A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

immense assistance in bringing into the foreground of consciousness memories and knowledge which would otherwise have remained below the surface. But if these memories were accessible under hypnosis it should also be possible to bring them to light during the waking state. Thus, Freud found that if he made his patient lie on a couch in a relaxed condition and talk freely of his life and experiences, led on from one thing to another by the free association of ideas, these repressed or forgotten memories would emerge in a natural way. Consequently he discarded hypnosis and adopted this method as being more revealing. New difficulties appeared, however. Some of the experiences of which the patients spoke were disagreeable and it seemed as if there were some force holding them back. Courage and mental effort on the part of the patient were required to break down this resistance, which was evidently linked with the pleasurable or painful quality of the experiences concerned. Consequently the physician had to seek out these resisting forces and to find out why the patient disliked recalling certain experiences. Here, indeed, was a new and revolutionary discovery ; painful ideas were repressed by some dynamic force. The theory of repression became, in Freud's own words, ' the foundation-stone of our understanding of the neurosis \ His aim was no longer simply to release the emotion by the ' mental cathartic ' method, but to uncover the repressions which masked the underlying irritating ideas. It was apparent, then, that treatment could not be consummated in a short time, but that it would take a long period of analysis in order to be able to search out the defences of the patient.
In France, Janet had for some time claimed that hysteria and neurasthenia were due to the closing down, the restriction, of the field of consciousness in people