What Is Hypnosis?

The hypnotist does not hypnotize the individual.   Rather, the hypnotist serves as a sort of coach or tutor whose job is to help the person become hypnotised” (7).

It is believed that hypnosis can be identified in writings dating back to ancient times, however they have never been documented in any systematic way. This all changed in the 18th Century when an Austrian physician named Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815) described a phenomenon which he called animal magnetism, subsequently, sometimes referred to as mesmerism which endured and its practice), spread throughout Europe with the involvement of individuals such as: de Puysegur (1751–1825), Kluge (1782–1844), Wolfart (1778–1832), Deleuze (1753–1835) and de Faria (1755–1819). This approach to treatment also started to be used in the USA but subsequently the tendency for it to become increasingly associated with religious cults and various paranormal practices gave the medical profession a further opportunity to try and side-line the phenomenon (Hidden Depths, pages from 71 to 210)

James Braid (1795–1860), who renamed the term as being ‘hypnotism’ was a surgeon working in Manchester during the mid-1800, who was introduced to mesmerism by a travelling French demonstrator of the technique. He gradually became more and more interested in its potential, eventually using it to aid pain control during surgery. (Hidden Depths, pages from 201 to 204)

John Elliotson (1791–1868), a professor of medicine based at University College Hospital in London, started to use the technique of hypnosis in his practice, as he became interested in the therapeutic application of it. Unfortunately, he resigned as a result of the hostility from his colleagues, but he continued to practice it privately. (Hidden Depths, page from 172 to 190)

Milton Erickson (1901–1980) owns his respect due his flexibility in his approach which involved the distraction of the conscious attention and barriers. (Hidden Depths, page from 305 to 313)...