One can trace its roots historically to astrology and before that into pagan worship in Egypt. Since there is disagreement on this issue, I will proceed to document what I have said.
Anton Mesmer is considered to be the founder of modern day psychotherapy, according to psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz. We know that he began the practice of assigning mythical illnesses to his patients and then claiming he could cure these with his practice of animal magnetism or hypnosis. His concept was based upon astrology and the effect of the planets upon human bodies. Scientific sounding but totally unproven, his theory was used to claim some outstanding cures which both entertained and convinced many in Paris that this man performed marvelous healings. He had powerful friends such as Marie Antoinette and Wolfgang Mozart who supported his work and believed in his methods.
Mesmer was both an md and an astrologer, which is a practice forbidden in the bible. He learned his "animal magnetism" from a Jesuit priest who also was an astrologer. This priest's name was "Father Hell". Quaint, huh? Mesmer performed seances using his astrology, often in the form of magnetized water and with a magic wand. My use of the term "seance" which is another occult and forbidden practice is from the Collier's Encyclopedia.
Marie Antoinette's husband Louis XVI did not think Mesmer so charming, especially since his healing methods included a lot of patient touching and massaging to titilate the emotions of the women who admired his fame. The king commissioned a royal panel along with the National Academy of Science to investigate the healing claims of Mesmer and the patients which he claimed to have healed. Benjamin Franklin was one of those on this investigatory panel. Their findings after in-depth investigations were that Mesmer could cure no one. That only imaginary illnesses had been cured and that Mesmer was a fraud.
The same could be said for today's mesmerizers and psychotherapists who claim to be healers to the acclaim of the many whom they have convinced that this is so. A new investigation by our academy of science is badly needed to set the public straight about such dubious claims and to give a scientific rebuttal to these unproven claims. Much harm is being done today using Mesmer's occult methods although calling it something other than animal magnetism.
Benjamin Franklin called mesmerism a delusion and the so-called cures totally the product of suggestion. He even went so far as to tell his two grandsons that hypnosis could weaken the faith of some Christians. His prediction was an understatement based upon what this observer has seen.
Mesmer left Paris in disgrace. Yet his teachings were brought to America by Emil Coue et al. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby picked it up and became a famous faith healer in New England. He said he didn't know why his healings seemed to work except that they did. He said the important thing was to redirect the patient's attention from the presenting problem to a new problem heretofore unknown. It didn't even have to be a true problem, just so the patient is made to believe in the healer and his method.
One such willing patient was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Cult. She rewrote the bible changing all the meanings of its words to invent a new religion based upon Mesmer's methods taught to her by Quimby who supposedly healed her back after a fall on the ice. She called it science of mind. Mark Twain, no christian, said that he didn't know what the heck Eddy was trying to say. Willa Cather and muckraker Ida Tarbell exposed the fraud of Mary Baker Eddy's claims to have been healed in their magazine in a series of articles near the turn of the century.
Many others have picked up the occult methods and philosophy of Mesmer and put their own twist to it. Coue's positive thinking is used by such as Robert Schuller who calls it possibility thinking. Norman Vincent Peale et al was into such thinking and totally away from the biblical truth on such issues. Today's christian psychologists and other therapists are using these teachings along with bible truths in an effort to perfect a philosophy better than simply the bible alone. This is an impossible task to find a philosophy better than what God has already said.
Gustaf Carl Jung was another astrologer who assisted the godless Freud to build the field of psychology and psychoanalyis around the methods of Mesmer. Jung loved to attend occult seances and mediums as well as consult astrology to find things to include into his writings on psychology. He turned his back upon the teachings of his christian father and leaned towards his mother's spiritist teachings instead. You can read this in Jung's own writings.
There can be no doubt about the occult roots of both hypnosis and psychotherapy as well as psychology itself. One may argue all he likes that these are not occult. I have made my case that these are divination and enchantment, practices which are forbidden by God in the bible. That is good enough for me. Therapy today is all about divination of the past and the future. Both are forbidden and even ridiculed in the word of God.
And the results of such is evident for those who research this area, not so evident to the public who has a misguided perception that therapy is beneficial and safe. Much harm is being done in the name of therapy and healing. The results are families shattered, marriages broken, careers lost, suicide, and perhaps even homicide. There is ample proof of what I am saying in this regard for someone who is seriously interested in truth and not merely supporting the facade of therapist infallibility.
For one such proof, I suggest you read Dr. Paul Simpson's book, Second Thoughts.
Second Thoughts about causing psychotic breaks in christian patients
The landscape is littered with casualties based upon these occult practices by those in the mainsteam of therapy and counseling. It is not just a few rotten apples but the entire barrel has become rotten. Many families have experienced tragedy because of a therapy industry which fails to police itself but which would rather hush up the truth about its results.
An occult practice is still occult no matter whether it is used by a witch-doctor or animal magnetizer or a christian priest. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit as some apparently believe possible. The bible says a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. And the fruit of hypnosis and psychotherapy is bad in many, many cases.
The only thing which remains is the public misperception that this bad tree produces good fruit, because it makes them feel good.
I can point to many cases where patients praised their therapists for making them feel good even as their lives were being destroyed by the cult-like practices and unproven theories which the therapist espoused. Both hypnosis and psychotherapy is based upon deception and outright lies. Because truth is ignored, these are practices condemned by the bible and under God's judgment.
Ask Cardinal Bernadin if he thinks hypnosis a good tool which causes no harm. Before his passing, he stated that the hypnotically induced false accusations against him caused him more grief than his fatal cancer ever did. Ask the many families out there who know that hypnosis and misguided psychotherapy caused the destruction of their family relationships with their adult daughters who are caught in the tentacles of the recovered memory cult.
Psychotherapy has run amok and therapists are unconcerned with the harm they are doing. Believing their own press clippings, therapists will not admit its mistakes or take responsibility for the harm they have done. One wonders if they might be gods because their beliefs and practices cannot be questioned.