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August 4, 1945

An Introduction to Somatic Methods of Treatment in Psychiatry

JAMA. 1945;128(14):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860310070034

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Abstract

Although the authors are well known in the field of English neuropsychiatry, this book leaves the interviewer somewhat confused as to its purpose. They are apparently interested in setting forth positive and aggressive methods of psychiatric treatment. However, one could easily quarrel with their premise that most of the advances in psychiatric therapy have been along somatic lines. This is set forth in a long introduction describing the "constitutional approach," emphasizing biologic rather than experimental factors operating in the development of behavior disorders. While they pay some lip service to a monistic approach, they are definitely dualistic in their attitudes and adhere to archaic concepts of psychophysical parallelism. Thus we find adjunctive therapy set up as etiologic although the authors admit the empirical nature of most of the methods used. They even go so far as to describe them as "therapeutic tricks," as in the use of insulin in the

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