The Clinical Relevance of Hypnotizability in Psychosis: With Reference to Thinking Processes And Sample Variances

  • Germain Lavoie
  • Robert Elie


This paper reviews the relationships between hypnosis and psychosis from the point of view of psychoanalytic theory, cognitive psychology and neodissociation theory, and the implications of these in the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of psychotic patients. Psychoanalytic concepts of thing and word presentations, of primary and secondary processes, and ego psychology concepts, are examined in relation to both hypnosis and psychosis. The contribution of Piaget’s theory in understanding the nature of cognitive deficits is discussed. Neodissociation concept of the hidden observer in hypnosis is compared with Freud’s concept of the hidden observer in psychosis. The hypnotic assessment situation is viewed as a focalized encounter providing many cues regarding cognitive fluency, attention-al flexibility, interpersonal involvement, imaginative potentials, motivation which are all of importance in establishing a prognosis and a treatment plan with or without hypnosis. Major psychoses such as schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorders are considered. The history and stage of the psychoses are examined as major variables impinging on the course of hypnotic investigation and treatment. Some data and experiments are reported and the implications of these for theories of hypnosis and of psychosis are discussed.


Schizophrenic Patient Primary Process Psychotic Patient Hypnotic Susceptibility Metaphoric Thinking 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germain Lavoie
    • 1
  • Robert Elie
    • 1
  1. 1.Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine & Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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