Important Figures in the History of Hypnosis

Much of the work we do here at Harmony Soul Regression rests squarely on the shoulders of others who have pioneered the fields of psychology and hypnosis. These men and women have not only explored new vistas of the human psyche, they did so in a relatively “unscientific” era often encountering skepticism, superstition and sometimes outright hostility to these new ideas. Between lives soul regression would not be possible for our regression therapist were it not for these trailblazers. This is why we would like to list some of the more notable pioneers in the field of hypnosis in particular.

 

In a technical sense, hypnosis predates modern Western civilization and actually stretches back into ancient history. It is thought that the practice was used by the Ancient Greeks as a way to prepare patients for surgery. For the purposes of this post we are referring to modern pioneers in the field.

 

  • Franz Anton Mesmer (1720-1792): Mesmer developed a method called “animal magnetism” that was the forerunner of early hypnotism. His ideas gained wide popularity from 1780 and 1850 and were later revised and explored further by Scottish physician James Braid.

 

  • James Braid (1795-1860): Braid attempted to rename “animal magnetism” (mesmerism) using the then new term “hypnotism” which he derived from Hypnos, the Greek God of sleep.

 

  • Hippolyte Bernheim (1840-1919): This French physician and neurologist, is best known for his theory of suggestibility as it relates to hypnotism. Bernheim first suggested the idea of “false memories.” His published works include “De la Suggestion dans l’État Hypnotique et dans l’État de Veille”, Paris, 1884 and “De la Suggestion et de son Application à la Thérapeutique”, Paris, 1887.

 

  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): This founder of psychoanalysis started his career as a hypnotist and introduced the concept of hypnotic regression. Volumes have been written about Freud’s contributions to psychiatry.

 

  • Clark Leonard Hull (1884 – 1952): This behavioral psychologist and former president of the American Psychological Association pioneered early scientific research into the phenomenon of hypnotism.

 

  • Ernest Ropiequet “Jack” Hilgard (1904 – 2001): Hilgard, was an authority on pain management as it relates to hypnosis. His Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS) is to this day the most widely-used research tool in the field of hypnosis.

 

Today, much of what we know about hypnosis comes from the works of the above individuals and others too many to mention here. Unlike some of these individuals, we live in an age of relative enlightenment when it comes to new ideas. We use a wide range of these techniques in our therapy to unearth problems that extend far back into our patients’ psyches. Often these journeys lead us directly to past lives.

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