Taming Terror: Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis
David Spiegel, MD
Format: MP3 Audio file download
Hypnosis was the first Western form of psychotherapy, yet it remains underutilized in part because of insufficient understanding of its neural basis and its relationship to clinical dissociation. Hypnosis involves highly focused attention, coupled with dissociation of aspects of awareness, relatively automatic response to social cues, and an enhanced ability to modulate perception. There is growing recognition of the relationship between trauma and dissociation, providing a strong rationale for the use of hypnosis as part of treatment for trauma-related disorders. Changes to the definitions of the Dissociative Disorders in DSM-5 and the rationales for them will be presented. This will include discussion of recent epidemiological data on dissociative symptoms associated with PTSD, and neuroimaging data on frontallimbic interactions in relation to trauma-related material.
The following proposed changes will be discussed:
- Including language on pathological possession in Dissociative Identity Disorder;
- Incorporating derealization to Depersonalization Disorder in a new combined diagnosis of Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder;
- Reformulating Dissociative Fugue as a subtype of Dissociative Amnesia; and
- Adding a dissociative subtype to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The use of hypnosis in the treatment of trauma and stressor-related disorders will be reviewed, including special considerations in the treatment of those with dissociative symptoms.
During and at the conclusion of this session, the attendee will be able to:
- 1) Understand changes to the dissociative disorders definitions in DSM-5
- 2) Understand recent neurobiological evidence regarding brain function in hypnosis and dissociation
- 3) Review the role of hypnosis in the treatment of trauma and stressor-related disorders
Dr. David Spiegel is Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the academic faculty since 1975. He is Past President of the American College of Psychiatrists, Past President of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He has published ten books, 368 scientific journal articles, and 156 book chapters on psychosocial oncology, stress physiology, trauma, hypnosis, and psychotherapy. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, the Dana Foundation for Brain Sciences, and the Nathan S. Cummings Foundation. His research on cancer patients was featured in Bill Moyers' Emmy award-winning PBS series, Healing and the Mind.