Fred T. Kolouch, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.
Magic Valley Medical Center
December 8, 1961
Milton H. Erickson, M.D.
32 West Cypress Street
Dear Milton H. Erickson,
Your nice note of December 4th was very much appreciated.
Actually, this letter is in the form of a sincere, thank you, Dr. Erickson, for arousing my interest in hypnosis. Approximately one year and a half ago I attended a meeting of psychiatrists in Salt Lake City. You were the last speaker of the group and I spent a very pleasant afternoon fascinated by your descriptions of hypnotherapeutic methods. A bit later I took a course with the LeCron and Cheek group. After that I took one with you and finally a couple of short ones with Cheek and then embarked on a
very satisfying experience with hypnosis in my general surgical practice.
I have been a member of the Western Surgical Association for many years and this is the first time I felt that I had a contribution to make to the group. It certainly seems to take them by storm. David Cheek discussed my paper very ably and shored up the loose ends of it. The surgeons seemed nearly as impressed as the newspaper reporters.
I am enclosing a copy of the ten minute talk that I gave. As you will notice in the introduction, I let the surgeons know the source of my hypnotic inspiration.
My old chief, Owen Wangensteen, has been using a dentist from Fargo, North Dakota, a hypnotist, on the surgical service. I am familiar with their work. As a matter of fact, I quote them in my big paper that will be published in the archives of surgery.
On the other hand it is my feeling that the surgeon himself should use hypnosis, since, actually, he is the one that creates the patient’s anxiety and it responsible for the surgical result. I have found the surgical patients to be very well motivated to accept the trance state. They certainly are able to recover from surgery with much less difficulty.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the publicity that I received from this little ten minute speech. I do think that perhaps it may be beneficial to hypnosis in general. Since becoming interested in hypnosis, it has been my impression that hypnotists talk to each other too much and not enough to other people. That was the reason that I gave my paper at the Western Surgical instead of submitting it to the Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Again, I wish to thank you doubly for your nice note and for getting me stimulated concerning this very useful and normal psychophysiological phenomenon.
Fred T. Kolouch, M.D., Ph.D.