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January 1961

Hypnosis in Psychotherapy Today: Anachronism, Fixation, Regression, or Valid Modality?

Author Affiliations

Psychiatrist-in-Chief, The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(1):30-39. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710070032005

We seem to be in the middle of one of the periodic revivals of interest in hypnosis and hypnotherapy. For several centuries there have been phases of interest in this theme, interspersed with others of complete rejection. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied and complex. Perhaps they will be touched upon during the discussion that will follow. It seems to me that in order to understand the current role of hypnosis in psychotherapy, it will be essential to adopt the genetic, in this instance historic, point of view. This is particularly important to do in view of the title of this paper.

It has become customary in any discussion about hypnosis to begin with comments about the temple sleep of the Greeks and to quote Genesis 22:21: "and the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of