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May 8, 1937

The Medical Value of Psychoanalysis

JAMA. 1937;108(19):1672. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780190088026

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This book represents an attempt by Dr. Franz Alexander to "place psychoanalysis among the sciences." It is a well written book, stating in clear fashion the concepts which make up what Alexander chooses to call the "science of psychoanalysis." That the neurotic individual must learn to accept repressed psychologic facts, while the psychotic must learn to accept rejected external facts, constitutes one of his main theses. This is undoubtedly true, but certainly analysis is of no therapeutic avail in the treatment of the psychoses, and even in the treatment of the neuroses there is no scientific data by which to indicate analysis as the method of choice. One can accept his idea of the autonomic nervous system as a development serving to relieve the central nervous system of a portion of its work. This division of labor copes with the two fundamental problems of the organism, orientation in the external

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