A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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v                     THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY                 199
build that in the end, as a result of his experiments, hypnosis became a respectable part of psychoneurology. In doing this he brought hypnosis once again before the Academy of Medicine, in 1880, forcing its acceptance as a part of legitimate medical therapy. For a decade or two Charcot's ideas were accepted and it seemed as if hypnotism would advance to an assured position in the scientific world under his aegis. Physicians flocked to his clinic from all parts of Europe and America.
Charcot gave his famous clinics on Tuesday mornings. On a stage equipped with footlights, the Master, in a frock coat and flowing tie, his long hair uncut, demonstrated and lectured in a low, fluent voice. Students, physicians and the literati of Paris who filled the amphitheatre sat entranced while Charcot, with word or gesture, put his women patients into catalepsy, through bizarre postures or into the grotesque arc de cercle, where the patient was so rigid as to form an arc with her body resting at both ends on head and heels. The medical world applauded, and the public marvelled.
It was not long, however, before physicians resented the theatricality of his display. The report circulated that the cases which he presented publicly had been carefully rehearsed through repeated hypnotization by his clinical assistants. Charcot's associates came to his defence. ' What if they were ? ' Pitres asked. The findings in his extreme cases did not negate the general principles. Moreover, who else could be hypnotized except a hysterical individual and where else could these extraordinary seizures and paralyses be seen except in la grande hysUrique ? But the rumour that Charcot trained his patients for display persisted. It had been observed, for example, that as he passed through a female ward the patients, one after another, fell into hypnotic trance. But if Charcot's patients were trained