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March 13, 1937

So You're Going to a Psychiatrist

JAMA. 1937;108(11):914. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780110062028

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Many attempts have been made to explain to interested lay persons the meaning of psychiatry and the purposes of psychotherapy. Most works are patently propaganda for so-called mental hygiene or the "Meyerian Legend." These books are usually simple in content and confusing in effect. Dr. Adamson has written an intelligent work concerning psychiatry from the psychoanalytic point of view. Her data are correct and well expressed. However, the material could be understood by few neurotic patients, owing first to their emotional blocking and secondly to the fact that psychoanalytic psychiatry requires considerable intelligence for its understanding. Why it is necessary to burden the lay mind, neurotic or potentially neurotic, with information about the theory with which the physician may work is a puzzle. In dealing with other organ systems it is unnecessary for the patient to know the physiology and pathology before undergoing treatment. Certainly the methods of treatment of,

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