The most inclusive and instructive discussion of hypnosis to date (twice as thoroughgoing as Peter Blythe's Hypnotism, 1971, the last contender) by a psychoanalyst who is clinical professor of psychiatry at N.Y.U. Medical School and holder of other distinguished posts. Dr. Wolberg delimits throughout -- whether it's overstated claims or presumed cures. He reviews the history of the technique which long predates Mesmer and indicates the areas where it is most instrumental (tension-reduction, rehabilitation, pain control and psychiatry). He goes into the scientific material on its physiological effects, often ambiguous, and when and how hypnosis can be inducted (the subject must be receptive; only 10% reach the deepest level). In psychotherapy, where it can be either an adjunct or a cure or both, motivation is most important; nonprofessional usage is not really dangerous but unwise -- hypnosis can rarely be exploited or abused. The many conditions where it can be helpfully operant vary from childbirth to wearing dentures to impotence. In the best interests of everyone, the subject is treated with caution and dignity.