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Farhat Rams
Farhat Rams

Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses: A Groundbreaking Book by John G. Watkins


Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses: A Clinical Psychologist's Casebook




War is a devastating event that can have lasting effects on the mental health of those who experience it. War neuroses, also known as combat stress reactions or operational fatigue, are psychological disorders that result from exposure to traumatic events during war. They can include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, dissociation, amnesia, paralysis, conversion disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.




Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses: A Clinical Psychologist's Casebook download.zip



Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses: A Clinical Psychologist's Casebook is a book by John G. Watkins that documents his pioneering work on using hypnosis as a treatment for war neuroses. Watkins was a clinical psychologist who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked at the neuropsychiatric division of an Army convalescent hospital, where he treated soldiers and civilians who suffered from various forms of war neuroses. He used hypnosis as an integral part of his psychotherapy, aiming to help his patients overcome their fears, recover their memories, regain their functions, and cope with their emotions.


In this article, we will explore the context, methods, and results of Watkins' work on hypnotherapy of war neuroses. We will also discuss the implications and contributions of his work for psychology and society. We will use information from his book as well as other sources to provide a comprehensive overview of this topic.


The context of war neuroses




World War II was one of the most destructive wars in human history. It involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries, lasted for six years, and resulted in an estimated 70-85 million deaths. It also involved unprecedented levels of violence, brutality, and atrocities, such as the Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the firebombing of Dresden, the Rape of Nanking, and more.


The psychological impact of World War II was immense. Millions of people witnessed or experienced horrific events that threatened their lives, safety, and dignity. Many of them developed war neuroses as a result. War neuroses were not a new phenomenon, as they had been observed in previous wars, such as the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War, and World War I. However, World War II posed new challenges and opportunities for understanding and treating war neuroses.


One of the challenges was the sheer number and diversity of cases of war neuroses. According to Watkins, there were about 1.5 million cases of war neuroses among U.S. military personnel during World War II, accounting for about 40% of all medical discharges. Moreover, war neuroses affected not only soldiers, but also civilians who lived in war zones or were displaced by the war. Watkins estimated that there were about 20 million cases of war neuroses among civilians in Europe alone.


Another challenge was the stigma and misunderstanding associated with war neuroses. Many people viewed war neuroses as a sign of weakness, cowardice, or malingering. They blamed the victims for their condition and denied them proper care and support. Some even punished them for their symptoms, such as by court-martialing or executing them for desertion or insubordination. Watkins noted that many of his patients felt ashamed and guilty for having war neuroses and feared being rejected or ridiculed by their peers and superiors.


A third challenge was the lack of adequate resources and training for treating war neuroses. Many military and medical authorities were unprepared or unwilling to deal with the psychological consequences of war. They lacked sufficient personnel, facilities, equipment, and supplies to provide effective treatment for war neuroses. They also lacked adequate knowledge and skills to apply appropriate psychotherapeutic techniques for war neuroses. Watkins observed that many of his colleagues were inexperienced or incompetent in using hypnosis or other methods for treating war neuroses.


However, World War II also offered some opportunities for advancing the understanding and treatment of war neuroses. One of the opportunities was the increased recognition and appreciation of the importance and complexity of war neuroses. Many people realized that war neuroses were not a trivial or trivializing problem, but a serious and widespread one that affected millions of lives and required urgent attention and intervention. They also realized that war neuroses were not a simple or uniform phenomenon, but a varied and multifaceted one that involved biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors.


Another opportunity was the development and innovation of new theories and techniques for treating war neuroses. Many psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals experimented with different approaches and methods for helping their patients with war neuroses. They drew from various schools and traditions of psychology, such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, existentialism, gestalt therapy, cognitive therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and more. They also used various tools and modalities for facilitating their therapy, such as drugs, electroshock therapy, music therapy, art therapy, play therapy, relaxation therapy, biofeedback therapy, and more.


A third opportunity was the collaboration and communication among different professionals and organizations involved in treating war neuroses. Many people realized that treating war neuroses required a multidisciplinary and coordinated effort that involved not only mental health professionals, but also medical professionals, military officials, government agencies, humanitarian organizations, religious groups, media outlets, and more. They also realized that treating war neuroses required a global and cross-cultural perspective that considered the different contexts and experiences of different countries and regions affected by the war.


The author and his work




John G. Watkins was one of the psychologists who took advantage of these opportunities to advance the understanding and treatment of war neuroses. Watkins was born in 1913 in Montana. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Montana State University in 1935 and his master's degree in psychology from Stanford University in 1937. He then worked as a clinical psychologist at various institutions in California until he joined the U.S. Army in 1942.


Watkins served as a clinical psychologist at Camp White in Oregon until 1944 when he was transferred to Welch Convalescent Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida. There he worked at the neuropsychiatric division where he treated soldiers and civilians who suffered from various forms of war neuroses. He used hypnosis as an integral part of his psychotherapy with his patients.


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