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February 1971

The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry.

Author Affiliations

By Henri Ellenberger, MD. Price, $15. Pp 932. Basic Books Inc Publishers, 404 Park Ave S, New York 10016, 1970.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(2):191-192. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750080095018

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Ellenberger's book, the culmination of many years of diligent research, is sure to become the standard work in the history of dynamic psychiatry. The author covers the subject matter with great authority and scholarliness; the clarity of his style, the breadth of his view, the wealth of fascinating detail, and the judicial objectivity make this book a delight to read.

The ancestry of dynamic psychiatry is traced through varieties of primitive healing. The Greek, Roman, and medieval schools of cure and the underlying similarities to modern psychotherapeutic approaches are elucidated. The extensive material on exorcism, spiritism, and hypnotism, the wealth of biographical material on Mesmer and Charcot, and the background of protodynamic psychiatries provide the reader with a new perspective on the transmission of ideas in the psychiatric field. It becomes clear that the groundwork in the field

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