Hypnosis and Dissociation

Theoretical, Empirical, and Clinical Perspectives
  • Jonathan E. Whalen
  • Michael R. Nash


The term association is used to describe the binding or linking together of ideas. For over a century now, it has been invoked to explain various aspects of learning, attitude change, and motivation (Skinner, 1953; Watson, 1930). In the later part of the nineteenth century, Janet described an opposing phenomenon of the separation of certain mental operations from the main body of consciousness with various degrees of autonomy (West, 1967). He termed this symptomatology desagregation (translated from the French as disaggregation), later referred to as dissociation. Since the inception of dynamic psychiatry and experimental psychopathology in the late nineteenth century, spontaneously occurring dissociative symptomatology has been linked to hypnosis, with theorists positing the two phenomena to have similar (and sometimes even identical) psychic mechanisms.


Sexual Abuse Childhood Sexual Abuse Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Nonclinical Sample Early Trauma 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan E. Whalen
    • 1
  • Michael R. Nash
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Tennessee at KnoxvilleKnoxvilleUSA

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