The Historical Framework
This brief historical review offers a perspective on hypnosis that Erickson emphasized in several of his lectures. We feel that it is an appropriate glimpse into the particular angle of history that we wish to highlight. In particular, the many derogatory myths and foreboding associations to hypnosis have been the logical outgrowth of its history and the prevailing "scientific" attitudes that existed when hypnotic phenomena were first studied. There has been, from time to time, much discouragement regarding the use of hypnosis or its long-term effectiveness and its general advisability. As we shall outline in this volume, we agree with Ericksons thoughts about these skepticisms. We trace these attitudes through historical events in order to put them in proper perspective.