Blasey Ford co-authored study on using hypnosis to retrieve memories from traumatic episodes, ‘create artificial situations’

How interesting. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago when they were in high school, co-authored an academic study that cited the use of hypnosis as a tool to retrieve memories in traumatized patients.

The 2008 paper, entitled “Meditation With Yoga, Group Therapy With Hypnosis, and Psychoeducation for Long-Term Depressed Mood: A Randomized Pilot Trial,” focused on the efficacy of certain treatments on 46 depressed individuals, according to Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist.

A study that included using hypnosis to “create artificial situations.”

More from The Federalist:

While the paper by Ford and several other co-authors focused on whether various therapeutic techniques, including hypnosis, alleviate depression, it also discussed the therapeutic use of hypnosis to “assist in the retrieval of important memories” and to “create artificial situations” to assist in treatment.

Ford’s paper cited a controversial 1964 paper on the use of hypnosis to treat alcoholics and claimed that “hypnosis could be used to improve rapport in the therapeutic relationship, assist in the retrieval of important memories, and create artificial situations that would permit the client to express ego-dystonic emotions in a safe manner.” The study by Ford and her co-authors also used “self-hypnosis” to help treat their randomized sample of patients.


Ford has struggled to remember so many key details of the alleged incident involving Kavanuagh, such as where it took place, how she got to the party or how she got home after the alleged attack. She has even struggled with identifying the exact date.

But the study referenced a 2004 text by Spiegel and Spiegel that goes into detail on using hypnotism — including self-hypnotism — to recover memories from traumatic episodes, Davis reported.

“Participants also were taught self-hypnosis to use outside the group for relaxation and affect regulation (as described in H. Spiegel & Spiegel, 2004),” the researchers explained. “The group’s experiences using hypnosis were the basis for discussion in the middle of the group sessions.”

Even more interesting, Davis wrote that the researchers found “that hypnosis as a means of recovering traumatic memories could also lead to the ‘contamination’ of those memories.”

“Patients are highly suggestible and easily subject to memory contamination,” they noted.

While we can be sure the mainstream media will take little interest in a discovery you just cannot make up, social media users saw it as very interesting background information.

Here’s a sampling of responses form Twitter:


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