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Book Reviews
June 1950

Failures in Psychiatric Treatment.

Am J Dis Child. 1950;79(6):1149. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1950.04040011168019

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This booklet, small but compact, contains more significant psychiatric material than many of the huge tomes which are press-agented in every mail. In this volume are documented the thoughts of a sober group of mature psychiatrists who have evaluated the apparent trend of psychiatry and whether the claims so often seen in the public press are justified.

Certainly psychiatry has made progress, but there are limitations, and in every field, be it psychoanalysis, psychobiology, hypnosis or social case supervision, are factors which place definite boundaries beyond which therapy at present cannot go. Sometimes it is the deficiency in actual psychiatric knowledge; sometimes it is failure on the part of the patient to cooperate; sometimes it is an immutable environmental situation, and sometimes the constitutional stuff of which the patient is made permits of no alteration.

Widely heralded insulin treatment, electric shock procedures and lobotomy are finally settling down to realities.

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