hypnotic effects


  • When someone is hypnotised they will demonstrate signs that they are in a trance.

  • It is important to be able to notice these signs when hypnotising someone.

  • You will have learned some of these signs in the previous lesson on depth of trance. Depending on the depth of trance some individuals will display phenomena associated with being hypnotised.

  • These so called hypnotic phenomena can arise spontaneously when working with an individual, or they can be installed by the hypnotist suggesting they occur, in order to be used in the therapeutic process.

Types of Hypnotic Phenomena

Catalepsy - an automatic contraction and apparent paralysis of muscles.

Ideomotor activities - automatic, involuntary movements made in response to thoughts or ideas. The word comes from a combination of 'ideo' from the Greek word meaning 'thought' or 'idea', and 'motor' from the Latin word meaning 'a mover'.

Amnesia - a loss of memory, either partial or total.

Dissociation - a disconnection from full awareness of self, time, or surroundings. There is an element of dissociation in hypnotic catalepsy, analgesia and anaesthesia.

Hypermnesia - is the ability to remember much, and to remember it clearly.

Regression - is the ability to inwardly go back to a past event and experience it in a detached way. A person regressing to a childhood experience would see it through their adult eyes.

Revivification - is reliving a past event as though it were happening now. A person revivifying a childhood experience would have no adult memories.

Pseudo-orientation in time - is also referred to as ‘age progression’, or ´future pacing´, this is like regression or revivification, but for a future event.

Analgesia - this is partial loss of the sensation of pain. The awareness of other sensations is usually unaffected.

Anaesthesia - this is the complete loss of all physical sensations of the body.

Paraesthesia – these are sensations of tingling, itching, etc.

Hallucinations - these can be positive and negative. They can also involve any or all senses.

A positive hallucination is the perception of something that isn't there, like seeing a monkey in the room.

A negative hallucination is the failure to perceive something that is there, like not hearing a phone ringing when it is right next to you.

Other visual disturbances - any change in normal visual perception like eye defocusing.

Automatic writing - is when the pen in your hand moves, but you are not conscious of what you are writing (or drawing). This is an ideomotor activity.

Time distortion - this is when perceived time differs from actual time – for example, when you can’t believe it’s five o’clock and time to finish work or school already.

Post-hypnotic suggestions - these are suggestions which are given in trance, but carried out after the trance has ended. Such as: “As soon as your head touches the pillow you will fall asleep.”

  • There are also some miscellaneous phenomena which are not listed.

  • See if you can research hypnotic phenomena on the Internet and come up with some that may not be listed here.

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