Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly
Dissociation is a disturbance in the normally integrative functions of identity, memory, or consciousness. It is also known as a trance state. It is a very normal defense mechanism. You've all probably heard of how a child being abused—or persons in the midst of traumatic experiences—dissociate. Those are natural occurrences to an unnatural event.
What are some of the events in the life of a cult member that may bring on dissociation?
There are many, many ways to produce a dissociative or trance state:
Why are we so concerned about trance states?
You may have heard it said that not everyone can be hypnotized … that you need to be able to trust the hypnotist’s authority. While it’s true that there are degrees of hypnotizability, dissociative states may be induced indirectly. What if instead of telling you that “now we’re going to hypnotize you,” the leaders just say, “Let’s do a fun process—close your eyes and imagine …”? Are you told to trust your leaders? Do they have your best interest at heart? And what if they are using Ericksonian hypnosis, in which there is no formal trance induction?
What is Ericksonian Hypnosis? It’s an interchange between two people in which the hypnotist must
Ericksonian hypnosis involves techniques of expectation, pacing and leading, positive transference, indirect suggestion, the use of “yes sets,” deliberate confusion, the embedding of messages, and suggestive metaphor.