Personality style and hypnotizability: the fix-flex continuum.


Since Mesmer, there has been much confusion about the inter-relationship between an individual's degree of hypnotizability, the personality style of the individual and the importance of the therapeutic strategy. Empirical and experimental research supports the hypotheses that there are: 1) biopsychosocial components of hypnotizability on a continuum ranging from ecologically insensitive (not modifiable by external stimuli) to ecologically sensitive (very modifiable by external stimuli); 2) biopsychosocial components that can be measured to identify an individual's degree of hypnotic capacity and responsivity; 3) distinct personality styles which correlate with low, mid-range and high hypnotizability on a fix (ecologically insensitive)-flex (ecologically sensitive) continuum; and 4) different clinical syndromes which correlate with these categorical distinctions. We propose that measuring hypnotizability and personality style is a way to clarify diagnosis and choose appropriate treatment strategies to maximize existing biopsychosocial resources of an individual with a specific problem in a particular context.

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Cite this paper

@article{Spiegel1992PersonalitySA, title={Personality style and hypnotizability: the fix-flex continuum.}, author={Herbert Spiegel and Marcia Greenleaf}, journal={Psychiatric medicine}, year={1992}, volume={10 1}, pages={13-24} }