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November 16, 1963

The Management of the Anxious Patient.

Author Affiliations



By Ainslie Meares. 493 pp. $9. W. B. Saunders Co., W Washington Sq, Philadelphia 5, 1963

JAMA. 1963;186(7):735-736. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710070137029

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This volume is directed at the psychiatric education of the generalist. Dr. Meares spends the early chapters discussing the phenomenology of anxiety, its biological and psychological meaning, and the clinical cues which the physician can attend to in order to facilitate his recognition of the anxious patient. Psychoanalytic theory is generously used as an explanatory conceptual framework to enable the clinician to understand how and why anxiety develops.

Dr. Meares suggests that the physical examination and a nondirective interview can be skillfully combined to obtain psychologically meaningful information from the patient and to establish a firm therapeutic relationship. It would appear that Dr. Meares' primary form of therapy is a kind of conditioning, in which the anxious patient is gently urged to relax and to experience "atavistic regression." The concept of atavistic regression is fundamental to Dr. Meares' system of therapy and is apparently a state of consciousness in which

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