PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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VII
THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
273
there is so much overlapping both in treatment and in symptoms that distinctions are rough and ready and only capable of a provisional recognition. Although physiological diseases are to a large extent the products of infection, both acute and chronic, and of constitutional ways of reacting to environment through physico-chemical organization, the reaction of the organism to the noxious stimulus effects recovery. Inflammation, incapsulation and scar formation are physiological methods of dealing with injury. They are the debris, as it were, of the battle, not the disease itself: the disease lies in the combat. Physiological disease even of an infectious kind may, however, be somehow related to disorders in the life of action, and an unhealthy life of action will thus have its repercussion in organic states. We have in the organization of the body all the mechanisms which link up the life of action with the torpid life of the organs. A few years ago orthodox medicine believed that all psychological states were occasioned by disordered functioning of the body ; but this is a very one-sided view. Everyone has experienced the tonic effects upon the body of such factors as friendship, interests and urges, good news, and requited love, without which the body would be reduced to a state of torpor and flaccidity, which in their turn can be described in terms of sluggishness of the blood and liver or defects in glandular action.
Pierre Janet II6 (p. 304) defines psychotherapy as ' a group of therapeutic processes of all sorts, physical as well as mental, applicable also to physical as well as mental diseases, these processes being determined by the consideration of psychological facts previously observed, and, above all, by the consideration of the laws that rule these psychological facts and their association either with each other or with physiological facts.