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Freud, S. (1946). Untranslated Freud—(10) Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 27:59-64.

(1946). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 27:59-64

Untranslated Freud—(10) Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888)

Sigmund Freud

This book has already received warm commendation from Professor Forel of Zurich, and it is to be hoped that its readers will discover in it all the qualities which have led the translator to present it in German. They will find that the work of Dr. Bernheim of Nancy provides an admirable introduction to the study of hypnotism (a subject which can no longer be neglected by physicians), that it is in many respects stimulating and indeed enlightening and that it is well calculated to destroy the belief that the problem of hypnosis is still surrounded, as Meynert asserts, by a halo of absurdity.

The achievement of Bernheim (and of his colleagues at Nancy who are working along the same lines) consists precisely in having stripped the manifestations of hypnotism of their strangeness by linking them up with familiar phenomena of normal psychological life and of sleep. The principal value of this book seems to me to lie in the evidence it gives of the relations between hypnotic phenomena and the ordinary processes of waking and sleeping and in its bringing to light the psychological laws that apply to both classes of events. In this way the problem of hypnosis is carried over completely into the field of psychology, and 'suggestion' is established as the nucleus of hypnotism and the key to its understanding. Moreover in the last chapters the importance of suggestion is traced in spheres other than that of hypnosis. In the second part of the book evidence is offered that the use of hypnotic suggestion provides the physician with a powerful therapeutic method, which seems indeed to be the most suitable for combating certain nervous disorders and the most appropriate to their mechanism.

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