Hypnosis: A Psychodynamic Perspective.

The relationship between hypnosis and psychoanalysis has always been complex, and often acrimonious. When Freud abandoned hypnosis as both the foundation of his theory building and his clinical intervention of choice, the two approaches and the theories associated with them have often seemed separated by enormous rifts, theoretical, clinical, and political. Yet throughout their considerable estrangement for over more than a century, each has much to offer to the other. In this contribution, I briefly review efforts by psychoanalysts to conceptualize and understand hypnosis, offer an introduction to the relatively new post-modern intersubjective approach to psychoanalysis, and demonstrates how the relational concepts associated with that perspective can be of significant help in preparing patients for hypnosis, and in crafting interventions geared to the dynamics of the individual patient, which enhance the likelihood of clinical success. Key relational elements are illustrated with clinical vignettes.

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