Neo-Dissociation Accounts For Pain Relief and Hypnotic Susceptibility Findings: Flotation REST Elicits Hypnosis

  • Arreed Barabasz


Chamber REST has been demonstrated to dramatically enhance hypnotizability in both experimental (A. Barabasz, 1982) and clinical (A. Barabasz & M. Barabasz, 1989) settings. Both studies demonstrated REST to be effective in significantly raising test scores on a standardized test of hypnotizability. Furthermore, these apparent score increases were found to generalize to significantly increased responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions for the relief of both experimental and chronic clinical pains. These results (A. Barabasz, 1982) were conceptualized within E. R. Hilgard’s (1977a) neo-dissociation theory in combination with J. R. Hilgard’s (1974, 1979) findings regarding the role of imaginative involvement. It was hypothesized (A. Barabasz, 1982, p. 162) that “REST forces the subject to focus, perhaps as seldom before, on internally generated imaginai activity.” It appeared that subjects developed imaginative involvements in REST as a mechanism for coping with reduced stimulation. These skills, once learned, were viewed as accounting for the enhanced hypnotizability and the maintenance of this newly developed talent following exposure to chamber REST.


Cold Pressor Study Number Pain Report Imaginal Activity Hypnotic Suggestion 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Arreed Barabasz

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