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Mind-Body Therapy: Methods of Ideodynamic Healing in Hypnosis Paperback – November 17, 1994
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“A thought-provoking, informative, well-written book in an area that has a large future but has so far often been ignored or dismissed.”
- American Journal of Psychiatry
“The book is full of wonder, is rich in striking case material, and is a gold mine of potential experimental projects.”
- Contemporary Psychology
From the Back Cover
'this is a combined venture of a researcher and clinician who link theory and research with practical applications. A wealth of data that belongs in the library of anyone involved with psychosomatic and hypnosis.'
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The authors present a theoretical framework for understanding the process of mind-body communication which they condense "into three stages or loci of a single system of cybernetic information transduction: the mind-brain, the brain-body, and the cellular-genetic (p. 159)." They convincingly subsume Pavlovian conditioning, Freudian repression, Jungian complexes, dissociative phenomena, and altered states of consciousness under the rubric state-dependent memory, learning, and behavior (SDMLB). Ideomotor finger signals then become a therapeutic means of gaining access to those state-dependent memories and learning that are not otherwise readily accessible to consciousness but are adversely impacting one's functioning at emotional and physiological levels. However, the book goes further, in that it not only outlines the use of ideomotor signals to uncover unconscious material but also to actively facilitate its therapeutic resolution, often with minimal if any processing at the conscious level. The authors contend that when using ideomotor signals in hypnosis, formally inducing trance becomes unnecessary because establishing the signals in fact facilitates the trance. This validates aspects of my above-mentioned personal experimentation with the technique, but I had not realized previously that this was a common response. Now that I am using ideomotor signaling more frequently and confidently when working with clients, I have observed this to be true for others also.
The following brief passage (one of the many I highlighted in the text) illustrates not only the complexity of the work but the author's gift for synthesis. Here they discuss the concept of "imprinting" in the context of traumatic experiences and subsequent emotional and psychosomatic illness: "The presence of great emotional or physical stress evokes a state which is indistinguishable from that of hypnosis. The unconscious response to injury is similar to the effect of a strongly given posthypnotic suggestion. Unlike ordinary learning by repetition, this memory is completed (learned) on initial impact" (p. 239).
The authors outline three stages of assessing the validity of ideomotor signaling. In brief, they contend that 1.) Emotional and physiological memory can be seen first through changes in respiration, pulse rate, and emotional reactions. These occur before finger movement occurs. 2.) Ideodynamic signals indicate the accessing of memory at an unconscious level. 3.) Verbal reporting of the experience follows.
The authors' emphasis on client empowerment, mind-body healing, and the necessity of hope and confidence in clients' ability to recover is completely congruent with the spirit of the hypnotherapy training I received through Infinity Institute. Like Winafred Blake Lucas' two-volume "Regression Therapy" text, "Mind-Body Therapy" is a monumental work that I will consult often and for years to come. In fact, it would make an excellent companion volume to the Lucas books. Rossi and Cheek even acknowledge the possibility of past lives ("When therapy is lagging . . . we should consider the possibility that something very important has happened at birth or prior to birth. In some instances the problem may even have taken place either in an earlier life experience or been picked up from what the followers of Jung call the `collective unconscious' (p.437).). However, their overall presentation of hypnotic healing is primarily (and so thoroughly) grounded in biology and physiology that I would hope it could satisfy even those who require material explanations of all phenomena.