A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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vii                        THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY                     283
impotence, when verbal suggestion is often all that is necessary. More frequently a certain amount of analysis is required.
Stekel2l6 was one of the first to discover and describe the psychogenetic origin of the complicated condition known as fetichism. The fetichist is an individual who is sexually excited by the sight, touch or thought of some object, such as a shoe, a stocking, or a handkerchief. This mechanism appears to be closely akin to that which results in the setting up of a conditioned reflex, but is primarily the symptom of a defence mechanism, a flight from normal sexual relations with the opposite sex.
Sadism received its name as a result of the association of the perversion with the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), a man who had a somewhat chequered career. He was accused of poisoning and of unnatural offences, and he found pleasure in inflicting cruelty on the objects of his passion. While imprisoned in the Bastille he wrote obscene novels. He was sent to the lunatic asylum, released, and later sent back there as an incurable maniac, spending the last eleven years of his life at Charenton.
Masochism became known in a not dissimilar way. Sacher-Masoch (1835-1895) was a minor Austrian writer, whose works included tales of people who craved and took pleasure in cruel treatment in connection with the sexual embrace, a morbid trait which was doubtless described from life.
Masturbation is thought by many people to be universally practised; and modern authorities are agreed that it is devoid of any harmful physical effects. It is false, however, to assert that it is entirely innocuous. Dr. W. Brown 30 (pp. 115 and 117) denies its universality, saying, on the basis of both professional and non-professional experience, that a not negligible proportion of