Re:S.Lake, Hallucinations & meaning.

Fri, 12 Feb 1999 18:40:45 -0000

-----Original Message-----
From: susanne lake <>
Date: 11 February 1999 19:19

>My name is Susanne Lake, and I am currently working on a masters thesis. I
>interested in looking at the subjective experience of auditory
>hallucinations. I wondered if anyone may be doing research, or have
>on, the construction of meaning in auditory hallucinations. Thanks!
One of the most interesting aspects of auditory hallucinations is its
association with Altered States of Consciousness (ASC). This in turn opens
out into an examination of experiences ranging from military shell shock
causalties in the first world war and Vietnam veterans with PTSD, through
the religious experiences of Christian mystics and a wide range of so called
third world religions which focus on ASC's in possession, deliverance and
healing, to the auditory experiences of those construed as insane - a topic
covered in recent mailbase correspondance. From a PCP perspective this can
be illustrated by one wester view of hallucinatory experience which may be
associated with madness, but from alternative non-western paradigms is
associated with well being and holeness. Niether should it be assumed that
other Shamanistic cultures for example do not catagorise on a
normal-abnormal scale, the St Lawrence Island Inuit do not have the wester
tradition of normal or abnormal, but a construct based on degree of a
variety of symptomes from 'nuthkarihak' being crazy to experiences based on
the concept of 'thinness' where trance is employed to heal. The Shaman may
be out of her mind but is not viewed as crazy [ J. Murphy, 1976,
'Psychiatric Labelling in Cross-cultural Perspective', Science]. In the much
disputed sphere of Multiple Personality Disorder (the old but known term)
there is much case evidence of hallucinatory voices from alters constructing
meaning at the level of the core of the personality [from a UK perspective:
Mollon, 1996, Multiple Selves, Multiple Voices ]. Another two disquiting
factors are the phenomonon of the 'hidden observer' in hypnosis and 'trance
A good starting place might be the classic text: Hilgard & Hilgard (1965)
Hypnotic Susceptibility, which includes the extensive research on
hallucinations under ASC's and their measurement through the Stanford
Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales. General research is summarised in Fromm &
Nash (Eds, 1992) Contemporary Hypnosis Research, Lynn & Rhue (Eds, 1991)
Theories of Hypnosis andLynn & Rhue (Eds, 1994) Dissociation: Clinical and
Theoretical Perspectives .
Auditory hallucinations are common in Dissociative Disordered individuals
and in particular children and adolescents: Cicchetti & Tothe (Eds, 1993)
The Self and its Disorders; Hornstein & Putnam (1992) J. Amer. Academy Chld.
& Adol. Psyia.; Kluft & Fine (Eds, 1993) Clinical Perspectives on Multiple
Personality Disorder; Peterson (1990, 1991) both in J. called Dissociation;
Putnam (1993) Child Abuse & Neglect; Vincent & Pickering (1988) Canadian J.
Psychia.; Svendsen, M (1934) Archives of Neurology & Psychia.; Wolf, D P
(1993) in Cicchetti & Beeghly (Eds) The Self in Transition. - all report
such phenomenom.