Sequelae to Trance Experience

  • Don E. Gibbons


Occasionally, some people may report feelings of dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, a slight headache, or other sensations of distress after a trance session has been concluded. These occasional aftereffects tend to be of brief duration and of mild or moderate intensity (Hilgard, 1974; Hilgard, Hilgard & Newman, 1961), although there is one account of the persistence of a posthypnotic dissociative reaction because of important secondary gains and the opportunities afforded by this response for the expression of strong passive-aggressive tendencies within the subject’s own personality (Starker, 1974). In the vast majority of instances, however, occasional aftereffects can best be understood and dealt with as the result of implicit expectations arising out of the induction format. That is, if a person has been inclined to assume that a trance experience is tiresome or stressful to some degree, his responding successfully to a trance induction will tend to cause him to experience feelings of stress or fatigue, just as if these feelings had been directly suggested. Usually, the effect of these implicit expectations can be countered by direct suggestions of well-being in the procedure for terminating the trance; but occasionally the earlier impressions are sufficiently strong that additional suggestions may be necessary to cancel their effects.


Moderate Intensity Dissociative Reaction Induction Format Secondary Gain Subject Report 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don E. Gibbons
    • 1
  1. 1.West Georgia CollegeCarrolltonUSA

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