<< back to list

'Mesmerism' - a forerunner of psychotherapy

Type: Journal

Article title : 'Mesmerism' - a forerunner of psychotherapy

Author: Hoff, Paul

Year: 1989
Journal: Nervenarst
Vol : Issue 60 : 12
Pages: 232-239


Argues that the theory of animal magnetism, fiunde by E. A. Mesmer (1734-1815), was more than an episode of misdirected speculation, superstition, or outright charlatanism. Mesmer's theories dealt with basic concepts, such as the body-mind problem and human understanding of health & disease. Contemporary philosophers and scientists regarded mesmerism with suspicion. However, J. Braid, a British opthalmologist and surgeon, applied mesmerism to his patients and named it 'hypnosis'. Together with suggestion, hypnosis remains an important part of today's psychotherapy. TThe shifting perception of mesmerism according to different paradigms illustrates the problem of every innovative psychiatric theory.


Author's institution: Ludwig Maximilians U, Munchen, Psychiatrische Klinik, Germany
Language: German
Country origin: Germany

Entry number: 486
English version: of 485

Entry source: ** PsycLIT This information is reprinted with the permission of the American Psychological Association, publisher of Psychological Abstracts and PsycLIT (Copywrite 1997 by the American Psychological Association) and may not be reproduced without its prior permission.
Entered by: Courtenay Young
Entry date: 7 June 2004

Key Phrases: Psychotherapy - Hypnosis
Other information: (+ English translation)