292 PSYCHOTHERAPY: SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
the germs of a malignant psychosis are active for a brief period in early life and are then dormant until, in later life, they once again invade the psychic life of the patient. This is not without significance since it suggests that any attempt to prevent the occurrence of the malignant psychoses can only succeed if appropriate psychological treatment is instigated in early life, when abnormal reactions make their first appearance.
In this connection the work of Klein I29 is of interest. She observed the playing child and interpreted the products of its phantasy displayed during spontaneous play. Her investigations have led her to the opinion that fully developed schizophrenia is more common and, especially, the occurrence of schizophrenic traits is a far more general phenomenon in childhood than is usually supposed.
At present it is too early to say how far such methods of treatment would be effective in diminishing the incidence of the psychoses in the community, if a large number of children suffering from psychic peculiarities were treated along the line suggested by Klein. Glover 80 holds the view that advances in the treatment of psychoses will depend less on experience derived from direct treatment of what we now call psychoses and more on the experience derived from investigation of mental processes in young children, together with the results of direct treatment of infantile psychopathological states.
About thirty years ago, Dromard observed : ' The precocious dement is a rich person whose capital is immobilized. Later he becomes a pauper/ If this aphorism expresses a truth, and up to a point it would appear to do so, it serves to emphasize the urgent need of investigation and treatment in the very early stages of the disease. From this point of view, therefore, it may certainly be said that the work on children, referred