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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change

on 18 October 2000
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.
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on 24 August 2017
Very good book by a well-known exponent, focuses on technique rather than theory, with an emphasis on medical applications as he was mainly teaching doctors.
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on 24 May 2017
Great book it is required reading, I supply it for students on my KICH Kent hypnotherapy training course.
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on 18 October 2017
Great book for any one who wants to learn
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on 3 May 2017
Very readable and great information. A must read for all medical practitioners and hypnotherapists.
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on 30 August 2017
A mix of autobiography and teaching tales. While some are dated the brilliance of Dave Elman comes out.
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on 5 April 2007
When I was first given this book at our hypnotherapy session, my first reaction on opening was "oh great, this looks like a dry textbook". The green cover, and the serif font really didnt inspire.

But boy was I wrong! - this is a fantastic book written in an engaging style and goes into some detail about his eye closure technique. I wonder whether some of the success of this method had a social pressure element in the demonstrations with subjects infront of groups of doctor- i.e. the subject expected to be hypnotised easily and so was.

Definitely worth a read.
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on 29 April 2012
Dave Elman's way of working is simple... It's not easy, just simple...

Although it was written many years ago it is still very relevant today. It also offers a refreshing contrast to the mainly non- directive school of thought that so many hypnotherapists have followed.

Hypnosis is one of those things that lots of people are interested in and yet few delve deeper than the media type portrayal of "look into my eyes" and so there is a lot of confusion out there.

Dave Elman's take on hypnosis is in this book and he speaks of seeing someone successfully use "words" to help his father who was in chronic pain -this person was a hypnotist. And a stage hypnotist at that... Oh my god - a stage hypnotist helping people feel better...

Using words to help someone (or hinder) is nothing new. There is another book which starts off with...

"in the beginning was the word"...

So it doesn't surprise me that certain words or certain phrases have a somewhat magical quality or that certain people are more eloquent with these words and phrases...

This book isn't as widely known as more prolific Dr's who have used hypnotic language such as Milton Erickson initially and yet if you speak to any hypnotherapist of 5 years plus then generally they will have a copy of this book and rate it quite highly.

The content of the book is Dave speaking to an audience of Doctors, Dentists and occasionally a staff member and using hypnotic language to great effect.

Social Influence plays a massive part in creating new "norms" and quite a lot of experiential learning uses this and stage hypnosis although slated by many "academics" has helped keep hypnosis in the forefront - especially when conventional or "normal" medicine doesn't seem to be doing the trick...

Dave Elman was a very clever man and it's a shame that there isn't any other pieces of his learning material out there. It also saves quite a lot of therapeutic time just asking someone to close their eyes and pretend they can't open them...

Just pretend you know the answer...
Just pretend you've gotten better already...

Just pretend the pain is gone...

A serious word - the world of pretend...

I have a good friend who says sometimes simple is complicated enough and this sort of sums up the book by Dave Elman called Hypnotherapy...
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on 29 October 2014
I got interested in hypnotherapy recently and needed a book to guide me into it as a complete beginner.

This book is a must read. Even though it has been written some time ago, it is more cutting-edge and more modern than most books published last year. This is due to the fact that the author is extremely openminded and also experienced, which in the end really benefits the reader.

This book is heavily based on the authors own experience, rather than beign overly theoretical. I absolutely enjoyed this foundation in experience as it lets me learn a lot in very little time.

All in all, possibly the best buy I made on Amazon in a long time.
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on 21 March 2001
I own and moderate three of the most succesful hypnosis discussion communities on the internet. Elman has been repeatedly voted as the second most influential person in the history of modern hypnotherapy (besides Erickson). This book is not for the beginner as many of the techniques are now very dated. To a large extent it's mainly of historical interest now. I wouldn't recommend it as a general purpose introduction but it's a valuable resource on hypnoanalysis and medical hypnosis, from a simple and practical perspective.

Donald Robertson, author of,
The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy
The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid the Father of Hypnotherapy
The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
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