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It is not often that a layman can appreciate the intricate problems involved in psychotherapy and the quest which the best medical minds have made for centuries to understand what takes place in a therapeutic relationship. It still is not known why patients get better and how diverse technics produce exactly the same results.
Zweig discusses the biographies of Mesmer, Eddy and Freud. The first is by far the most interesting and the most penetrating and gives probably the best insight into the subject's genius. There is a complete identification of the author with Mesmer, and one can always see how Mesmer tried various methods to learn in what way his patients could be benefited best. One also sees a keen, intelligent, scientific mind, with humility and criticism, so that one gets an altogether different picture of Mesmer from the usual idea of a mixture of a great personality and
Mental Healers.. Arch NeurPsych. 1935;33(1):243. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1935.02250130249023