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June 20, 1959

A Handbook of Medical Hypnosis: An Introduction for Practitioners and Students

JAMA. 1959;170(8):1007. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010080115033

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This new edition of a handbook first published in 1956 for the British medical public is an elementary textbook of rather limited value for the beginner in medical hypnosis. Ambitious in its purpose, its coverage is sketchy and its material is poorly organized, uncritically selected, and inadequately presented. For example, in chapter 3, "The Hypnotic State and Its Phenomena," six pages are devoted to a general discussion of the hypnotic state and brief, incomplete, usually nondefinitive descriptions of some of the common phenomena of hypnosis, some of which are mentioned only by name. The rest of the chapter deals with related topics but includes such matters as a discussion of desirable personality attributes in a hypnotist.

The chapters on clinical topics are also inadequate. For example, beginning on page 77 the medical history of a patient with mucous colitis is given, including the negative laboratory findings in 1951, the x-ray

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