Review of: Clinical Applications of Suggestion and Hypnosis. By William T. Heron, M.A., Ph.D. (Pp. 116. £1 2s. 6d.). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications. 1950.
British Medical Journal, 4 August 1951, p. 251
A good deal of interest has been shown lately in the possible uses of hypnosis in ordinary medical practice. This little book, published at a price which is very high for the British reader, provides a useful aid. While the author discusses the general aspects of hypnosis in a way which gives a sufficient introduction, he focuses attention mainly on the practical problems of technique - how to approach the patient, the degrees of the hypnotic state, methods of induction, post-hypnotic suggestion, and precautions. The author is not a medical man, but is professor of psychology in the University of Minnesota, and seems to have had a good deal of experience with patients. He has much to say about the use of hypnosis to attain minor degrees of surgical anaesthesia - as, for instance, may be called for in dentistry.
Medical men who are interested in hypnosis might well make more use of it in general practice than they do at present. It is not a difficult technique, and in its ordinary applications demands no great knowledge of psychiatry. The use of hypnosis in psychotherapy would require training and experience, but is a highly specialized field of application. Probably the easiest method by which acquaintance with the technique could be obtained would be by making the first trials not with adults but with children. The author has some useful guidance to give about the management of suggestion in its simplest forms, and suggestion is constantly given by any competent practitioner in his daily handling of patients.