Running Head: Running head: Is Hypnosis a useful tool?
Is Hypnosis a useful tool to cure mental disorders?
Mara De Ascanis
Many types of mental and physical problems are the result of mental distortions,
hypnosis, by replacing mental distortions with useful and healthy associations, is able to re-
establish health in both mind and body. Hypnosis is so successful that it should be a tool used by
most doctors and mental health practitioners. Doctors can do more with it and would need to
prescribe less pills and see more results with their patients. Science has proved that hypnosis is in
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The first to start studying the use of hypnosis was Franz Anton Mesmner in 1700, a Swiss medical doctor that noticed that patients with pains responded very well to inductions of sleep, which allowed them to lower their pains. A revision of Mesmer’s theories was made by the English Doctor James Braid. He coined the name hypnosis, and that is why he is regarded as the father of hypnosis. Dr. Braid used hypnosis extensively in his medical practice.
Sigmund Freud also used hypnosis and was impressed by the therapeutic potential of hypnosis for neurotic disorders, but his focus on the mysterious element of sexual nature made him abandon it for psychoanalysis, and with the beginning of psychoanalysis the focus on hypnosis started to decline. In 1958 the American Medical Association recognized hypnosis as a legitimate cure in medicine.
In May 2001, at the Australian Medical Association, Dr. K Phelps stated, “as evidence emerges that some complementary medicines are effective, then it becomes ethically impossible for the medical profession to ignore them” (Cowen, 2004). In this statement she is referring to some alternative medicine practices including hypnosis. The mind is the power behind it all, and hypnosis guides this power to heal mind, body and soul; thus hypnosis is a useful tool to cure mental disorders. Hypnosis should be used more often in psychological treatment because it is an effective, safe and proven tool.
Hypnosis was proved to be effective by several Doctors and therapists in the field. It all started with Mesmer and his animal magnetism. He noticed that by passing his hands close to the body to allow the “magnetic fluid” to flow from his fingertips into the client’s body, he could restore balance and health, and it only took three sessions for a diseased person to heal. People were amazed by how clients would be cured from incurable conditions, but Mesmer clashed with the medical field when a client cured of blindness relapsed. Then he moved to Paris where he practiced magnetism.
James Braid was an English surgeon and writer on hypnotism. He is the one that coined the name hypnosis and demonstrated that it was not animal magnetism, but it was just achieved by suggestion. His writings are what led to future research and development of hypnosis and the investigation of what was later called the unconscious mind (E. Hilgard, 1984).
Milton Erickson, the founder of Hypnocounseling, was a major influence in practices of counseling and psychotherapy, and his methods are without doubt the fasted growing in the western world in the field of psychotherapy. He was also one of the most prominent founders of neurolinguistic programming (NLP). He was also very influential in the in family and brief systemic therapy model of the Mental Health Research Institute. His work has been so original and creative that he was nicknamed “Mr. Hypnosis” (Gunnison, H., 1990). He also was the founder and first president of the American Society for...