PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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272         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
functional disease. If there is an alteration of function it is associated with some alteration of structure, if not visible to the naked eye then microscopic or ultra-microscopic in character'30 (p. 126). It is said, for instance, that whereas psychological treatment may be of value in cases of functional nervous disorder, it could be of no use where there was some organic derangement. But this is untenable, because the distinction between functional and organic cannot be carried any distance. Actually, of all diseases with which psychotherapists are expected to deal those connected with the nerves are the most intractable. Dr. W. Brown,31 (p. 24) himself a neurologist, says he would prefer to have for psychotherapeutic treatment a patient suffering from an acute gastritis or an illness of some other part of the body, than a person suffering from severe illness of the nervous system itself.
' Of all absurd bogies ', said the late Dr. F. G. Crook-shank 4I (p. 88), none is more ridiculous than the alleged antithesis between functional and organic disease ; unless it be that between physical and psychological therapeutics. All disease is disorder of function ; if there is no functional disorder there is no disease, and the so-called organic changes that we find in some cases are just as much the effect as the cause of functional derangement, while, in the most functional of functional cases, there is always place for the organic changes we can't see. We had better be frank and admit that this antinomy was invoked in order that we might say that organic disease is what we say we cure, but don't, while functional disease is what the quacks cure and we wish to goodness we could.'
For our own purpose a more satisfactory classification of diseases would be into psychical and physical, the difference being recognized in the symptoms, though