Psychiatric Annals

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Introduction: Mesmerism Minus Magic

David Spiegel, MD

Abstract

There was a time when no self-respecting psychiatrist would admit to using hypnosis. The time may soon be coming when no self-respecting psychiatrist will admit to not at least knowing something about it.

Hypnosis is a phenomenon of such compelling theoretical and therapeutic interest that it is attracting attention from clinicians and researchers as a means for studying the mind-brain interface, for clarifying differential diagnosis, for helping patients with a variety of problems, and for uncovering information, it provides an unusual opportunity for streamlining therapy and systematically assessing a given patient's potential to benefit from a given treatment.

With growing interest in psychotherapies that are cost-effective, brief, and tailored specifically to the needs and abilities of the patient rather than the interests of the therapist, hypnosis emerges as a serious scientific tool. The days of purple capes, dangling watches, and fishy stares are over. Clinical practice with hypnosis is becoming increasingly accepted, effective, and scientific.…

There was a time when no self-respecting psychiatrist would admit to using hypnosis. The time may soon be coming when no self-respecting psychiatrist will admit to not at least knowing something about it.

Hypnosis is a phenomenon of such compelling theoretical and therapeutic interest that it is attracting attention from clinicians and researchers as a means for studying the mind-brain interface, for clarifying differential diagnosis, for helping patients with a variety of problems, and for uncovering information, it provides an unusual opportunity for streamlining therapy and systematically assessing a given patient's potential to benefit from a given treatment.

With growing interest in psychotherapies that are cost-effective, brief, and tailored specifically to the needs and abilities of the patient rather than the interests of the therapist, hypnosis emerges as a serious scientific tool. The days of purple capes, dangling watches, and fishy stares are over. Clinical practice with hypnosis is becoming increasingly accepted, effective, and scientific.

10.3928/0048-5713-19810901-06

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