Re: what was the Nancy school

Sun, 5 Apr 1998 21:52:08 +0100

>From M. Ellis <

The Nancy School was started by a Physcian A. Liebeault, who came to Nancy
in 1864, following his remarkable work using hypnosis and suggestion. Then
the University Professor of Medicine at Nancy; H. Bernheim (1840-1919) took
up this work and published the Liebeault work internationally. The rival
School in Paris, under the Neurologist at the Salpetriere mental hospital,
J.M. Charcot (1835-1893), asserted in opposition to the Nancy School, that
the hypnotic state was an hysterical phenomenon - being invoked only in
hysterical patients and therefore that hysteria was a psychological
disturbance. The importance of both these Schools lies in their pioneering
not only of research in hypnotism, but the use of 'natural experiments' of
psychopathology as a primary source of psychological insight.

Freud was most influenced by P. Janet (1859-1947) [see his: Five Lectures
on Psychoanalysis, 1910,SE, lecture 2, vol. 11], though he would later deney
this influence. Janet who began as a philosopher, later psychologist and
eventual psychiatrist, whose experiments in hypnotism with the patient
Leonie, a classic case of multiple personality, established the foundations
of modern dynamic psychology. For a full treatment of all these Schools see
H. F. Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious, The History and
Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry, 1970, Basic Books.

Hope this of some use, Mike Ellis.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Large <>
To: <>
Date: 05 April 1998 00:22
Subject: what was the Nancy school

>> Can anyone advise me what the Nancy school was? <<

100 years ago the Nancy School led by Bernheim advocated a psychological
explanation for the phenomena of hypnosis and the neuroses - this was
opposed to the neurological school of the Salpetriere in Paris led by
Charcot and Babinski who look a pathophysiological view. Pierre Janet and
Sigmund Freud were influenced by both schools - although Janet is often
associated with the Nancy school and Freud with Charcot: a simplification
of their contributions.

Cheers! Bob Large

Robert G Large
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Science
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Ph: #64-9-8118608/ Fax: #64-9-8118698
email: <>

10:59 Sunday, April 05, 1998