According to the website’s Today in the History of Psychology database, April 5, 1898, was the date when Morton Prince, clinical psychologist, made a first successful attempt to hypnotize his patient in frames of treatment (Koch, 2020). It was Sally Beauchamp, a person later supposed to have three independent personalities. Her case was one of the first well-documented examples of disorders related to multiple personalities.
Morton Prince (1854-1929) was a neurologist and physician who greatly contributed to clinical psychology and psychopathology with his studies. He is also one of the major personalities in the field of abnormal psychology, a key figure in the foundation of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (McVeigh, 2016). Prince developed the ideas of the unconscious in his works about multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorders. The case of Miss Beauchamp has introduced in his work The Dissociation of a Personality.
Miss Beauchamp’s character consisted of three separate elements: Dr. Prince called them B1, B4, and Sally. He treated Sally as an undesirable personality that could not be successfully integrated into the primary self of Miss Beauchamp. Due to Sally’s incompatibility to Miss Beauchamp’s purposes in life and system of values, the therapy had the aim to get rid of that aspect of her split mind. According to Mitchell (2018), Sally as an independent personality was deeper and more interesting than B1 and B4, but she represented tendencies of resentment that Miss Beauchamp tried to restrain. However, that personality got freedom due to severe emotional shock and mental exhaustion. Morton Prince used the practice of hypnosis to correct the influence of all separated sides. He thought the therapy should include exposure to the environment encouraging the predominant personality to stand out, and creating strong relations with important people.
Koch, C. (2020). April 5. Today in the History of Psychology.
McVeigh, B. J. (2016). The history of Japanese psychology: Global perspectives, 1875-1950. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Mitchell, T. W. (2018). Medical psychology and psychical research (2nd ed.). Routledge Revivals.