The Value Of Therapeutic Hypnosis Essay

6031 words - 24 pages

The value of studying hypnosis from a communication perspective Hypnosis has often been an overlooked mode of communication. For some, it is mere child's play, a particular form of entertainment where a domineering hypnotist makes a susceptible subject act ridiculously. Many, however, see its positive effects that it can have in such areas as personal and sports enhancement, memory retrieval, and health care and pain management. By examining hypnosis through a communication construct, we are better able to see why misconceptions and myths about hypnosis arise, and learn to dispel them. We are also able to better understand the roles that a sender, a receiver, feedback, and noise have on the channeled message and how each component of the communication model greatly affects the final outcome and interpretation of the message.To gain a better understanding of the process that the sender and receiver go through together to produce the desired outcome, I will explain the meanings of the different variables and how each affect the outcome by using the model that was developed in the 2003 Spring Quarter Senior Thesis conducted by Dr. Sunwolf.There are many variables that affect the receiver's level of hypnotizability. Wallace (1993) noted that day-persons or night persons are more or less responsive to hypnotic suggestions depending on the time of day. He found that a "day person" might be more responsive to hypnotic suggestions between the times of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., whereas a "night-person" may have an optimal time for hypnosis between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and also at 1 p.m.The receiver's expectancy level and preconceptions of the experience will also have a great effect on the ability of the subject to be hypnotized. Due to the fact that hypnosis is only on the fringes of being accepted as a scientific means of therapy, many people's notion that it won't work on them, or is a mere form of magical myth, can play a role in inhibiting one's ability to attain the trance-like state that is associated with hypnosis. The word "hypnosis" itself, often elicits a judgment from the receiver as to the validity of the practice.The receiver's goal can also have an effect on their experience. Silva (1992) found that higher levels of expectancy in hypnosis were associated with higher levels of responsiveness. Conversely, a lower level of expectancy was associated with a lower level of responsiveness to the hypnotist. For example, a subject may be more apt to work hard with the hypnotist at achieving the trance state if they were using it as a means of reducing significant pain. On the other hand, if it were a staged hypnosis they might not be as receptive to the hypnotist's suggestions.The sender has the task of inducing the receiver into the trance-like state, therefore there are many variables associated with the sender that have a great effect on the message. Brown (1991) citing Ekman (1983) noted that the ability to recognize and respond to different facial...

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