People coming for hypnotherapy have “Great Expectations” during “Hard Times!” Little surprising as Dickens was fascinated by “mesmerism”. ‘Mesmerism’ was named after Franz Anton Mesmer, who, among other things, believed that the human mind could be healed while in a state of trance. He was one of the “modern era” of hypnotherapy. Dickens became great friends with a Professor of Medicine John Elliotson.
Elliotson taught Dickens mesmerism and he became fascinated by it. He used it for fun and to try to cure relatives. He also used it on his wife Catherine in public. Using mesmerism he put her into a trance quickly and induced hysterics and then put her back to sleep and when she returned to the room she suffered no side effects whatsoever.
There are many example in Dickens’ life where he used mesmerism to help his friends and is well documented that he was successful.
So, next time you fall asleep over a Dickens novel, perhaps, just perhaps, he is mesmerising you!