A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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v                     THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY                 205
of the total human being. ' Mind is not negligible ! ' he cried. The mental life to which the laboratory-trained physician disdained to give their attentions was always working in their patients, he urged.
Suggestion was a force, said Bernheim,18 which impregnated daily life. It was used by the mother on her child, by the teacher on his pupil, by the state on its citizens. It provided the encouragement which made people control the old or try the new. This was the force Bernheim and the Nancy School wished to harness for their patients.
Concerned about the large number of patients who did not respond to medical treatment, a Swiss physician, Du Bois, paid a visit to Nancy. He became convinced that the cure of the myriad patients without recognized physical disease resided in mental treatments of some kind. Following Bernheim, he was successful. Yet somehow he was not satisfied. In suggestion the patient accepted the wish of the doctor too blindly. The results in suggestion therapy, Du Bois thought, were obtained in a ' surreptitious manner \50
Thinking in this vein, he was led to search for a healing system which looked beyond suggestion. He saw the need for dealing with the whole individual, and that unless the patient was regarded as endowed with emotions and ideas, there was little hope that scientific medicine could help the nervous patients whose symptoms taxed alike the neophyte and the sage in medicine. Like Bernheim, he pleaded that medical students be given courses in psychology and that a ' heart to heart' talk with patients was worth considerably more than the baths, douches and bromides. This chain of reasoning led to his system of ' rational therapeutics' or re-education. Discussing with the patient the meaning of his symptoms, he sought to