A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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vii                        THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY                     289
of a depressed state, and entering upon a remission. Abraham stated that the psychoanalyses of melancholies he had been carrying on were none of them completely finished, so that there was no question of making any prophecy about the lasting nature of analytic treatment. In addition to the disappearance of the symptoms, he noted : (i) After the accomplishment of a piece of analytical work, the patient showed a distinct increase of accessibility and ability for transference. (2) The hostile and irritable attitude to the world in general was eliminated to a greater extent than was usual during a remission. (3) In a particular case an obsessive interest in prostitutes was abandoned, and a satisfactory relationship with one woman established. (4) In the same case an overwhelming feeling of inferiority which, in the past, had characterized the period of remission as well as the depressed state was overcome. (5) Lastly, several of his cases, after a considerable amount of analysis had been done, showed a tendency to develop transitory psychogenic symptoms, and these instead of being psychotic in type were obsessions, phobias or conversion symptoms. It will be obvious that this was a most important change, suggesting alteration and progress in mental reactions and advance in libidinal development.
A considerable amount of treatment of the psychoses on analytic lines has been carried out during recent years. Such treatment has been stimulated by the work of Freud, though the technique has not by any means always been in conformity with that of psychoanalysis. Thus Bjerre I9 gives a detailed account of a case, in the treatment of which he was successful in dissolving analytically a strongly constituted system of persecution of ten years' standing, and in giving the patient, an unmarried woman of fifty-three years of age, complete comprehension of her illness.