Dayton Rotary Club gets lesson on forensic hypnosis

Liberty County Sheriff's Capt. Ken DeFoor (left) and Dayton Police Chief Rob Vine spoke to Dayton Rotarians earlier this week about forensic hypnosis.

The Dayton Rotary Club met at the Community Center for their weekly meeting. President Tami Pierce called the meeting. After the prayer, pledge, and new business, she turned the meeting over to Rotarian Ken Defoor who was in charge of the program. Defoor in turn, gave a brief introduction of Dayton’s Chief of Police, Robert Vine. Chief Vine’s topic of the day was Forensic Hypnosis.

Chief started out explaining the history. The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word hypnos which means sleep. The words ‘hypnosis’ and ‘hypnotism’ both derive from the term ‘ neuro-hypnosis’ (nervous sleep).

The term was coined by the Scottish surgeon James Braid in 1841. Braid based his practice on what was developed by Franz Memer and his followers (hence the terms mesmerism or animal magnetism came from). However, Braid’s work differed in his theory as to how the procedure worked.

The definition of hypnosis has been defined as “a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state.” Vine reiterated many times throughout the informative presentation that this is considered a science (Physiology and Anatomy). He gave the Rotarians a brief discussion over how the brain works and exactly how the hypnotists get a person to become hypnotized. He did a fun ‘fact and myth’ slide over what is and is not a part of Forensic Hypnosis. Vine also stated that not everyone is able to be placed in that relaxed state of mind.

Vine talked about ways that hypnotherapy can help or assist people. He explained that fears and phobias are one way that it can help folks. Vine gave a personal story of two people who had a fear of speaking in public. Both were hypnotized and one’s fears went away for one week, then another lack of anxiety in speaking in front of others lasted for years. More uses for hypnotherapy includes kicking an addiction, habit control, pain management and weight loss. Relaxation, soothing anxious surgical patients and sports/test performances also improve through this technique.   

The differences between the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and unconscious mind were also discussed. It is in the subconscious mind that the hypnotists focus on. The subconscious mind is the most active when dreaming, is not logical, symbolic or metaphorical. It stores information and long-term memory. It is also receptive to new ideas and clings to ideas it already has.

Chief Vine gave his particular background and training to the Club. In 2011, he was certified as a Forensic Hypnotist by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. At that time, there were a little more than 800 Forensic Hypnotists. As of 2018, there were less than 50 certified Forensic Hypnotists in the state of Texas. Today, the chief is one of only 11 in the state. He has conducted over 50 hypnosis sessions throughout the years. He discussed his own personal experiences during his training days when the hypnotists-to-be had to practice the technique on each other. Vine, himself, has been hypnotized about 15 to 16 times.

At the end of his presentation, Chief Vine showed a video of his daughter and her time under the hypnosis of her father.  She had been 11 years old at the time and he had her recall her fifth birthday – what they ate, who was there, where they were sitting, what they were wearing and what present she opened first. His daughter was able to recall everything in detail. The Rotarians were amazed and had several follow-up questions for Chief Robert Vine.

Rotary President Pierce thanked Chief Vine and reminded all of the members to invite others next week to their meeting. If anyone is interested in joining or visiting the Dayton Rotary Club, then please feel free to attend next week’s meeting. The club meets every Thursday at the Dayton Community Center at noon.

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