PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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202         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
the head, when the cataleptic condition will vanish, and other characteristics will appear, chief among which are abnormal acuteness of the senses, and obedience to suggestion. Most observers, however, have completely failed to find these three stages in any somnambulant subject.
About the time of Braid's death Dr. Liebeault began to study mesmerism and in 1864 he started a clinic at Nancy where he practised with admirable results for twenty years. In a rather abstruse work I38a he attempted to show that all the changes occurring during hypnosis were due to a diversion_of attention. ' The concentration of attention ', he said, ' causes the isolation of the senses, the cessation of muscular movement and the rapport between the somnambulist and the hypnotizer/ This side-tracking of the attention opened up the subject to the suggestions of the operator. Liebeault's theories received scant acknowledgment, though in making suggestibility the basis of hypnosis, he struck at the root of the matter.
In the meanwhile a young man named Hippolite Bernheim returned to Nancy after studying at the Salpetriere and began to practise as a psychotherapist. In 1882 a sciatic patient whom he had treated unsuccessfully was cured by Liebeault. He came to observe the latter's method and learned from him that at least one-fifth or one-sixth of all subjects could be hypnotized to the point of somnambulance. Bernheim went further and maintained that almost everyone could be hypnotized into a state of somnambulance. His technique was very similar to- that used nowadays. The patient lay quietly gazing upward with his eyes fixed on a glittering object while Bernheim suggested several times in a soothing voice, ' You are sleeping; your breathing is slow and deep ; you are becoming calm and