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Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault

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Dr. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault (1823-1904) is the founder of the famous school that became known as the Nancy School, or Suggestion School, (in order to distinguish it from the Charcot and Salpêtrière Hospital-centred Paris School, or Hysteria School) and is considered by many to be the father of modern hypnotherapy.

The Nancy school held that hypnosis was a normal phenomenon induced by suggestion, in contrast to the earlier schools of thought, which considered hypnotic trances as manifestations of magnetism, hysteria or psycho-physiological phenomenon.

Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was born in Favières, a small town in the Lorraine region of France, on September 16]], 1823. He completed his medical degree at the University of Strasbourg in 1850 at the age of 26. He then established a practice in the village of Pont-Saint-Vincent, near the town of Nancy.

His first book, Induced Sleep and Analogous States considered mostly from the Viewpoint of the Action of the Mind on the Body was published in 1866.

Later his institution became the central point for what became known as the Nancy School with the collaboration of Dr. Hippolyte Bernheim, a renowned professor at the Medical School in Nancy.

Liébeault was influenced by the ideas of Abbé Faria; and, in turn, Sigmund Freud and Émile Coué came to the Nancy School to be influenced by Liébeault.

He died on February 18, 1904 at the age of 80.


  • Carrer, L., Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault: The Hypnological Legacy of a Secular Saint,, (College Station), 2002.

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