Dangers of Hypnotism

   Like a potent drug, hypnotism should only be used by a qualified person. Persons who make use of hypnotic techniques need adequate training in psychology. Only such persons can understand what happens to patients under hypnosis and will not overestimate the apparent cures they achieve.    Many laymen have the ability to hypnotize people. But the ability to hypnotize is not a substitute for adequate training in psychiatry.
   Untrained persons cannot anticipate the difficulties that might arise as the result of hypnotizing an indi­vidual. For example, a lay hypnotist offered to cure a person of excessive smoking. As the result of a command under hypnosis, she stopped smoking cigarettes, but soon became a compulsive eater. After she had gained about 40 pounds, she sought the help of a second hyp­notist who stopped her overeating. But, as a result, she began to drink alcoholic beverages in great quantity.