Étienne Eugène Azam

Étienne Eugène Azam (28 May 1822 – 16 December 1899) was a French surgeon from Bordeaux who is chiefly remembered for his work in psychology, particularly a case involving a female patient he named "Félida X" who seemed to have "alternating personalities", or what Azam referred to as doublement de la vie.

Over a number of years Azam studied Félida's psychological profile and published three reports. He described Félida as a hysterical patient who had a serious and sad (normal) state, along with a merry and generous state. He analyzed these two states as two distinct, separate personalities that seemed to be unaware of the other.

The case of Félida X is one of the earliest documented descriptions of what would later be called a multiple personality disorder. At the time, this situation garnered interest in the medical community, and created several puzzling questions regarding self-concept, as well as the definition of personal ego. Additionally from a quasi-religious context, the concept of multiple personalities was contrary to the paranormal belief system of spiritualism, which had a large following in the 19th century.

Selected work



Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion. The term may also refer to an art, skill, or act of inducing hypnosis.There are competing theories explaining hypnosis and related phenomena. Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary state of consciousness. In contrast, nonstate theories see hypnosis as, variously, a type of placebo effect, a redefinition of an interaction with a therapist or form of imaginative role enactment.During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions.

Hypnosis usually begins with a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestion. The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis". Stage hypnosis is often performed by mentalists practicing the art form of mentalism.

The use of Hypnosis as a form of therapy to retrieve and integrate early trauma is controversial. Research indicates that hypnotizing an individual may actually aid the formation of false-memories.

James Braid (surgeon)

James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and "gentleman scientist". He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine "hypnotherapist" and the "Father of Modern Hypnotism".

Although Braid believed that hypnotic suggestion was a valuable remedy in functional nervous disorders, he did not regard it as a rival to other forms of treatment, nor wish in any way to separate its practice from that of medicine in general. He held that whoever talked of a "universal remedy" was either a fool or a knave: similar diseases often arose from opposite pathological conditions, and the treatment ought to be varied accordingly. — John Milne Bramwell (1910)

List of hypnotists

Below is a list of famous hypnotists.

Paul Broca

Pierre Paul Broca (; 28 June 1824 – 9 July 1880) was a French physician, anatomist and anthropologist. He is best known for his research on Broca's area, a region of the frontal lobe that has been named after him. Broca's area is involved with language. His work revealed that the brains of patients suffering from aphasia contained lesions in a particular part of the cortex, in the left frontal region. This was the first anatomical proof of localization of brain function. Broca's work also contributed to the development of physical anthropology, advancing the science of anthropometry.

Salpêtrière School of Hypnosis

The Salpêtriére School, also known as the School of Paris, is, with the Nancy School, one of the schools that contributed to the age of hypnosis in France from 1882 to 1892. The leader of this school, the neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, contributed to the rehabilitation of hypnosis as a scientific subject presenting it as a somatic expression of hysteria. Charcot also used hypnosis as an investigative method and that by putting his hysterical patients into an "experimental state" it would permit him to reproduce their symptoms and interpret them.

Charcot did not consider people suffering from hysteria as pretenders and discovered that hysteria was not just a state reserved for women. Finally, Charcot associated hysteria to post-traumatic paralysis, establishing the basis for the theory of psychic trauma.

Charcot’s collaborators included Joseph Babinski, Paul Richer, Alfred Binet, Charles Féré, Pierre Janet, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Alexandre-Achille Souques, Jules Cotard, Pierre Marie, Gilbert Ballet, Paul Regnard, Désiré-Magloire Bourneville, Paul Brémaud and Victor Dumontpallier.Ultimately, Charcot was accused of operating as a carnival showman, training his patients in theatrical behaviour, which he would attribute to hypnosis. After his death in 1893, the practice of hypnotism declined in medical circles.

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