Abreaction during Systematic Desensitization under Hypnosis for Food Allergy

  • Ishimoto Junko
    Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University
  • Matsuoka Yoichi
    Health Administration Center, University of the Ryukyus
  • Aoki Hiroyuki
    Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Kita-kyushu Municipal Medical Center
  • Teshima Hideki
    Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University
  • Nakagawa Tetsuya
    Department of Studies on Life-Long Development and Education, Fukuoka Prefectural University

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 催眠を用いた系統的脱感作中に除反応を生じた食品アレルギーの1例

Search this article


It is well-known that some cases of food allergy are strongly influenced by psychological factors. Sometimes the presence of anxiety and/or fear prevents symptom relief during systematic desensitization, which is applied to such cases. We report a food allergy patient with successful desensitization under hypnosis after abreaction of her fear and anger toward her ex-husband in relation to the food allergies. Case : A 52-year-old female patient was admitted to our hospital complaining of urticaria after eating fish. Symptoms began about six months prior to admission. Single-blind food challenge tests were given to her using fish, which had seemed to cause her urtiearia, but consistent data were not obtained. She was treated with systematic desensitization under hypnosis, but started to resist imaging the fish during the sessions. When the therapist asked her about the reason under hypnosis, she answered that the fish reminded her of her ex-husband whom their children wanted her to remarry, and tearfully reproached her ex-husband for what he had done to her. After this abreaction she was able to move on to further steps in the desensitization program. After treatment, the previously positive intradermal reactions to various kinds of fish, as obtained just after admission, turned to negative, and urticaria did not reappear after eating fish. She also decided not to remarry her ex-husband and was discharged from hospital successfully. To conclude, these findings suggest that abreactive expression of emotions can improve the outcome when the patient does not progress during desensitization and symptoms remain. Abreaction also seemed to decrease this patient's allergic reactions, and to cause a change of her attitudes toward reality.



Report a problem

Back to top