16. 7 Depth Scales * Explain what is meant by a “hypnotic depth scale. ” * Give examples and explain the issues relating to the use of depth scales When discussing the topic of hypnotic depth they are referring to how ‘deep’ the subject is/can go into hypnosis and what is possible at that perceived level of depth. If you do the research you will find lots of different scales of depth, here I have taken the scale from the coursework provided by Adam Eason School of Therapeutic Hypnosis which upon research appears to originally come from Harry Arons, 1961 1.
Hypnoidal – heavy muscle and relaxed nerves – drowsiness – awareness (got out of bed feeling). 2. Light hypnosis – physical response to suggestions – mind focused on suggestions – reacts to arm, etc. rigidity. 3. Medium Hypnosis – deeply relaxed – subject will not speak unless asked – unable to perform actions unless asked to do move arm – rise from chair – move head. 4. Profound Hypnosis (deep hypnosis) – partial amnesia when awakened – posthypnotic suggestions can be submitted – numbing parts of the body (ANALGESIA). 5. Somnambulism – total amnesia and anaesthesia is possible – age regression is possible – positive hallucinations possible. . Profound Somnambulism – removal of programmed information – posthypnotic suggestions – most all suggestions are carried out without questions. Often referred to as a coma state! Difficult to get out of this state – may need to bribe unconscious mind (you will not be allowed o experience this again unless…) Now, in 1961, the above scale may have seemed perfectly accurate and as time passes, more and more discoveries are being made about hypnosis and one of those discoveries is that some, if not all of the intended suggestions can easily be obtained at a lower level of depth or lighter trance as is suggested.
For instance, amnesia and ideomotor suggestions can take place within light hypnosis and I also know this personally from experiencing this myself from both being a subject and a facilitator of hypnosis. There have also been many scales of susceptibility created to test suggestibility within the ‘depth’ of hypnosis or trance that the subject is in. One particularly scale is the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale created in 1938 which created 3 forms, A, B and C on which consisted of varying levels of tests to be given to the subject. The below list is the example of form A 1 Postural Sway 2 Eye Closure 3 Hand Lowering (left) Immobilisation (right arm) 5 Finger Lock 6 Arm Rigidity (left arm) 7 Hands Moving Together 8 Verbal Inhibition (name) 9 Hallucination (fly) 10 Eye Catalepsy 11 Post-hypnotic (changes chairs) 12 Amnesia There are many more of these scales available for research but I have shown the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale as a prime example of what they consist of. A big issue with the depth scale is does really exist? Are there really levels of hypnosis? I cannot prove it either way, but in therapy, do we need to, If the client believes through our suggestion that they are going deeper, then isn’t real to them.