The Psychoanalytic Method

The Psychoanalytic Method

The Psychoanalytic Method

The Psychoanalytic Method

Excerpt

Psychoanalysis originated on a medical basis as a method of treatment for certain nervous maladies which are called functional and in which there is recognized with constantly increasing certainty the result of disturbances of the affectivity. It attains its object of removing the expressions of such disturbances, the symptoms, by presupposing that these symptoms may not be the only possible and final outcome of certain mental processes, and with that in view, exposes the history of the development of the symptoms in the memory, reawakens the processes lying underneath these symptoms and affords them a more favorable outlet under the guidance of the physician. Psychoanalysis has set up the same therapeutic goal as the hypnotic treatment, which, introduced by Liebault and Bernheim, after a long and hard struggle had acquired a place in the technique of neurologists. It goes far deeper, however, into the structure of the mental mechanism and seeks to attain permanent results and lasting changes as its objects.

The hypnotic suggestion treatment, in its time, very soon passed the bounds of medical application and established itself in the service of education of young persons. If we may believe the reports, it has proven itself an effective means of overcoming the faults of children, disturbing physical habits and traits of character otherwise incorrigible. No one raised objections at that time or expressed surprise over this extension of its field of usefulness which has become fully intelligible to us only by the aid of psychoanalytic investigation. For, today, we know that the pathological symptoms are often nothing else than substitute formations for bad, i. e. unsuitable, tenden-

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