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September 6, 1965

Television Hypnosis

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1965;193(10):854-855. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090100100046

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To the Editor:—  The communication reporting on television hypnosis by Herbert Spiegel, MD, et al (JAMA192, June 28, 1965, adv p 30) recalled an experience as a resident physician at the New Jersey State Hospital for Epileptics. A patient, then aged 18, was temporarily committed because of "epilepsy." He usually had his attacks while washing dishes in his father's restaurant, and, during the attack, he often broke many of them. The pattern suggested hysteria. I hypnotized him, and gave him the following orders while he was under hypnosis: "Smith, you will go to sleep and have a convulsion when I say, 'have a convulsion,' and you will immediately awaken and completely recover from your convulsion when you hear my voice saying, 'Smith, wake up.'"This patient lived in a cottage with 20 others. I had instructed the house attendant to phone me if Smith had a "convulsion" in the

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