Hypnosis is used in both Clinical and Forensic psychology. Hypnosis has been approved as a valid clinical tool. It helps to open suppressed knowledge to be recalled. Often times this knowledge would not be available in the conscious mind. The hypnotist will place the patient/ client in a hypnotic state and then proceed to ask a series of questions that may trigger memory. There are few problems with hypnosis in clinical psychology, but poses some in forensic psychology.
My paper will be asking the question, " Is hypnosis a valid tool in a court of law?" Forensic psychology uses hypnosis in eyewitness testimony. This can be a positive investigative tool if the hypnotists do an ethical job. There are problems that exist, such as, leading questions. This works similar to a leading question in a court case. In this setting the client is in a vulnerable state of mind, which makes it easier to give false testimony. Another problem that exists is debate in the ability of the conscious mind to be present during hypnosis. Some psychologists say an individual will not say things they don’t want to hypnotize or not. Does hypnosis increase or increase the error rate of a testimony? This is another question raised in forensic psychology. I would also like to explore the judicial laws on hypnosis. The United States have 2/3 of the states legislatively against the use of hypnotism in a court of law. This still leads to conflict as far as individuals Constitutional Rights.
As a whole in this paper I would like to discuss the role of hypnosis in forensic psychology. I would also like to explain the role it plays in clinical psychology, so that I can portray a better understanding of the technique is a relaxed content. I will incorporate person experience and insight to hypnosis. I will examine the use of hypnosis for eyewitness testimony; the positives and negatives. In conclusion I will discuss the judicial laws for and against hypnosis in a court of law.
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