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Books, Journals, New Media
July 21, 1999

PsychotherapyMind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association


by Eric Caplan (Medicine and Society, No. 9), 242 pp, $35, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998.

JAMA. 1999;282(3):285-286. doi:10.1001/jama.282.3.285-JBK0721-4-1

Eric Caplan's Mind Games is "a history of the origins of psychotherapy in the United States" in six relatively brief chapters written from an exclusively sociocultural, historical perspective, with 565 references to mostly 19th century American cultural and medical literature. Caplan excavates from this literature lines of concepts and practices pertaining to "the mind," "mind-cures," "psychotherapy," "railway spine," "neurasthenia," and "hysteria," and treatment in the pre-Freudian era. He might have called his treatise, "Where were Freud and the DSM-IV when we needed them?" Instead, he titled his doctoral thesis (from which this book was developed) "The Medicalization of the Mind."

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