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  • Katie Yeung

A Short History of Hypnosis

The powers of hypnosis have been well known and used for thousands of years yet it is still clouded with mystery with the majority of the population having little, to no, understanding of what is involved in therapeutic hypnosis or just how extensively studied and tested it has been by scientists over the last century.


Some of the historical evidence of hypnosis in use over the ages might seem a little far out to most, but in 1770 Franz Mesmer brought "Mesmerism" into the Western medical society's focus and over the next 100 years many doctors experimented with what we now know as hypnosis. Franz Mesmer is indeed the namesake of the term "mesmerised"!


Photo by Meo

In 1943, after rigorous scientific studies, Clarke Hull wrote "Hypnosis and Suggestibility" which is one of the first books covering the psychological studies on hypnosis. One of Hull's students, Milton H. Erickson, became the most pronounced and influential figures in modern day hypnosis.

His utilisation of client's own attitudes, thinking, feelings, behaviours and aspects of their reality situation to develop hypnotic language gained him a large following and great success.

Over his 60-year professional career, he wrote more than 100 professional articles,whilst teaching and practicing hypnosis until his death in 1980.


With the development of advanced medical equipment allowing people to see brain activity, the affects of hypnotherapy have been further studied and validated by the scientific community, allowing hypnotherapy to take it's place alongside other recognised medical therapies in the 21st century.


References

History of Hypnosis

By Rhonnda Stewart

Patterns of Hypnotic Technique of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.

By Richard Bandler an John Grindler


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