Daniel L. Araoz was not only an accomplished man but also seems to have been immensely well loved and respected, judging by the obituary which announced his passing on Sept. 15, 2022 at the age of 92. I can believe this. All of his written work that I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot!) was infused with kindness, integrity, and a wish for others to experience joy and pleasure, along with some really great “road maps” on how to get there. Dr. Araoz was a therapist/sex therapist, a professor of counseling, and a clinical hypnotist. He was the author of many, many books (thirteen, according to the obituary) and “hundreds” of journal articles (also according to the obituary).
News of his death was a great shock to me. Without ever having met or communicated with him, I have considered him as my unofficial “mentor” (I’ve even said “guru”) in the area of hypnosis for sexual problems after finding one of his books, Hypnosis and Sex Therapy (1982), sometime in 2008 or 2009. The bibliography of my own Ed.D. project on “sexological hypnosis” cited many of his works. The courses I’ve created on sexological hypnosis–ditto. In fact, this week I suddenly began retooling and repurposing the literature search and hypnosis methods portions of my Ed.D. project as a textbook for the most recent incarnation of my Hypnosis for Sex Problems course. This means I have been reading his name, references, and quotes all week long, feeling anew how much there is to appreciate in this man’s work and how lucky I have been to find it. I began doing this on September 19th, just 4 days after his passing, though I had no knowledge of it.
It was only yesterday that I stumbled across his obituary. I was looking up some of the other greats of what I consider the “Golden Age of Hypnosis for Sex Problems” (1970s to mid-1980s) and happened to wonder when Dr. Araoz was born. And that’s when and how I learned of his death.
Though out of print, his book, Hypnosis and Sex Therapy, has always been required reading in my courses. I have created whole slideshow presentations for these courses, where we examine his views on the “New Hypnosis,” sex therapy, and his other ideas and methods. I have also recommended his other books to my students as well, and have had them read what journal articles of his that we can find online. I sincerely hope that he had, somewhere in his circle of intimates and former students, someone who is standing at the ready (or who is already engaged) to write his biography and arrange an understanding and overview of his work, for both lay people and helping professionals.
I believe he was a great man, though I sense that he was a modest one. I think his work should be more widely known to younger therapists, sexologists, and hypnotists. In my mind, he was a pioneer.
I used to wonder, from time to time, if I should ever reach out and let him know how much his work has meant to me and my career, but I was too shy. I did not want to impose. And now there will be no opportunity. So all I can do from afar is wish him well in his journey through the other world. I wish him peace. I wish him joy. And I send (from afar) condolences to all his family and friends.