A mystical sympathetic or antipathetic connection between two persons. It was formerly believed that for a witch to harm her victims, the latter must first have become in rapport with her, either by contact with her person or by contact with some garment she has worn. A certain Irish witch, Florence Newton (tried in 1661), was accused of establishing rapport between herself and those she sought to bewitch by kissing them, whereby she was able to compass their destruction.
In the practice of animal magnetism, it was considered that the only invariable and characteristic symptom of the genuine trance was the rapport between patient and operator. It consisted of a community of sensations —the subject perceiving the sensations of the magnetizer and also divining his thought. In modern hypnotism, rapport denotes the community of sensation between the hypnotizer and his subject.
According to the psychical researcher Julien Ochorowicz, rapport was solely a "magnetic" condition. He observed that under hypnosis his subject was indifferent to anybody with whom he came in contact but in animal magnetism he had an incontestable preference for the magnetizer. In general, the touch of the magnetizer was agreeable while that of others was painful. This condition is not found in hypnosis.
The term rapport is also used in Spiritualism, signifying sympathy between the spirit control and the medium or any of the sitters. The control (through the medium) may be placed in rapport with anyone who is absent or dead, merely by handling something which has belonged to him or her. It is for a similar reason that in crystal gazing the crystal is sometimes held for a few moments prior to the inspection by the person on whose behalf the crystal-gazer is about to examine it.
The term rapport has also been employed by spiritual healers to describe the necessary relationship between the healer and the patient as a prerequisite for the successful flow of the healing power. Rapport is thus seen as an alternative to the patient's faith, sometimes suggested in religious healing circles as the necessary precondition for healing.
(See also psychometry )
rap·port / raˈpôr; rə-/ • n. a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well: she was able to establish a good rapport with the children | there was little rapport between them.