Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a chronic childhood onset posttraumatic stress disorder, is currently recognized as a treatable condition. It is considered the paradigmatic dissociative condition and carries with it extreme posttraumatic symptomatology. Therapists skilled in the treatment of DID are typically fluent in the uses of hypnosis for stabilization, affect management, building a safe place and grounding to name of few. EMDR, which has come to the forefront of clinical awareness in the last ten years, seems aptly suited for the treatment of trauma, but can be destabilizing.
The less disabling phobias do not normally present a problem in that the stimulus may be avoided. This would also apply to hospital phobia until an acute medical or surgical problem might arise, when avoidance could constitute a direct threat to life. Although phobic illness is a common problem the small number of cases of hospital phobia recorded may represent the tip of the iceberg beneath which could be many phobic patients who deny their symptoms and risk their health because of their irrational fear.
The essential aspect in the experience of the hypnotized person is the altered or distorted perception that is suggested to him. Not all people are capable of the experience, but it is possible that spontaneous distortions occur in those with high hypnotizability. These distortions are frequently experienced as frightening symptoms. The author draws attention to the similarity between hysterical symptoms and events in hypnosis and to the high hypnotic responsivity in hysterical subjects reported in the clinical literature of the nineteenth century.
Desensitization of psychological and physiological complex structures may be the most important element of flooding treatment. The implosive sessions are assumed to represent a supramaximal stimulation of pathologically excited and inert complex structures resulting in protective inhibition, irradiation of excitation, reduction of the excitation and inertness, and a decrease of the overshooting autonomic reactivity of the complex structures, leading to reduction of anxiety, aggression, and other pathologically increased feelings.