1849-1936 Studies with Ivan Petrovich Pavlov – Russian psychologist who actually was more focused on the study of the digestive process move things even further forward. He is known primarily for his development of the concept of the conditioned reflex (or Stimulus Response Theory). In his classic experiment, he trained hungry dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, which was previously associated with the sight of food. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1904 for his work on digestive secretions. Though he had nothing to do with hypnosis, his Stimulus Response Theory is a cornerstone in linking and anchoring behaviours, particularly in NLP.

1857-1926 Enter, Emile Coue, a physician who formulated the Laws of Suggestion. He is also known for encouraging his patients to say to themselves 20-30 times a night before going to sleep; “Every day in every way, I am getting better and better.” He also discovered that delivering positive suggestions when prescribing medication proved to be a more effective cure than prescribing medications alone. He eventually abandoned the concept of hypnosis in favour of just using suggestion, feeling hypnosis and the hypnotic state impaired the efficiency of the suggestion.

Coues Laws of Suggestion

“Every day in every way, I am getting better and better.”

The Law of Concentrated Attention

” Whenever attention is concentrated on an idea over and over again, it spontaneously tends to realize itself”

The Law of Reverse Action

“The harder one tries to do something, the less chance one has of success”

The Law of Dominant Effect

“A stronger emotion tends to replace a weaker one”

1856-1939 Sigmund Freud travelled to Nancy and studied with Liebault and Bernheim, and then did additional study with Charcot. Freud did not incorporate hypnosis in his therapeutic work however, because he felt he could not hypnotise patients to a sufficient depth. He felt that the cures were temporary, and that hypnosis stripped patients of their defences. Freud was considered a poor hypnotist given his paternal manner. However, his clients often went into trance and he often, unknowingly, performed non-verbal inductions when he would place his hand on his patients head to signify the Doctor dominant, patient submissive roles. Because of his early dismissal of hypnosis in favour of psychoanalysis, hypnosis was almost totally ignored.

1875-1961 Carl Jung, a student and colleague of Freuds, rejected Freuds psychoanalytical approach and developed his own interests. He developed the concept of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Though he did not actively use hypnosis, he encouraged his patients to use active imagination to change old memories. He often used the concept of the inner guide, in the healing work. He believed that the inner mind could be accessed through tools like the I Ching and astrology. He was rejected by the conservative medical community as a mystic. However, many of his ideas and theories are actively embraced by healers to this day.

1932-1974 Milton Erickson, a psychologist and psychiatrist pioneered the art of indirect suggestion in hypnosis. He is considered to be the father of modern hypnosis. His methods bypassed the conscious mind through the use of both verbal and nonverbal pacing techniques including metaphor, confusion, and many others. He was a colourful character and has immensely influenced the practice of contemporary hypnotherapy, and its official acceptance by the AMA. His work, combined with the work of Satir and Perls, was the basis for Bandler and Grinders Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Today hypnotherapy is not only well practised but highly recommended by medics the world over as a great tool to solve a myriad of issues.

In times of war, it has been used to sedate patients needing surgery. My own experience has been phenomenal, and I had my kids through hypnobirthing, you can read more about it here (hyperlink to my hypnobirthing article). It was a beautiful and spiritual experience. I highly recommend anyone to considering it. Additionally, I spent years studying NLP and found great successes.

Let me know if you have any questions in this area or what your experience has been. xox Jessica