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W., H. (1948). Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888): Sigmund Freud. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946. pp. 59–64.. Psychoanal Q., 17:422-423.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888): Sigmund Freud. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946. pp. 59–64.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:422-423

Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888): Sigmund Freud. Int. J. Psa., XXVII, 1946. pp. 59–64.

H. W.

Freud's preface—written just sixty years ago—to his translation of Bernheim's De la suggestion et de ses applications à la thérapeutique (1886) is here reprinted for the first time.

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The essay opens with a plea for hypnotism as a scientific therapeutic tool of great import which is safe in experienced hands and which can no longer be dismissed as a fakir's trick. Freud then goes on to discuss at length those reactions on the part of the hypnotized subject which went beyond the exact suggestions of the physician and were deemed 'physiological'. These reactions, Freud felt, were based on a phenomenon which he termed 'autosuggestion', set off by 'association of ideas' originating in the therapist's suggestions. ('Your eyelids are heavy' leads by association to falling asleep.) He goes on to say, '… suggestion only releases sets of manifestations which are based upon the functional peculiarities of the subject's system, and in hypnosis characteristics of the nervous system other than suggestibility make themselves felt'.

One might imagine that Freud's theory of the unconscious is foreshadowed in these pages for in a footnote to his translation of Bernheim's book he writes: 'It appears to me unjustifiable, and unnecessary, to assume that an executive act changes its localization in the nervous system if it is begun consciously and continued later unconsciously. It is, on the contrary, probable that the portion of the brain concerned can operate with a changing amount of attention (or consciousness).'

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Article Citation

W., H. (1948). Hypnotism and Suggestion (1888). Psychoanal. Q., 17:422-423

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