PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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VII
THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
275
possible to refer back to the existence of an emotional factor which has been bound up with the history of a particular organ. This organ, or, to be accurate, the physiological functioning of such organ, may be deficient, or in Adlerian terms inferior, and in consequence, an inferiority in the mental adjustment of the subject will discharge or express itself through this visceral channel. Consequently we no longer capitulate to anatomy with the statement ' There is nothing organically wrong, this is functional \ but prefer, on the other hand, ' Here is evidence of the inferior functioning of an organ, an anatomical anomaly too perhaps ; why does the patient express it in purely mental terms ? What, in short, has been the psychophysical history which has occasioned this state of affairs ? '
Only too frequently the patient in such a situation of psychophysical distress is dismissed with the text, ' You are a first-class life ; take a holiday and pull yourself together \ A surrender in diagnosis to this feeble methodology would mean running the risk of allowing the establishment beyond repair of an organic disposition which at first was little more than the reaction of the body to prolonged emotional distress.158* The conception of the relationship between mental and physical states has striking corroboration in the study of the relationship between body posture and mental states. The bend of dejection, the erect attitude of pride, the sagging of the facial muscles when in despair, the tonic expression of an eager optimism, are obvious ; but their appearance is so commonplace that their significance in biological terms is missed, and the opportunities for therapy which their understanding gives is thereby lost. Unnatural attitudes of body, if contained over a long period, are physiologically bad, and must have a deleterious effect upon the life of the body and upon the