ESH stands for The European Society of Hypnosis in Psychotherapy and Medicine. This society, which was founded in 1976 at the International Society for Hypnosis (ISH) Congress in Philadelphia, promotes the use of hypnosis in all fields of medicine, dentistry, psychology and psychotherapy. ESH is an association with a large number of constituent societies from many countries in Europe. The society promotes the ethical use of hypnosis by health professionals in clinical practice; it also encourages academic research in the laboratory setting.
Before 1976, there only existed the International Society of Hypnosis (ISH) and a number of informal meetings in various European countries. However, at the ISH Congress in Philadelphia, a number of European health professionals talked about the possibility of setting up a European Society in order to attract more European members from the hypnosis community. There was a number of highly-renowned clinicians at this congress and these included: Vladimir Gheorghiu, Basil Finer, Gerhard Barolin, Dietrich Langen, Hanscarl Leuner, Marjan Pajntar and Heinrich Wallnöfer. At the time, they decided that it would be a good idea to have a European Society which was part of the International Society; later, ESH became independent from the International Society on 20th August 1990. At the same time, ESH made sure that they had a separate constitution.
Originally, the Journal of the Swedish Hypnosis Society, Hypnos, was its official publication; however, in the 1990s, ESH was unable to continue sponsoring this periodical, and Contemporary Hypnosis, which is also the official publication of BSCAH, became its successor. This peer-reviewed journal, which is now known as ‘Contemporary Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy’, is the official journal of both BSCAH and ESH.
ESH now has 38 member societies and provides conferences and training throughout Europe.