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January 9, 2002

TherapyIn Therapy We Trust: America's Obsession with Self-fulfillment

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2002;287(2):245-246. doi:10.1001/jama.287.2.245-JBK0109-2-1

Physicians (and probably psychiatrists in particular) sometimes see patients with no clear health problems but with a general sense of malaise. In In Therapy We Trust, Eva Moskowitz reviews Americans' preoccupation with ridding themselves of this dissatisfaction and reaching a state of happiness and self-fulfillment.

Moskowitz begins in the mid-19th century United States with Phineas P. Quimby, who believed that all ideas that were "going to destroy the progress of happiness must perish." After Quimby, New Thoughters and Christian Scientists continued to encourage Americans to look inside themselves, get rid of anxiety, and cultivate positive attitudes.

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