Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hypnotherapy and Multiple Personalities

(This blog was originally posted on March 20, 2017)

Photo by Rick Hustead

In a previous blog titled Hypnosis Is Not a Cure for Paranoia and Schizophrenia, I explored the complex issues surrounding working with a client who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., since schizophrenia is a medical and psychological illness, working with such a client is generally considered “out of scope” for hypnotherapists.*
In an archived instructional video I watched during my hypnotherapy residency training at HMI, Dr. Kappas worked with a woman who had multiple personalities. Following are several emotional and behavioral clues this person manifested which might indicate that she was in a dissociated state and should be referred immediately to a licensed medical or mental-health professional for further evaluation and/or treatment. (In addition to his expertise in hypnotherapy, Dr. Kappas was a licensed psychotherapist, which was why he was legally allowed to work with this client.)
Loss of time: The individual concedes that he or she does not know or is unable to remember where he or she is/has been.
Dissociation with self: The client claimed to be a different person in certain situations, such as when she was with her lover and even to be aware of that other identity. “[Did] you notice how quickly she answered when I asked, ‘Are you aware of that other part of yourself?’ and she answered, ‘Yes’?”
Strict religious upbringing: This may induce guilt to the point that the client repressed her (stated) sexual urges, Dr. Kappas observed.
Incongruent behavior: The individual may possess characteristics and values of one type of (Emotional or Physical) sexual personality but behave in a completely opposite way. The client was actually a high Emotional Sexual personality, but she talked about things that were more commonly associated with a Physical Sexual. She also spoke like a Physical Sexual, he pointed out. “We see [one] personality and hear another one,” he explained.
Confusion about why she did something.
In the dissociated state, this individual may experience things she thought should be different,” Dr. Kappas said. “The client’s only escape [as an Emotional Sexual] was to come outside of herself.” If there are a lot of religious ties and guilt, and the person can’t or doesn’t think she can behave the way she wants to, she will dissociate to compensate for the guilt. “This is very typical of an Emotional Sexual female,” Dr. Kappas said.

*Business and Professions Code 2908: California law allows access by California residents to complementary and alternative health care practitioners who are not providing services that require medical training and credentials. The purpose of a program of hypnotherapy is for vocational and avocational self-improvement (Business and Professions Code 2908) and as alternative or complimentary treatment to healing arts services licensed by the state. A hypnotherapist is not a licensed physician or psychologist, and hypnotherapy services are not licensed by the state of California. Services are non-diagnostic and do not include the practice of medicine, neither should they be considered as a substitute for licensed medical or psychological services or procedures.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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