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The following text is a historical overview of the journal by David Kraft:

Contemporary Hypnosis & Integrative Therapy (CH&IT) is a peer-reviewed and internationally-recognised journal. The journal has gone through a number of changes over the years. In 1977, psychologists interested in hypnosis both as a phenomenon in the laboratory setting but also in clinical practice, set up an organisation known as the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis (BSCEH). This society was formed by leading psychologists in the field including stalwarts of the organisation – Tony Gibson and Brian Fellows. BSCEH was a sister society to the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis (BSMDH). BSMDH consisted solely of doctors and dentists; however, some joined both societies. The first journal of BSCEH was The Bulletin of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis which ran for about six years, from 1977 to 1983.

In 1983, the society published a new journal entitled the British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis; this new publication included the BSCEH Newsletter and contained peer-reviewed papers on hypnosis from experimental, theoretical and clinical domains. It was edited by Brian Fellows, although he had a number of specialist sub-editors – for example, Frank Vingoe, Philip Snaith, Graham Wagstaff and Peter Naish – who helped him in reviewing potential articles for the journal. As the years went by, more articles were received from abroad and Fellows asked Steven Jay Lynn and Irving Kirsch to review and deal with papers from the States and Canada; similarly, Kevin McConkey and David Marks were editorial consultants for Australia. As more and more international scholars published in the journal, it was perhaps inevitable that the name of the journal should change, and in 1991, it was renamed Contemporary Hypnosis. Brain Fellows, still its editor,  insisted that, even without the term ‘British’ in the title, academics and clinicians were still firmly committed to the development of hypnosis, research and practice in the UK.

In 1996, after 16 years of editing the journal, Brian Fellows took a back seat and David Oakley became its new editor. As the journal expanded in distribution, and included many more experimental papers, the number of consultant editors increased. For example, the consultant editorial board included a great deal of academics and clinicians from around the world, including: Theodore X Barber, John Chaves, Tom Kraft, Vernon Gregg, Barry Hart, Ernest Hilgard, Peter Sheehan, Judith Rhue and Leslie Walker amongst others.

In David Oakley’s inaugural commentary for the journal as editor (Oakley, 1996), he pointed out the benefits of a socio-cognitive perceptive in helping us to understand hypnosis and its associated characteristics: and, indeed, during his editorship, Banyai (1998) published a paper which formulated a social-psychobiological model of hypnosis. However, Oakley also pointed out the importance of having a wider view and taking into account empirical evidence which focussed on the neuropsychophysiology of hypnosis – for instance, developing an understanding of hypnotisability (see an earlier paper by Crawford & Gruzelier, 1992). And, during his editorship, he continued to encourage debate, and readers were given a range of robust academic writing from Gruzelier’s (1998) working model of the neurophysiology of hypnosis, to Wagstaff’s (1998) paper on the semantics and physiology of hypnosis, an article which helped to continue the state/non-state debate. The journal also included abstracts of current literature and the proceedings from the BSCEH Annual Conference.

Later, in 2002, with a growing readership and increasing international stature, John Gruzelier became its new editor. During John’s editorship, a number of important papers were published on a range of topics, including: self hypnosis for exam stress (Gruzelier et al., 2001); the treatment of PTSD (Degun-Mather, 2001); hypnotic susceptibility and schizotypy (Jamieson & Gruzelier, 2001); EEG frequency bands during arm levitation (Lehmann et al., 2001); hypnotic time perception (Naish 2001); the involvement of frontal modulated attention in hypnosis (Gruzelier, Gray & Horn, 2002); the state/non-state debate (Hasegawa & Jamieson, 2002; Kallio & Revonsuo, 2003; Kallio & Revonsuo, 2005; Lynn, Fassler & Knox, 2005; Kihlstrom, 2005; Spiegel, 2005; Naish, 2005; Kirsch, 2005; Wagstaff & Cole, 2005; Gruzelier, 2005); hypnotic mirrors and phantom pain (Oakley and Halligan, 2002); the relationship between sustained attentional ability and hypnotic susceptibility (Jamieson & Sheehan, 2002); remembering and forgetting autobiographical events (Barnier, 2002); mediation of cognitive-behavioural pain reduction (Milling & Breen, 2003); Johrei (Laidlaw et al., 2003); psychogenic pain (Whalley & Oakley, 2003); hypnotic time-disotortion (Naish, 2003); ‘waking’ hypnosis (Capafons, 2004); the relationship between hypnotisability and immunological response to psychological intervention in HIV (Laidlaw et al., 2004); the ‘hidden observer’ (Kallio & Revonsuo, 2005; Woody & Sadler, 2005); medication and suggestion in the treatment of depression (Kirsch, 2005); frontal functions, connectivity and neural efficiency (Gruzelier, 2006); treatment of IBS (Kraft & Kraft, 2007); modifying pain perception (Hylands-White & Derbyshire, 2007; Milling, 2008; Carli, Huber & Santarcangelo, 2008); the hypnotic communication of adverts (Kaplan, 2007) and cognitive hypnotherapy (Alladin, 2011).

In 2011, the name of the journal was changed to ‘Contemporary Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy’, a title which reflects the use of hypnosis as an adjunctive tool both in clinical practice and in scientific research. After a brief period where Edoardo Casiglia was editor, in 2012, Peter Naish took on the role in 2013. Under his editorship, there have been a range of interesting papers including: an article which measured heart rate dynamics using recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) (Paoletti etal., 2014); a paper by Hiltunen and colleagues which produced promising results for the hypnotherapy group over subjects who were given CBT in the treatment of ADHD (Hiltunen et al., 2014); a randomized eight-week cross-over study of four treatments of hypnotherapy with waiting list controls using MYMOP2 questionnaires which seemed to indicate that hypnotherapy may be useful in palliative care (Harlow et al., 2015); a case study on snoring (Kraft, 2015); and a interesting paper which, contrary to Clark Hull’s findings (Hull, 1933), seemed to indicate increased suggestibility after a waking suggestion (Juliani & Mophl, 2016), amongst many others…

Contemporary Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy is the journal of the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH), which is the name of the society which merged BSCEH and BSMDH in 2007. It is also the official journal for the European Society of Hypnosis (ESH). CH&IT provides a forum for the discussion and presentation of hypnosis theory, research and clinical practice.


David Kraft

Copyright: David Kraft

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