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August 1, 1908


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1908;LI(5):368-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410050008002a

Some physicians, like men who are told that they have used prose all their lives without knowing it, are astonished at the statement that no small part of their function as practitioners consists in the use of psychotherapeutic influences. Ever since the primitive mother began to kiss the sore finger of her crying child to make it well the human race has, partly instinctively, partly consciously, resorted to mind cure in one or another of its diverse forms to assuage its sorrows, to relieve its anxiety or to mitigate its pain. For these alleviations, sometimes priests, sometimes physicians, sometimes laymen have been agential.

There has been much disagreement as to the definition of the word "psychotherapy." Some have supposed that it is synonymous with treatment by hypnotism or suggestion; others have assumed that it is limited in its applicability to psychic diseases and still others have fallen into the error

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