Beware of the cold hand on your shoulder on a sultry summer's night in New Orleans. Or that glamorous, but very pale, stranger who offers you a glass of what appears to be red wine. Are those teeth or fangs behind that hypnotic gaze?
Vampires roam the street of New Orleans-at least they do in many of Anne Rice's novels. Using the city's link to these legendary creatures as background, and combining her knowledge of Dr. Katherine Ramsland forensic psychology and vampire lore, author Katherine Ramsland, PhD, a forensic psychology professor at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., will give a talk at APA's Annual Convention exploring the psychology underlying our culture's fascination with vampires and the psychological "tools" that vampires wield in mythology.
Ramsland will focus on the "hypnotic allure" that vampires hold and how that may influence our perception of hypnosis. She will also touch on some of the themes that vampires represent, like the competing forces of losing control and freedom from responsibility.
The session, "Hypnotic Rapport and the Vampire's Secret for Sucksess," is sponsored by APA's Div. 30 (Society of Psychological Hypnosis).
"We thought the connection would be a fun way for people to learn more about hypnosis and Div. 30," says division president Guy Montgomery, PhD. Montgomery says that since the theme has such mass-market appeal, he expects the session to attract a large crowd.
Ramsland gives a hint to some of what lies behind the vampire's appeal: "The archetypal vampires are larger-than-life, charismatic entities of power and mystery who once were human and now display abilities beyond human limitations," she observes. "They can defeat death, seduce anyone of their choosing, obliterate their enemies and stay up all night. What's not to like?"