Profiles in Hypnotherapy: Dave Elman

Dave Elman: Pioneering Hypnotherapist and His Contributions

Dave Elman, born David Elman Lichtenfeld in 1900, was a remarkable figure in the field of hypnotherapy whose contributions left an indelible mark on the practice and understanding of hypnosis. His life journey and professional endeavors not only revolutionized hypnotherapy but also influenced countless practitioners worldwide.

Early Life and Background

Dave Elman’s journey into hypnotherapy was not a traditional one. Born into a family of vaudeville performers, Elman began his career in show business as a stage performer and later as a radio host. However, his encounter with hypnosis came through his father, who was a talented stage hypnotist. Intrigued by the power of the mind and hypnosis, Elman delved deep into the study of hypnosis, eventually becoming one of the most respected figures in the field.

Career and Contributions

Elman’s most notable contribution to the field of hypnotherapy came with the publication of his seminal work, “Hypnotherapy” in 1964. In this book, Elman introduced his method of hypnosis, known as the “Elman Induction Technique,” which remains a cornerstone of modern hypnotherapy practice. The technique emphasizes the rapid induction of a trance state, allowing for efficient and effective therapeutic interventions.

The Elman Induction Technique is characterized by its simplicity and efficiency, making it accessible to both seasoned professionals and novices in the field. By focusing on establishing rapport and guiding the client into a deep state of relaxation, Elman’s technique facilitates rapid and profound therapeutic changes.

Influence and Legacy

Elman’s influence extends far beyond his groundbreaking induction technique. Through his teaching and writing, he demystified hypnosis and brought it into the realm of scientific inquiry and clinical practice. His emphasis on the therapeutic applications of hypnosis paved the way for its integration into mainstream medicine and psychotherapy.

Moreover, Elman’s contributions to hypnotherapy continue to resonate in contemporary practice. His insights into the power of suggestion, the role of the subconscious mind, and the therapeutic potential of hypnosis have inspired generations of hypnotherapists worldwide.

Recognition and Endorsement

Dave Elman’s impact on the field of hypnotherapy earned him widespread recognition and acclaim. He became a sought-after lecturer and teacher, sharing his expertise with aspiring hypnotherapists and healthcare professionals. His workshops and seminars attracted participants from diverse backgrounds, further solidifying his reputation as a leading authority in the field.

Elman’s legacy lives on through the countless practitioners who continue to apply his techniques and principles in their work. His contributions have helped shape the modern landscape of hypnotherapy, offering hope and healing to individuals seeking relief from a wide range of physical and psychological ailments.


Dave Elman’s journey from vaudeville performer to esteemed hypnotherapist underscores the transformative power of passion and dedication. Through his pioneering work, Elman not only demystified hypnosis but also elevated it to a respected therapeutic modality. His legacy serves as a testament to the enduring impact of curiosity, innovation, and compassion in the field of hypnotherapy.

In conclusion, Dave Elman’s contributions continue to inspire and inform the practice of hypnotherapy, ensuring that his pioneering spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of practitioners around the world.


  1. Elman, Dave. “Hypnotherapy.” Westwood Publishing Company, 1964.
  2. Waxman, David. “The Elman Induction: A Practical Approach to Clinical Hypnosis.” American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, vol. 44, no. 1, 2001, pp. 21-27.
  3. Hammond, D. Corydon. “Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors.” WW Norton & Company, 1990.
  4. Yapko, Michael D. “Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis.” Routledge, 2012.

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