PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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VII
THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
279
a comparable group. He secured the same percentage of improvement in both cases, and came to the conclusion that the value of the treatment lay in the suggestion and not in its medical aspect. How much of the value of belladonna is due to suggestibility ?
Strauss states that he has used hypnosis with success ; and other methods of suggestion such as an injection of sterile water have also been used successfully. Neustatter has tried encouragement, in the form of giving older children a calendar and telling them to mark the ' dry ' days every week, and to see if they can beat their own record, a scheme which worked quite well. Attention is drawn to the successes and not the failures.
Stammering, which is much more frequent in boys than in girls, is due to anxiety which is brought about by morbid self-consciousness. Many of the methods of treatment, such as making the child balance himself on one leg while reading or talking, are based on distracting his attention from the self.
Whatever the exact psychopathology, stammering is always associated with a nervous disposition. Quite obviously there are secondary factors at work, the nervousness suffered by a stammerer adding to the nervousness already present. The nervousness is supposed to cause increased muscular tension, which also affects the vocal cords. Speech-training is an attempt to educate the stammerer to use the voice properly. To this end various devices are employed. Relaxation combined with breathing exercises are the basis of the London County Council method, and mass recitation is employed to help the stammerer.
All authorities are agreed, however, that a lowering of nervous tension is necessary, and for this purpose believe that psychotherapy must be an integral part of