A psychoanalytic theory of hypnosis: a clinically informed approach

Michael R. Nash

in The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780198570097
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 A psychoanalytic theory of hypnosis: a clinically informed approach

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Both hypnosis and psychoanalysis emerged in the nineteenth century as medical procedures designed to treat the ailments of patients in real-world settings. However, later on both of the disciplines parted ways. Hypnosis research became more like psychological research in general relatively detaching from the clinical setting and its ethos of the individual. But, the psychoanalytic community stubbornly stayed the epistemological course. For the most part, psychoanalysis rejected large group designs, and clung tenaciously to case-based evidence alone. This article presents the contours of a psychoanalytic model of hypnosis. The article locates hypnosis in the same domain of human experience which Freud had located. Because the hypnotic state is in fact fairly characterized as a topographic regression: a shift in the interplay between emotion, cognition and the experience of self, relationship, and soma. This article also describes some of the core requirements and essential aspects of a theory.

Keywords: psychological research; psychoanalytic theory; Freud; hypnosis research; pathological state

Article.  14529 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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