I was flicking through an old, second hand copy of a book originally printed in 1976 entitled Hypnosis and Behaviour Modification: Imagery Conditioning by William S Kroger and William D Fezler this week and I had to share something with you from it.

The authors, Kroger in particular, are major contributors to the field of clinical hypnosis and this book highlighted to me that phenomenon that occurs from time to time… Just when you think you know your subject, someone suggests something you never heard of and knew nothing about.

The book highlighted the notion of Narcosynthesis and is the first time I have encountered such, it states the following:

Skillful hypnotherapists seldom use drugs. However, occasionally a refractory patient may be    given a small amount of sodium pentothal; this often allows the patient to talk more freely. The patient who benefits most by this approach is the one who states, “I doubt if I can by hypnotized.” Other individuals, who associate hypnotizability with gullibility, respond well to various drugs such as scopolamine. Such patients are merely looking for some excuse not to directly respond to the suggestions of the therapist; they do not feel stigmatized by drug-induced “hypnosis.”
Kroger and Fezler (1976), p. 55.


I had to re-read it.

Has anyone actually done this? Has Kroger himself done this? Used sodium pentothal? Something often administered by Jack Bauer during his interrogations (when not using waterboarding processes, gunshots to the knees and hotel room power cables to strangle to elicit information , that is)?

So rather than allow the client to feel ‘gullible’, instead they would use a drug to induce hypnosis to protect their feelings and psychological defences? I am glad this book is 35 years old. I think today all hypnosis professionals appreciate that correct explanation and education of the subject, helping to create the correct expectations too, really ought to be a better way of overcoming the downright shame of feeling gullible and stigmatised, rather than hitting up your clients with sodium pentathol, no?

No more to say on that subject today, just pointing it out, do get in touch if you have any experience of this type of thing, it is fascinating… Ok, now to go google “black market truth serum” to make my job a lot easier… 😉