Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, studied hypnotism at Paris school and briefly visited the Nancy school.
Initially, Freud was an enthusiastic proponent of hypnotherapy, and soon began to emphasise hypnotic regression and ab reaction (catharsis) as therapeutic methods. He wrote a favorable encyclopedia article on hypnotism, translated one of Bernheim’s works into German, and published an influential series of case studies with his colleague Joseph Breuer entitled Studies on Hysteria (1895). This became the founding text of the subsequent tradition known as “hypno-analysis” or “regression hypnotherapy.”
Freud gradually abandoned hypnotism in favour of psychoanalysis, emphasizing free association and interpretation of the unconscious. Struggling with the great amount of time which psychoanalysis required, Freud later suggested that it might be combined with hypnotic suggestion to hasten the outcome of treatment
“It is very probable that the application of our therapy to numbers will compel us to alloy the pure gold of analysis plentifully with the copper of direct hypnotic suggestion.”
Only a handful of Freud’s followers were sufficiently qualified in hypnosis to attempt the synthesis. Their work had a limited influence on the hypno-therapeutic approaches now known variously as “hypnotic regression”, “hypnotic progression”, and “hypnoanalysis”.