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June 1964

Psychodynamics of Echo-Reactions

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and N.Y.S. Psychiatric Institute.
Present Address: Executive Medical Director (Dr. Carluccio), Mount Carmel Guidance Institute and 5403 Boulevard East, West New York, NJ.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(6):623-629. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720240077008

Echolalia and echopraxia have been recognized as symptoms expressive of seriously disturbed behavior in adults for over a century. These bizarre behavioral abnormalities have been explained by neurological, psychological, and psychoanalytic theories. Yet a study of the literature makes it clear that limited attention has been given to possible psychogenetic processes determinative of these symptoms. Almost no clinical data are published to allow an extrapolation of hypothesis for these symptoms.

This paper presents material derived from anamnestic data and clinical observations made during psychotherapeutic interviews with two patients who developed echolalia and echopraxia in the course of their schizophrenic reactions. These collected data provide concrete information on the genesis of the symptoms and allow for a psychodynamic explanation of their emergence in the course of ego disorganization.

Review of the Literature  Although echolalia and echopraxia, along with coprolalia, were described by Itard

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