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Remedies for nervousness

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Chapter Summary

During the fin-de-siécle era, it was hypnotism that was probably the most controversial if not widely-used method of healing, also in Sweden. Hypnotism contributed to the breakthrough of modern neuroses because of its use as a therapeutic method in the diffuse field of psychological and psychosomatic ailments. In providing a remedy for functional neuroses, hypnotherapists boosted their own therapeutic status and buttressed the phenomenon of neurosis. If neurology was the official channel through which neurosis entered Sweden and made Swedes neurotic, the unofficial channel was provided by private practitioners who specialised in hypnotherapy. In this chapter, the author's account of the Swedish history of remedies for nervousness begins with the art of hypnosis. The chapter gives a short account of an important medical debate initiated by Bjerre, which sheds light on the way psychodynamic psychotherapy was promoted by its advocates and perceived by Swedish physicians.

Keywords: hypnotism; neurology; psychology; psychotherapy; remedies for nervousness; Sweden



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