Melvin A Gravitz

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Self-hypnosis is an important modern therapeutic method. This article traces its initial use in either 1778 or 1779 by Franz Anton Mesmer, the founder of animal magnetism, which, in turn, led to the present modality of hypnosis. According to a contemporary account written by a colleague, Mesmer successfully treated himself for a condition described as a(More)
Following an unsuccessful attempt by Mesmer to bring animal magnetism to the United States in 1784 through the Marquis de Lafayette, there was a period of little activity there for several decades. Then, concurrent with its revival in Europe and led by a few American practitioners who had been trained in France, several early societies of American(More)
The 1956 publication of The Search for Bridey Murphy was a noteworthy event for the field of hypnosis. This internationally best selling book, written for lay readers, described several recorded sessions of alleged time-regression to a prior life nearly two centuries before 1956. While subsequent investigations disproved that claim, there were a number of(More)
Troubled by continuing emotionally painful memories of her ill mother's face as she struggled to breathe during her terminal days in the hospital, an adult daughter requested hypnosis to "erase" those images from her memory. Since that is not feasible, the subject instead was provided in a single session with a hypnosis-based, imagery-focused strategy in(More)
There has been a gradual evolution of the important construct of transference from ancient to modern times. Long before Franz Anton Mesmer, there were philosophers, theorists, and health professionals who emphasized the impact of interpersonal relationships on well-being and illness. While basically conceptualizing animal magnetism as a dynamic physical(More)