I keep meeting people who are in awe of Sigmund Freud. I am not one of them. At university, I studied Freud and the more I learn of his ideas, the more I dislike them and everything about them. Many people now regard him as little more than a self publicist.
Most people know nothing of the connection between Freud and hypnosis. It comes as a surprise that Freud was originally a hypnotist. He learned the medical use of hypnosis from Charcot, the founder of modern clinical hypnotism.
Charcot was famous for running what was practically a circus of hysteria, using hypnosis to showcase the symptoms. Charcot was internationally famous while he was head of his clinic. But after his death most of his work was debunked and hypnosis was avoided by mainstream medical professionals for decades.
Freud and Hypnosis
Freud used hypnosis until it fell out of favor and then gradually developed his theory of psychology. The theory of primitive sexual drives made Freud one of the leading figures in the 20th Century. He was hugely influential for a whole generation of psychologists and educators.
However, nowadays researchers tend to question his methods and cases. Freud actually worked with very few clients. Most of his fame rests on a handful of cases. It is not that these few cases were the peak of his output, the fact is that these were practically the only cases he had.
He died in 1939 and started analytical therapy just before 1900, so he had about forty years of practice. He typically saw each client every day for an hour. That means that he could not have had more than eight clients a week. But each client was treated for about five years. So he could only have had about eight clients every five years.
Over forty years he would have treated at most sixty four individuals. Many of those were in fact students who had to undergo years of analysis before they could practice as psychoanalysts themselves. Plus he spent much of his life writing, travelling and lecturing. His whole theory is actually based on a very small sample.
A modern hypnotherapist will see more clients in a month than Freud did in his entire lifetime.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community and is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international hypnotherapy conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.