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, 145 (10), 1191-206

James Braid's Psychophysiology: A Turning Point in the History of Dynamic Psychiatry

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James Braid's Psychophysiology: A Turning Point in the History of Dynamic Psychiatry

N M Kravis. Am J Psychiatry.

Abstract

James Braid is both a neglected and integral figure in the history of dynamic psychiatry. With the introduction of his neurophysiologic theory of hypnosis in the early 1840s he buried Mesmer's doctrine of animal magnetism and established hypnotic phenomena as data suitable for scientific inquiry. He subsequently elaborated a sophisticated psychophysiology with emphasis on the psychology of suggestion and the phenomenon of double consciousness. His espousal of hypnotism as a tool of scientific investigation and his innovative use of hypnosis to cure hysterical paralysis profoundly influenced the debates of the 1880s and 1890s concerning suggestive therapeutics and the nature of hypnosis.

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