Hypnosis can serve as a valuable adjunct to certain kinds of psychotherapy, says Steven Lynn, professor of psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York. But not everyone responds to it equally well.
In the popular imagination, a person who submits to hypnosis falls into a trance. The subject slavishly follows the hypnotists commands, perhaps to squawk like a chicken, re-enact events from childhood or develop a lasting aversion to cigarettes. When the subject "awakens," he or she forgets everything that happened during the session.
Actually, hypnosis is not like that at all, said Lynn, who has devoted much of his career to establishing a clear, scientific understanding of hypnotic suggestion. A person who responds well to hypnosis takes an active rather than a passive role, working in partnership with the hypnotist. "Hypnosis involves the participant thinking and imagining along with whatever is suggested, in an expectant manner," he said.
Gail C. Glover | EurekAlert!
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