Friday, August 12, 2022


When I read Going Clear I had to learn about hypnosis to understand how Scientology was so successful. Hypnosis was the topic I had the most interest in in this course, so here is a solid explanation encapsulating what I have learned. Human hypnosis is characterized by concentrated attention (the selective attention/selective inattention hypothesis, SASI), decreased peripheral awareness, and improved responsiveness to suggestion.  There are different explanations for hypnosis and associated phenomena. Theories of altered states view hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, characterized by a different level of awareness than the average state of consciousness.  In contrast, non-state theories view hypnosis as, among other things, a sort of placebo effect[ a redefining of a connection with a therapist, and a type of creative role enactment. 

During hypnosis, a person is stated to have improved attention and focus, as well as a heightened receptivity to ideas. In most cases, hypnosis begins with an induction consisting of a series of preparatory instructions and suggestions. Hypnotherapy refers to the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes, whereas stage hypnosis, a kind of mentalism, refers to the use of hypnosis for entertainment purposes.

Evidence supports hypnosis-based therapy for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and menopause.  The use of hypnosis to treat various disorders, such as smoking cessation, has had inconsistent results.  Within the scientific mainstream, the use of hypnosis as a kind of treatment to recover and integrate early trauma is disputed. Research reveals that hypnotizing a person may facilitate the production of false memories and that hypnosis "does not assist people in recalling events more accurately." .

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