Hypnotherapy and psychoanalysis are interlinked. Freud acknowledged that hypnotherapy could cure certain problems but he believed that if hypnosis became a part of psychoanalysis, this new practice would forever live in the shadow of hypnosis.
This prompted Freud to discard hypnotherapy and stick only to free association.
In Freud's time, this tussle of hypnotherapy versus psychoanalysis occurred not because Freud thought that hypnotherapy did not help patients but he was afraid that combining the two would confuse the free association by the patient and what the patient said prompted by the therapist. Therefore, Freud wanted nothing to do with hypnotherapy when it came to psychoanalysis.
One thing is sure, due to his association with Charcot and Bernheim, Freud was always curious about hypnotherapy throughout his life and many of his writings showed this fascination. Some of Freud's followers wanted to do nothing with hypnotherapy whatsoever but it did not severe the link between these two therapies.
As psychoanalysis grew popular, hypnotherapy became a less used method of treatment. In fact, even today many traditional psychoanalysts get upset if there is a suggestion that patients go into a state of trance when they do free association. However, it is believed that patients do sink into a natural trance similar to what is induced by hypnotherapy when they try to remember a sequence of events. This process is important in many therapeutic methods employed today. Therefore, it can be said that even without knowing many psychoanalysts used hypnosis during the course of their work with patients.
When it comes to hypnotherapy versus psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy works on the subconscious as it is not hindered by outside influences and this helps to bring about a change from within. Psychoanalysis also works with the help of free association, fantasies and dreams and helps the therapist figure out what problems these are causing in the unconscious leading to symptoms being manifested in the patient. The therapist then along with patient tries to interpret these problems and helps the patient deal with them and come up with solutions to tackle the problems.
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