Psychoanalytic approaches to clinical hypnosis

Elgan L. Baker and 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

 Psychoanalytic approaches to clinical hypnosis

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It was natural enough that hypnosis came to be the all-purpose foil for psychoanalysis because when psychoanalysis was born, hypnosis dominated the landscape of clinical and experimental psychiatry. If psychoanalysis was to have its own identity, hypnosis as technique had to be jettisoned. This article discusses the ways in which hypnosis can be used in psychoanalytically informed therapies across a range of therapeutic aims and patient diagnoses. The most current psychoanalytic models of hypnosis rely on two aspects of psychoanalytic metapsychology: early analytic constructs rooted in drive theory, conflict and insight; and later developmental principles grounded in attachment, identity, and the therapeutic relationship. This article further takes on the significances of clinical usages of hypnosis stating that for patients in the normal to neurotic spectrum, hypnosis can be used supportively to strengthen already intact defenses, in service of managing pain, anxiety, stress, and some somatic symptoms.

Keywords: psychoanalytic metapsychology; nonanalytic therapy; psychoanalytic community; introspective activity; psychotic spectrum patients

Article.  10934 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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