Postby pferdemerde » Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:50 am

I completely agree with your therories on depression, and they have helped me very very much. Your site presents the best and most comprehensive paradigm for understanding depression that I have yet encountered. However, I was wondering why this forum has Hypnosis as a topic. Isn't hypnosis pseudoscience? In particular, what you think of such pages as http://skepdic.com/hypnosis.html. I am not saying that I agree with that site (I actually have a profound disdain for so-called 'skeptics'. Skepticism is about keeping an open mind, not about mercilessly disagreeing with and debunking everything.) I am just interested in your thougth on the above website.


Postby andy » Wed Oct 22, 2003 12:42 pm

Hi pferdemerde. An interesting site that tells a lot of truth..

Using hypnosis to help people quit smoking or stick to a diet may be useful, and even if it fails it is probably not harmful. Using hypnosis to help people remember license plate numbers of cars used in crimes may be useful, and even if it fails it is probably not harmful. Using hypnosis to help victims or witnesses of crimes remember what happened may be useful, but it can also be dangerous because of the ease with which the subject can be manipulated by suggestions from the hypnotist. Overzealous police hypnotists may put conviction of those they think are guilty above honest conviction by honest evidence presented to a jury.

Completely true. I would agree with a lot of what this site says. Memories are only representations of the past, they can't always be trusted. Hypnosis should only be used to change future habits, reactions and so on.

Why do so many people, including those who write psychology textbooks, or dictionary and encyclopedia entries, continue to perpetuate the mythical view of hypnosis as if it were established scientific fact?

I wish they didn't because it gives hypnosis a bad name.

Hypnosis is an extremely therapeutic tool to use in psychotherapy, to set down new templates for new ways of living. It should be explained regarding the latest scientific research and not in any 'mystical' way.

This website has clearly shown the negative views and approaches to hypnosis. It needs also to illustrate the positive benefits that hypnosis can bring in order to show a balanced picture.



Postby Mark Tyrrell » Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:15 pm

Hello pferdemerde :) Thank you for your comments.

Yes the hypnosis 'debate' We are not particularly interested in convincing sceptics or 'proving' the reality of trance states. The same people who are sceptical about hypnosis would probably not refure the existance of night time dreams. However when we dream we expereince a 'made up' reality inside our minds. This is the deepest form of trance state. Depressed people too experience reality selectively (as we all do) and attention tends to narrow down onto aspects of reality which make the person feel bad. When we expereince, say, a road traffic accident our consciousness can alter radically as what we call the 'orientation response' is fired off in the brain. Time seems to slow down, things can seem unreal....our attention is locked. This too is a natural trance state. Basically 'hypnosis' is a way of accessing an instinctive response within someone. You don't 'decide' to make time feel different during an accident; it just happens instinctively. People who suffer traumatic flashbacks after an acciedent have effectively been 'instictively programmed' through the natural hypnotic affect of the expereince and are now experiencing natural 'post hypnostic suggestions' every time something reminds them of the original trauma.Pure hypnosis.

Much of a psychotherapists job is to teach troubled people to stay out of the wrong kind of trance states. We can do this via helping a persons instincts respond differently via therapeutic hypnosis. Once you understand that hypnosis is connected to the REM state which has to do with instinctive learning then belief or not-belief become irrelevant. I'm reminded of the old story of the young fish who got their courage up and approached a wise old fish. They asked him if he could prove the reality of....water! :wink:

Mark PS you might like to look at http://www.uncommon-knowledge.co.uk/hypnosis.html
Mark Tyrrell
Uncommon Knowledge Staff
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