Publications of Interest

Publications of Interest


My name is Lynn M. Hazard and I am the new POI Editor for ISSTD. As an emerging trauma professional I am keenly aware of the need for current research and publication information to help us all provide the best care possible for our clients.

I am a private-practice clinical social worker in Alabama, USA. My trauma-based professional experiences began in 2003 while working with females between 5-22 years of age at a private family-based residential facility. These girls were all survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other adverse childhood experiences. I am certified as an Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA) mental health professional and an Anger Management Specialist-CAMS II. My special interests are with the military and their families, and sexual and gender minorities.
I look forward to searching for helpful publications for you to review!


Hypnosis, Trauma and Dissociation

This quarter the overall theme is hypnosis in the treatment of trauma and dissociation. While we aim to prioritize more recent publications in POI, the search results were more limited than anticipated, so these go back two years (most current listed first).

Kluft, R.P. (2018). Reconsidering Hypnosis and Psychoanalysis: Toward Creating a Context for
Understanding. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 201-215. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400810
To link to this article:

Abstract: Sigmund Freud developed what became psychoanalysis in the context of his experiences with hypnosis and the treatment of the grand hysterics of his era, conditions largely classified among the dissociative disorders in contemporary systems of diagnosis. He rapidly constructed understandings of the human mind and human distress that replaced the concept of dissociation and a model of pathology that was passive (associated with reduced psychic cohesion), with the paradigm of an active defensive process he termed repression, and an understanding that psychological discomfort was the outcome of intrapsychic conflict. In short order Freud repudiated hypnosis, initiating the schisms that subsequently separated the study and practice of hypnosis from the study and practice of psychoanalysis. It is timely to reexamine these schisms anew, challenge the basis of the arguments thought to justify them, and explore whether these schisms have deprived psychoanalysis and hypnosis alike of the potentially helpful ideas and approaches each might offer the other. This contribution invites students of hypnosis and psychoanalysis alike to put aside both traditional and stereotypic notions of each other’s field of endeavor, revisit the origins, rationales, and outcomes of these schisms that have divided them, and explore their commonalities and their differences from fresh perspectives.

Wall, T.W. (2018). Hypnosis: A Psychodynamic Perspective. American Journal of Clinical
Hypnosis 60(3), 218-238. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400809
To link to this article:

Abstract: The relationship between hypnosis and psychoanalysis has always been complex, and often acrimonious. When Freud abandoned hypnosis as both the foundation of his theory building and his clinical intervention of choice, the two approaches and the theories associated with them have often seemed separated by enormous rifts, theoretical, clinical, and political. Yet throughout their considerable estrangement for over more than a century, each has much to offer to the other. In this contribution, I briefly review efforts by psychoanalysts to conceptualize and understand hypnosis, offer an introduction to the relatively new post-modern intersubjective approach to psychoanalysis, and demonstrates how the relational concepts associated with that perspective can be of significant help in preparing patients for hypnosis, and in crafting interventions geared to the dynamics of the individual patient, which enhance the likelihood of clinical success. Key relational elements are illustrated with clinical vignettes.

Peebles, M.J. (2018). Harm in Hypnosis: Three Understandings from Psychoanalysis Than Can
Help. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 239-161. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400811
To link to this article:

Abstract: Over 50 years of empirical data demonstrate unequivocally that psychotherapy can cause harm as well as good. Two therapist factors increasing harm risk are inadequate assessment of patients’ vulnerabilities and certain attitudes/affects. Adding hypnosis as a technique within psychotherapy heightens risk for harm because: (a) trance can unexpectedly expose patient vulnerabilities (through loosening reality orientation, lessening structure, generating unfamiliar sensations and perceptions, and intensifying access to interior information such as emotions and imagery); and (b) trance can unexpectedly increase porousness to therapist’s attitudes/affects (through heightening mental receptivity to the internal states of others). A century of clinical data from psychoanalysis offers guidance for protecting against such risks. Concepts of structure, interiority, and countertransference are explicated and translated into practical clinical suggestions for harm prevention.

O’Neil, J.A. (2018). Hypnosis and Psychoanalysis: Toward Undoing Freud’s Primal Category
Mistake. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 60(3), 262-278. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.
To link to this article:

Abstract: Hypnosis predates psychoanalysis, when autohypnotic pathologies were identified through the lens of hypnosis, and labeled “hypnoid hysteria” in the language of the day. The broad spectrum of disorders then subsumed under that term is still reflected in ICD-10’s subset, “F44—Dissociative (Conversion) Disorders.” Freud initially embraced both hypnoid hysteria and hypnosis, but came to abandon hypnosis and, by extension, hypnoid hysteria as well. Since that fateful decision, which I term herein Freud’s “Inaugural Category Mistake,” references to both hypnosis and hypnoid pathology largely vanished from the psychoanalytic mainstream, thereby neglecting conditions afflicting a significant portion of the mentally ill, and needlessly restricting the therapeutic repertoire of psychoanalysis. This contribution argues that psychoanalysis could best re-embrace hypnosis and hypnoid pathology together, as a related pair, and would benefit from doing so. Two examples of the differences of understanding and interventions such a rapprochement might encourage are offered: (a) how hypnoid pathology alters the transference and countertransference; and (b) how the appropriate use of hypnosis alters the nature of interpretation.

Brenner, I. (2018). Catching a Wave: The Hypnosis-Sensitive Transference-Based Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 60(3), 279-295. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1400843
To link to this article:

Abstract: In this article, I will describe the way in which I work with enactment-prone dissociative patients in the transference. This approach requires an appreciation of the phenomena of hypnosis and the auto-hypnotic aspects of some forms of dissociation. Essentially, I learn from the patient and my interactions with the patient how hypnotic phenomena and auto-hypnotic defenses manifest themselves in the therapeutic relationship in order both to understand them and ultimately to bring them under conscious control. Because of the fluidity and turbulence of these states, I use the analogy of catching a wave, in which timing and balance are essential, albeit elusive factors in effecting a successful treatment. The importance of having experience with many patients, attending conferences, seeking supervision, and undergoing one’s own therapy will be also discussed as important prerequisites for the clinician endeavoring to utilize this type of approach. This preparation, this quest for such a “balance,” is modeled after the so-called tripartite model of training employed in psychoanalytic training institutes. I will offer clinical material to illustrate this approach, which I have described as “psychoactive psychotherapy.” In such treatments, the clinician may be taken by surprise and is likely to be thrown “off balance” from time to time. The mutually shared understanding of such moments is essential to regaining clinical balance in the therapeutic setting, and can lead to if not create important turning points in the treatment process.

Dell, P. (2017). Is High Hypnosis a Necessary Diathesis for Pathological Dissociation? Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 18(1), 58-87. DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2016.11911579
To link to this article:

Abstract: During the 19th century, high hypnotizability was considered to be a form of psychopathology that was inseparable from hysteria. Today, hypnotizability is considered to be a normal trait that has no meaningful relationship with psychopathology. Psychiatric patients generally manifest medium to low hypnotizability. Nevertheless, several psychiatric diagnoses are marked by an unexpectedly large proportion of patients with high hypnotizability. This is especially true of the diagnostic categories that were subsumed by the 19th-century concept of hysteria: dissociative identity disorder, somatization disorder, and complex conversion disorders. These hysteria-related modern diagnoses are also highly dissociative. A review and analysis of the literature regarding the relationship between hypnotizability and dissociation indicates that high hypnotizability is almost certainly a necessary diathesis for the development of a severe dissociative disorder. Such a diathesis has significant implications for (a) the psychiatric nosologies of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, (b) the hypnosis field, and (c) the etiology and construct validity of dissociative identity disorder and other severe dissociative disorders. Specifically, the dissociative disorders (excepting depersonalization disorder, which is not classified as a dissociative disorder by the World Health Organization) are manifestations of hypnotic pathology.

Moss, D. (2017). The Frustrated and Helpless Healer: Pathways Approaches to Posttraumatic Stress Disorders. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 65(3), 336-352. DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2017.1314744
To link to this article:

Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychophysiological disorder, characterized by the following: chronic sympathetic nervous activation; persisting perceptual/sensory vigilance for threats; recurrent distressing memories of the event, including intrusive memories, flashbacks lived as if in the present moment, and nightmares; and a persisting negative emotional state including fear and shame. The psychophysiological basis for this disorder calls for psychophysiologically based interventions. This article presents the case narrative of a 29-year-old national guardsman, exposed to combat trauma and later to civilian trauma in public safety work. His treatment followed the Pathways model, comprised of multimodal interventions, beginning with self-directed behavioral changes, then the acquisition of skills (including self-hypnosis), and finally professional treatment including clinical hypnosis and EMDR

Ingram, J. (2016). Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Children and Adults Who Suffer Anxiety
Due to Prenatal and Birth Trauma. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health 30(4), Summer 2016.
To link to this article:

Abstract: Birth trauma in its many forms creates primal suffering for the infant which, if
untreated, often leads to severe and unremitting anxiety into adulthood. Hypnosis has
proven to be highly effective in assisting a sufferer to recover because it reveals the origin of the fear. When the origin is known–when a client can finally understand the “why” of it—then healing can begin.

Masson,J. , Bernoussi, A., & Regourd-Laizeau, M. (2016). From the Influence of Traumas to
Therapeutic Letting Go: The Contribution of Hypnosis and EMDR. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 64:3, 350-364, DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2016.1171108
To link to this article:

Abstract: The development of new psychotherapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR) has led to numerous fresh approaches to both the treatment of trauma and to the understanding of underlying psychopathology. A unified view appears to be slowly emerging in an attempt to corroborate clinical practice with neurobiological data. This article attempts to demonstrate links between alternate psychotherapies by highlighting what appears to be an invariant among these approaches, namely “letting go.” This concept refers to a psycho-physical dynamic that combines psychological dissociation and re-association, as well as the body’s vagotonic mechanisms. Following an explanation of this process, it is demonstrated how letting go can manifest itself physiologically and why this may be significant in the study of trauma.