Love, Sex and Hypnosis: Secrets of Psychotherapy


173 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-919848-08-7
DDC 616.89'14





Reviewed by Claude A. Guldner

Claude A. Guldner is Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Centre
at the University of Guelph.


The focus of this book is less than clear. In one sense it is a book on
professional practice and ethics; in another it is a meditation on the
essence of psychotherapy (e.g., science or religion?). Despite a
constantly shifting focus, there is much that is worth reading in this

According to Knight, in the process of psychotherapy there develops a
psychotherapeutic eros: that is, a special kind of love between the
therapist and client. Misuse of this special love—generally its
replacement by power, on the part of the therapist—constitutes abuse
of the client. In the chapter on science versus religion, the author
makes a case for the presence of values in therapy, and claims that if
the therapist is not invested as a genuine person (here he uses the
foundational work of Carl Rogers on unconditional positive regard), no
true therapy can take place. Although science is important, it cannot
transform the lives of people, as is experienced in the “loving”
context of the therapist-client dynamic.

In the chapter on hypnosis, Knight provides a brief overview of the
roots of this movement and its effectiveness in therapy. This is far too
brief a handling of so vast a topic to be really helpful to readers who
are not acquainted with hypnosis. A brief epilogue of case histories,
written by a second author, focuses on the use of psychovisual therapy
(a hypnotic visual series developed by Knight). This leads one to
speculate whether the real motive for this work is to espouse the merits
of the psychovisual technique. What is missing is a real explanation of
what this technique is all about.

Perhaps the worst thing about this book is its cover: the dark-blue
background makes it impossible to read anything but the title, which is
in a bright yellow. Despite its shortcomings, the book may be of
interest to psychotherapists and those who practice hypnosis.


Knight, Bryan M., “Love, Sex and Hypnosis: Secrets of Psychotherapy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,