TEL AVIV (Sep. 1)
The Israel Defense Force medical corps successfully used hypnosis and suggestion to treat battle-fatigued (shell-shocked) soldiers at front area treatment centers during the Lebanon war, returning them fully recovered to their battle units within a day or so, without any after-effects.
The treatment was described this week at the week-long international congress of the Israel and European societies of hypnosis in psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicines meeting at the Rambam hospital in Haifa. The conference is being attended by some 250 psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians and dentists, including 150 delegates from abroad.
Drs. A. Levy and M. Neumann, of the Tel Aviv University medical school, said that on the basis of earlier experience in the Yom Kippur War, doctors this time treated their patients at a military installation set up close to the front line, under full war conditions of uniforms and discipline.
The doctors said that the uniforms, military discipline, timetables and rifle fire made for a realistic atmosphere and made it possible to treat soldiers and return them to their units in little more than 24 hours.
Hypnosis also made it possible to uncover the soldier’s unconscious guilt feelings about surviving while a comrade was killed, helping to instill in him the feeling that he did right by at least saving himself, the doctors said.