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The Core Curriculum

Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière, by André Brouillet, 1887.

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This painting depicts Jean-Martin Charcot, the French neurologist, demonstrating a hypnosis of a female hysteric. Charcot became famous for these demonstrations, which were widely and eagerly attended. Freud studied with Charcot in Paris in 1885, and developed an interest in both hysteria and hypnosis. But significantly, Freud later reached conclusions about hysteria and hypnosis that differed from Charcot’s. Unlike Charcot, he believed in a psychological, and not biological, basis of hysteria; and unlike Charcot, he disputed the therapeutic effectiveness of hypnosis.


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