Dave Elman was a contemporary and sometimes rival of Milton Erickson. Sadly this book represents his only work (please someone prove me wrong there!), written at the end of his life, when he knew his time was growing short.
He began learning hypnosis when his terminally ill father was greatly comforted by a friend of the family who was a stage hypnotist. A few twists and turns, a career as a stage hypnotist, radio presenter and then slightly reluctant lecturer and researcher later, and he released this book which is a fine counterpoint to Erickson's work, emphasising the science where Milton supplied the art.
Whilst Elman believed that hypnosis should only be taught to doctors and dentists, his theories about _what actually causes hypnosis to occur_ offer valuable insights into the process of trance, to anyone seriously interested in the subject.
This is not a beginner's book, but if you're familiar with Erickson and more traditional methods of hypnosis, this book will blow your old assumptions back open, and leave you a much better practitioner by the time you pick up the pieces!
Elman's finer points were thoroughly practical: he expected his students to be using it with most patients, and taught that if you can't induce anethesia within 60 seconds, then you're not doing it right, yet! Reading this book will allow you to know what elements are actually required for trance, so you can throw away the old script books and create your own inductions.
Readable, entertaining and very thought provoking; if you consider yourself a serious hypnotist, then this is a man to study with all the admiration of Erickson - more for each, in the light of the other.