The Ideodynamic Action Hypothesis of
Therapeutic Suggestion: Creative Replay in the
Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis
Ernest Lawrence Rossi
Abstract: Current research in neuroscience and the psychosocial genomics of memory, learning, and behavior
have important implications for the theory and practice of therapeutic hypnosis and psychotherapy.
It is proposed that many phenomena associated with therapeutic suggestion and hypnosis – typically
explained by the ideodynamic action hypothesis – actually describe the phenotypic or observable
cognitive-behavioral manifestations of activity-dependent gene expression, brain plasticity, and
mind-body healing. This conceptual review outlines how the neuroscience trace reactivation theory
of the construction and reconstruction of consciousness, memory, and behavior is consistent with an
update of the classical ideodynamic action hypothesis of therapeutic suggestion: therapeutic hypnosis
can facilitate brain plasticity and mind-body healing by replaying the activity-dependent gene
expression/protein synthesis cycle in the reconstruction of fear, stress, and post-traumatic memories
and symptoms. A new psychosocial genomic paradigm of mind-body research is proposed for assessing
the possible role of therapeutic hypnosis and related psychotherapeutic processes.
Keywords: Ideodynamic action hypothesis, psychosocial genomics, stress, therapeutic hypnosis,
activity-dependent gene expression, memory, learning.
Poetry and Medicine
Abstract: In this article I investigate the relationship between poetry and medical practice. Experiences of
illness can result in deepening perspectives. Poetry is an investigation of the human psyche and a
distillation of feeling. Through poetry one obtains an existentialist perspective. In this essay, poetry’s
meaning, for both the caregiver and the patient, will be investigated. Literature gives possibilities to
conscious ethical and existential reflection. All around the world literature is used as a tool in order
to reflect upon clinical ethics, communication, cultural diversity, spirituality and human complexity.
The efficacy of hypnosis in changing the
quality of life in patients with dementia:
A pilot-study evaluation.
Simon C. Duff, PhD, Daniel J. Nightingale, PhD
Abstract: A pilot study concerned with influencing the quality of life of elderly, residential and nursing
home patients with dementia through hypnosis looked at changes across seven variables over
a 9 month period. Three groups of patients were compared, a ‘treatment-as-usual’ control group, a
discussion group and patients receiving hypnosis. Across each of the seven variables the hypnosis
group showed the largest improvement, which was also sustained over the 9 month period of the
study. The discussion group showed little improvement, but were stable over this period of time and
the control group showed a small decline across all measures. Overall, the hypnosis group showed
a statistically significant improvement from baseline on the assessed measures of quality of life. We
discuss possible explanations for these findings.
Keywords: Hypnosis, dementia, quality of life
Design Issues in Hypnotherapeutic Research
Dr Ron Iphofen FRSA, FRSCH, FBAMH, BPhil, MSc, Cert tHE, D Hyp, PhD, A. Corrin, BSc hons app psych, D.Clinhyp(dist), DBSCH, C. Ringwood-Walker, BSc, RN, DipNS, DHyp, BSCH
Abstract: This paper takes further the discussion prompted by the Roberts paper ‘Trial Design in
Hypnotherapy’ published in EJCH 6:1. Problems of research design related to randomisation, controlled
interventions, and threats to validity and reliability, with hypnotherapeutic interventions in
patient care, are discussed in the context of “real world” research needs and the provision of patient
care. Design objectives, and the necessary compromises that often have to be made, are discussed
with reference to two hypnotherapeutic projects. Both are additive quasi-experimental designs: the
first testing the effects of a clinical hypnosis intervention for weight loss with diabetic patients; the
second looking at the effects of interactive guided imagery on patient recovery post-colorectal surgery.
The problem confronted, as in the original article, is how to meet the rigours of robust research
design while maintaining essential therapeutic principles. Compromise in both spheres is inevitable.
The standard randomised control trial (RCT) precludes the patient-centred, holistic approach implicit
in hypnotherapy and imagery therapies. Assumptions viewing RCTs as the most superior design for
all health care interventions are challenged. Treatment implications are drawn for research design,
for all therapies regarding themselves as holistic and patient-centred
Keywords: research design; CAM research; hypnotherapeutic research; real world research; methodological
compromise; holistic perspectives; experimental design; quasi-experiment; field research.
A journey through the life and work of Milton Erickson;
the world’s leading practitioner of medical hypnosis
Dr Fathieh Saudi
Abstract: Milton Erickson is considered worldwide as the worldʼs greatest practitioner and father of modern
hypnotherapy. His concepts and novel approaches to medical hypnotherapy, psychology, and family
therapy are taught and practiced by thousands of therapists throughout the world. It is hardly
surprising then that he should be one of the most admired psychiatrists of the century. Since his
death in 1980 he has become a legend and an Ericksonian approach in hypnotherapy has been
created after him. Erickson was an exceptional and original psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.
Keywords: Milton Erickson, Clinical Hypnosis