Hypnotherapy and regulated uncovering in the treatment of older survivors of nazi persecution

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In some ways, the previous case of paranoia also makes a nice contrast with depression. While the paranoids deny that they have a problem (and merely blame others), depressives tend to introject blame and shame from others. In other ways, dissociative reaction is the opposite of paranoia. The former represses traumatic memories, while the latter indulges in traumatic fantasies and then projects them. If paranoids can be treated without insight, then dissociative reaction may require insight. While paranoids can be treated with supportive therapy, dissociative reaction may require a dramatic process of uncovering. There is no more useful tool in this than hypnotherapy. I am not certain if the following case of a 58 year old Israeli woman is more depressed or dissociative, but Somer demonstrates the need to prepare the patient for hypnotherapy with appropriate medications as well as with psychotherapy. Furthermore, after the abreaction, the patient must receive additional treatment to deal with uncovered grief. The debate over whether it is necessary and wise to uncover painful memories in the aged is not resolved, and will continue in this forum. However, if such uncovery is to take place, we should follow Somer's guidelines in order to minimize risks to the patient and secure maximum therapeutic outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 17 May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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