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Erickson, M.H. Kubie, L.S. (1940). The Translation of the Cryptic Automatic Writing of One Hypnotic Subject by Another in a Trance-Like Dissociated State. Psychoanal Q., 9:51-63.

(1940). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9:51-63

The Translation of the Cryptic Automatic Writing of One Hypnotic Subject by Another in a Trance-Like Dissociated State

Milton H. Erickson and Lawrence S. Kubie

During the training of a subject for a particular experiment in hypnosis, a unique observation was made upon the ability of one person in a spontaneous trance accurately to decipher and to translate the mysterious and cryptic automatic writing of another. In their conscious states neither individual could understand the script. In trance-like states each one quite independently reached identical interpretations of it. Cryptic automatic writing is found to suffer from processes of distortion identical with those seen in dreams; and the translation of such writing, to involve the same principles as those involved in dream analysis.

In chronological sequence in the protocols detailed below there is portrayed both the general situation and the series of events leading to these observations: (1) the subject as an incident in his training and while in a deep trance was told by an assistant in the absence of the investigator, to forget all the vowels but not the fact of their existence. (2) In another trance a week later he was given additional suggestions to the effect that he would replace the seventh (g), eighth (h), and ninth (i) letters of the alphabet with their respective numerals and that henceforth his name would be 'Jack Young'. (3) He was then asked to write his name. In doing this he omitted the vowels and substituted the numeral '10' for the letter 'J', declaring emphatically as he completed this task that something was wrong.


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