BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 430

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 430

IELTS Academic Reading Test


A. Hypnosis is the induction of a deeply relaxed state, with increased suggestibility and suspension of critical faculties. Once in this state, sometimes called a hypnotic trance, patients are given therapeutic suggestions to encourage changes in behavior or relief of symptoms. For example, in a treatment to stop eating chocolate, a hypnosis practitioner might suggest that the patient will no longer find eating chocolate pleasurable or necessary. Hypnosis for a patient with arthritis might include a suggestion that the pain can be turned down like the volume of a radio. Some practitioners use hypnosis as an aid to psychotherapy.

The rationale is that in the hypnotised state, the conscious mind presents fewer barriers to effective psychotherapeutic exploration, leading to an increased likelihood of psychological insight. The primary applications of hypnosis are for anxiety, disorders with a strong psychological component, such as asthma, and conditions that can be modulated by levels of sensory arousal. They are also commonly used in programs for stress management.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

B. During hypnosis, the critical and analytical faculty of the conscious mind freezes, and a direct rapport is established with the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is that part of the mind that collects information from the environment through the perception of the five senses. It then analyses, organises and interprets this information, and uses it for future reference. It is responsible for the reasoning, logic and intelligence of the mind. The powers of the conscious mind are limited by past conditioning, past experiences and the logic of the science.

People usually consider the conscious mind to be the more dominant, but beneath that is the most powerful part called the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is responsible for all the autonomic processes in our body like blood pumping, maintaining the blood pressure, heart beat rate, respiration, digestion and all other involuntary functions in the body. It has infinite data storage and data processing capacity. In order to untangle how one level of consciousness influences the other, researchers and hypnotists must try and understand the people’s subconscious.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

C. Hypnosis works by reaching into this subconscious mind and updating it with new and more helpful information, like reprogramming a computer. It can be used to change associations, so that cigarettes, for instance, are no longer seen as necessary and are more realistically regarded as toxic killers. It can also be used to mentally rehearse better ways of going about things, such as being able to deal with awkward situations without having to light a cigarette. Since the unconscious mind controls our autonomic bodily processes, physical change can also be achieved through hypnosis. Pain control is a very good example.

The mind alters our awareness of pain all the time. People experience this themselves if they discover a cut or a bruise and wonder how it got there. Physical events are still occurring, but the unconscious has relegated them to the bits of sensory information you’re not aware of every single second. Hypnosis can therefore be used to amplify that same response and apply it to a specific situation, such as the control of headaches. Hypnosis works, then by shaping the perception of reality through dealing directly with the subconscious mind, which is the seat of most issues, and most solutions, too.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

D. In hypnosis treatment, patients typically see practitioners by themselves for a course of hourly or halfhourly treatments. Some general practitioners and other medical specialists use hypnosis as part of their regular clinical work and follow a longer initial consultation with standard 10 to 15-minute appointments. Patients can be given a post-hypnotic suggestion that enables them to induce selfhypnosis after the treatment course is completed. Some practitioners undertake group hypnosis, treating up to a dozen patients at a time, for example, teaching self-hypnosis to prenatal groups as preparation for labour.

E. Hypnosis has had its critics. Hypnosis can sometimes exacerbate psychological problems, for example, by retraumatising those with post-traumatic disorders or by inducing false memories in psychologically susceptible individuals. Some research has raised concerns that the dissociation necessary to participate in hypnosis can lead to the manifestation of the symptoms of psychosis. Only appropriately trained and experienced practitioners should undertake hypnosis. Its use should be avoided in patients with borderline personality disorder, dissociative disorders, or with patients who have traumatic histories. Competent hypnotherapists are skilled in recognising and referring patients with these conditions.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

F. The practice of hypnosis is poorly regulated, and standards of practice and training are variable. Although several professional groups exist, these groups do not provide certification for practitioners in hypnotherapy, making the selection of a hypnotherapist sometimes problematic. Hypnotherapists with a conventional health care background, such as psychologists, physicians, dentists, and nurses, are regulated by their professional regulatory bodies. Psychotherapists who use hypnotherapy as an additional treatment modality require appropriate training. Individuals who have received a master’s degree in counseling or social work or a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology will be likely to have received appropriate training and supervision.

G. Law enforcement agencies have always been interested in the potential applications of hypnotism. The question of the utility of hypnosis in the interrogation of persons unwilling to divulge information involves three issues: first, can hypnosis be induced under conditions of interrogation? If so, can the subject be compelled to reveal information? Secondly, if information can be so obtained, will it be trustworthy? And thirdly, is it ethical to perform this kind of interrogation? If the answers to all these questions are, ‘yes’, the next problem is then to induce a trance either against the subject’s wishes or without his being aware of it.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The text on the previous pages has 7 paragraphs (A – G).

Which paragraph contains the following information?

14. Skilled hypnotherapy practitioners are able to spot patients that might not be suited to hypnosis therapy.

15. The subconscious mind is where most people’s problems originate.

16. It’s not always easy to choose a competent hypnotherapist with confidence.

17. Hypnosis can be used to treat the strain caused by worrying too much.

18. Some hypnosis therapy can be continued by the patient alone after the therapy has finished.

19. It might not be morally acceptable to extract some information from people under hypnosis.

20. The conscious mind is affected by events that it is aware have taken place before.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Criticisms of Hypnosis

Hypnosis might make existing issues worse by recalling distressing episodes or creating (21)__________ in vulnerable patients. Hypnosis also might create psychosis by using the required (22)__________. Hypnosis should not be used with patients with certain disorders or histories. Hypnosis practitioners are also poorly regulated and existing organisations do not offer (23)__________.

Complete each sentence with the correct ending (A – F) below.

Write the correct letter (A – F) in boxes 24 – 26 on your answer sheet.

24. The subconscious part of the mind

25. Some physical signs of problems, such as the feeling of pain,

26. Providing information under hypnosis

A. might not be a reliable.

B. deals with the ability to breathe.

C. can prompt a heart attack if not dealt with carefully.

D. can be greatly lessened under hypnosis.

E. cannot be dealt with under hypnosis.

F. could lead to the physical damage of the subject.


BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 430

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14. E

15. C

16. F

17. A

18. D

19. G

20. B




24. B

25. D

26. A

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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