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Hidden Depths: The Story of Hypnosis (Vera Stanhope) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Robin Waterfield
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 May 2004 Vera Stanhope (Book 3)

With wit and verve Robin Waterfield brings the bizarre story of hypnotism to life. A lively mixture of popular history, science and psychology, Hidden Depths is the definitive work on hypnosis. From its origins as animal magnetism, as practised by Franz Anton Mesmer, to its modern day use as a health cure and a form of entertainment, hypnosis encompasses many different facets of humanity. Always controversial, the outlandish claims that its zealous believers make are only matched in intensity by the howls of derision that they provoke from sceptics. Hypnotism exists on the periphery of the scientific community, much as it has since its inception, and Robin Waterfield approaches the issues with an open mind, carefully stripping the fact from the fancy and the truth from the myth. Vividly written, compellingly readable, this is a fascinating insight into one of the more esoteric branches of science.

Hidden Depths is a highly readable, wide-ranging and informative account of a fascinating topic’ Observer

'Fascinating' Daily Telegraph

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (7 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330492519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330492515
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


`"Secrets and Lies" snf "Atonement" actress Brenda Blethyn is set to star in an ITV1 adaptation of crime writer Ann Cleeve's novel Hidden Depths, as the author's work is lined up for more TV and radio, and published Macmillan acquires two further titles.' --The Bookseller

`Pan Macmillan is preparing to boost its sales of Dagger winner Ann Cleeves' books with a major ITV adaptation of her novel, Hidden Depths, on the way and the completion of a new two-book deal with the author.'

About the Author

Robin Waterfield is the author of over twenty-five books, ranging from children’s fiction to biography and translations of ancient Greek texts. Hidden Depths is the product of a lifelong interest in human potential and psychology. At present he is Writer in Residence at the University of Sussex.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hidden Depths 17 Jun 2005
As someone new to hypnosis, currently in training, I found this book to be absolutely fascinating. It explains just about everything to do with hypnosis, from where it's believed to have originated to modern day and its uses. I would recommend this book to anyone, even if its only a passing interest in hypnosis.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts... 13 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was required reading for a course I'm undertaking, so I had no option but to read it. On the plus side, it is a fairly comprehensive history of hypnosis in Europe and America. On the down side, there is perhaps far too much space devoted to Mesmer, at the expense of more recent and more relevant exponents; and whilst there are some quite fascinating sections, there are also parts that I found very dull. The author's style is quite personal and informal, and this generally makes for an easy read. But sometimes the author get a bit carried away, and I feel the book could be shortened without serious detriment to the content.
Would I recommend this as a good read? Well, maybe it's the only game in town, and it's definitely a useful run through of the history. There may be an opportunity for someone to write a more concise and more objective alternative...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnosis just refuses to "go away"... 28 Aug 2012
By Mark Stipanovsky TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is an interesting book - how interesting depends on how deep your fascination with hypnosis and hypnotherapy is...

The introduction has a good coverage of the myths and misconceptions that surround "using words" to help or hinder people...

Robin Waterford has really gone "in depth" and wrote one of the most comprehensive chronological histories of hypnosis and hypnotherapy that I have come across - and I have quite a few books on hypnosis and hypnotherapy in my library...

I am a hypnotherapist amongst other things - addiction specialist - weight loss expert - rowing coach - psychotherapist etc and reckon this should be one of the "text books" on hypnosis courses to help students get a feel for the subject.

It is also helpful book for potential clients who would like the opportunity to experience hypnotherapy as Robin tells of his own experience with Tom Bell - a GP from Okehampton.

The book has 14 chapters covering things like "Mesmeric mania", "Murder, Rape & Debate", "Mind control", and less controversial subjects such as self improvement and hypnosis in the treatment of pain.

It reads a bit like a cross between a reference book and a historical story right up to about 10 years ago - it was written in 2002 and there has been lots of "psychology" over the last 10 years around success, persuasion, cognitive biases etc that cover very similar ground - it's just not called hypnosis...

One of the interesting things about hypnosis - is the lack of agreed upon definition and if you use "hypnosis or hypnotherapy" in your day to day work it makes sense to have your own story and definition to explain to clients or interested parties...
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read 24 Nov 2005
A beautifully presented book. R. Waterfield knows what he is writing about. This book is very well researched and easy to read. It delves into the secrets of hypnotism, its history, how it was used by doctors, presented by film makers, and fiction writers; it explores the theories put forward by its practitioners and critics and the most up to date views on the subject and how it is practiced today. The mystery on hypnotism still remains after you've read it and so his book has revived my enthusiasm to explore hypnosis and hypnotherapy even deeper. Fascinating!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. 19 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whether you are curious or have already delved into the fascinaintg subject of hypnosis, this book will contain lots of info you didn't know.

Well written and researched, Waterfield's style is rational and informative. The book covers mesmerism, victorian hypnotists, Milton Erickson, hypnotherapy and loads more.

A riveting read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thorough but a little dry 10 Feb 2012
I managed to finish 1/3 of this book over a span of 2 years. I got to say the history of hypnosis part, though very informative and thorough, was a bit dry and too long to keep me interested. It's more like a record of what happened in the past than the story of hypnosis. The author obviously went through a lot to put all the info together, the book maybe helpful for someone studying this particular area, but not that attarctive for a layman who simply wants to have a glimpse on this 'mysterious' subject. Still, hope the later part can be better.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A seriously flawed account of hypnosis 29 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has clearly done a lot of research however in my view he does not understand and is not qualified to write a book on the history of hypnosis.

As a Master NLP Practitioner and qualified hypnotherapist who has investigated buddhist meditation, rieki healing and shamamism I find the world view of the author incredibly restrictive. His has an unduly tight definition of hypnosis from which he concludes that it was not part of primitive, ancient or the egyptian and greek cultures. He goes on to say that there are no references hypnosis in the bible.

Waterfield also seems to think that mesmerism was really merely faith healing.

Later he dismisses NLP and describes John Grindler and Richard Bandler (the creators of NLP) as "arch-hypnotic imperialists". This, despite the fact that the NLP Milton Model of hypnotic language has clearly facilitated modern teaching of hypnosis in the style of Milton H. Erickson.

There are always two ways to compare things - by similarity and by difference to really understand hypnotic phenomenon (Deep trance Phenomenon - Tad James) we are better comparing hypnotic effects with those of religious experiences (Varieties of Religious Experience - William James), Varieties of Psychedelic Experience (Masters and Houston), the meditation experience (Varieties of Meditation Experience - Daniel Goleman) and the work of Dr James Austin MD (Zen and the Brain)

The we come to realize that hypnotic trance is an altered state that can be induced by breathing, physical awareness, chemicals or hypnotic language (verbal or non-verbal).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Ok book.
Published 1 month ago by Sonia Gerring
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
arrived on time and was very helpful...
Published 1 month ago by patience baah
5.0 out of 5 stars great
This is a great book for facts about hypnosis, written in a very accessable way that makes it interesting to read in one go or dip into.
Published 4 months ago by Gaby Kingham
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware
A better subtitle for this book might have been 'A Cultural History of Hypnosis', as this would alert prospective readers to the kind of work it is. Read more
Published 11 months ago by MediaMan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
A really interesting book about the history of hypnosis. I found it fascinating to read. It covers a lot of information on the different eras of hypnosis and teaches about the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Emma Petal Picker
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill Book
I loved reading this book on the history of hypnosis. As a hypnotist i loved the detail this book went into. I learned alot about the art that I never knew.
Published 20 months ago by Mr. J. O' Goan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
Such a good book. Preferred book for hypnotherapists starting study. So much information. It is a story but takes you right through the history and more and does answer the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by D. J. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Depths
Currently on a Hypnotherapy course, this book has proven to be invaluable i have used it for every assignment to date, it is so easy to read and covers a vast amount of topics.
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by loopybee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read and helpful for those doing hypnotherapy
This package arrived ahead of schedule, very impressed. The book itself is a really good read. I have bought it as part of my course and finding it very helpful. Written very well.
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by Stephen
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