REFLECTIONS ON HYPNOTHERAPY
Hypnotherapy has come a long way since the latter decades of the twentieth century, when it came into its own around the world. With the formation of numerous hypnosis associations in Australia and internationally, more and more people outside the medical milieu are devoting themselves to a career in hypnotherapy.
Here, we will showcase interesting information about the latest developments in the profession as well as historical tidbits.
From the Treasure Trove, with Dr. Lindsay Yeates
Mind Power: The Secret of Mental Magic
12 October 2014
Atkinson, W.W., Mind-Power: The Secret of Mental Magic, Advanced Thought Publishing, (Chicago), 1912. Download it at http://tinyurl.com/mp98d94.
William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932), an attorney and pioneer of the New Thought movement, wrote more than a hundred books on suggestive therapeutics, and religious, spiritual, and occult topics. Some were published under his own name; others under his various noms de guerre, which included Theron Q. Dumont, Magus Incognito, Theodore Sheldon, Theron Q. Dumont, Swami Panchadasi, Yogi Ramacharaka, Swami Bhakta Vishita, and, according to some, “The Three Initiates”.
The New Thought movement was a metaphysical/spiritual movement that originated in the mental healing approaches of Phineas Quimby (1802-1866), and was largely promoted through its literature. It placed great emphasis on mental principles such as “You are what you think”.
Atkinson’s book, written more than a century ago (predating Coué by a decade), has many interesting aspects, including his emphatic statement (p.242) that, whilst hypnotism significantly amplifies the effectiveness of suggestions, it is also true that those suggestions could also have been effective in the absence of hypnosis:”suggestion …is the active factor in hypnotism, the hypnotic condition being only a psychological condition in which the effect of suggestion is heightened”.
In addition to his remarkable “Fable of the Mentative Couple” (pp.95-107), it contains Atkinson’s valuable views on the four ways that “mental suggestion” exercised its influence on the minds of people (pp.237-257), namely, “Suggestion Through Obedience”; “Suggestion Through Imitation”; “Suggestion Through Association”; and “Suggestion Through Repetition”.
It is important to recognize that, in describing his “four ways”, Atkinson is speaking of an entirely different (and, therefore, not conflicting) aspect of “suggestion” from that which Bauouin carefully observed in Coué’s work, and encapsulated in his “four laws of suggestion) see http://tinyurl.com/msqxf9m.
In my view, much of the significance and import of Coué’s insights (as described by Baudouin) can far be better understood in the context of Atkinson’s approach.
I hope you enjoy delving into the pages of this remarkable book.