Hypnosis. A Brief History. Blackwell Brief Histories of Psychology

  • ID: 2248885
  • Book
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Throughout its long history, hypnosis has been employed not only as a medical and psychotherapeutic tool, but also as a spiritual practice and an enduring form of entertainment. Theories about hypnosis, as well as popular ideas about its nature, have been repeatedly championed, rejected, and revived and in the process have continuously contradicted, influenced, and fed back into one another.Hypnosis: A Brief History examines the social and cultural contexts of the theories, development, and practice of hypnosis, weaving together three narratives: the story of hypnosis as an array of contradictory theories, a set of controversial techniques, and a jumble of colorful ideas unfolding in the popular imagination. This concise and entertaining book crosses disciplinary boundaries to explain current advances and controversies surrounding the use of hypnosis through an exploration of the history of its development.
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1. Trilby and Svengali.

The Hypnotic Relation.

The Nature of Hypnosis.

Assessing the Myths of Hypnosis.

From Trilby to Svengali.

2. Magnetic Fluid and Magnetic Sleep.

Origins of Animal Magnetism.

Mesmerism and Exorcism.

Practicing Mesmerism.

Mesmerism Assailed.

Mesmerism Transformed.

From Magnetic Fluid to Magnetic Sleep.

3. Mesmerism and Hypnosis.

Fluidism and Animism.

Mesmerism at University College Hospital.

Mesmerism in Parlor and Sickroom.

Mesmeric Anaesthesia.


From Magnetism to Hypnosis.

4. Body and Soul.

Mesmerism in the United States.

Phrenomagnetism and Electrobiology.

Mesmerism and Spiritualism.

Mesmerism and Swedenborgianism.

New Thought and Christian Science.

From Body to Soul.

5. Salpêtrière and Nancy.

Hypnosis at the Salpêtrière.

The Nancy Approach to Hypnosis.

The Fall of Hypnosis.

Hypnosis outside of the Mainstream.

From Salpêtrière to Nancy.

6. Laboratory and Clinic.

Hypnosis Research in the Early Twentieth Century.

Hypnosis Research during the World Wars.

Psychological Healing in the Early Twentieth Century.

The Resurgence of Clinical Hypnosis.

The Rise of Popular Hypnosis.

From Laboratory to Clinic.

7. State and Trait.

Neodissociation Theory.

Altered State Theories.

Non–State Theories.

Convergence in the State/Non–State Debate.

The Trait Debate.

From State to Trait.

8. Memory and Identity.

Repression of Traumatic Memory.

Hypnosis and Memory.

Dissociation and Traumatic Memory.

Challenges to the Post–Traumatic Model.

Hypnosis and Dissociation of Identity.

From Memory to Identity.

9. Present and Future.

Medical Applications of Hypnosis.

Psychotherapeutic Applications of Hypnosis.

Unanswered Questions in the Trait Debate.

Unanswered Questions in the State Debate.

From the Present to the Future.


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Judith Pintar is a historical sociologist whose work focuses on trauma and mental illness. She is a research associate in the Department of Sociology and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. She has written numerous book chapters and articles and is the author of two books.

Steven Jay Lynn is a leading clinical psychologist and hypnosis expert. He is a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the author of 14 books and more than 250 articles and chapters. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Discovery Channel, and Science News.

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