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May 28, 1960


Author Affiliations

Des Plaines, Ill.

From the Forest Hospital.

JAMA. 1960;173(4):359-361. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020220005008a

With the renewal of interest in hypnosis, an increasing number of physicians are finding it a useful and relatively simple therapeutic tool. However, hypnosis is not entirely innocuous. Unless cases are selected with care and therapy is wise, hypnosis may result in symptoms more serious than those for which the patient was originally treated. This paper presents such a case, in which use of hypnosis to suppress an undesirable symptom resulted in development of acute, severe personality decompensation. Furthermore, the case illustrates how factors in a patient's history can clearly contraindicate this form of hypnotherapy.

Report of a Case  The patient was a 41-year-old married man with a fear of flying. As a successful sales executive with a large industry, he often had to make trips throughout the country; for 15 years he had traveled, by either airplane or train, with no particular difficulty.About two years before the onset

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