said, suggestions integral to the hypnotic process may even lead some people to fantasize freely and confuse suggested scenarios with authentic memory.
What, in the end, does it mean to be under hypnosis? Its influence resides more in a power transaction between hypnotist and subject than it does in some hypothetical paranormal state of consciousness. It’s not that the claims made about hypnosis are wildly exaggerated. Many of the effects attributed to hypnosis really do occur. But packaging them under the label “hypnosis” conceals what is really going on. It doesn’t even begin to suggest that they are our very own powers and there might be ways for us to get at them directly and entirely on our own. In India many patients believe on hypnotherapy as magic treatment but get frustrated. We have to realize that psychotherapies are scientifically evaluated methods and should not be depend upon only hypnotherapy as a way to cure psychological disorders.