PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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VII
THE SCOPE OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
295
these asthmatic children. They utilize their asthma to gain control over their parents or their environment.
A further argument in favour of the psychological diagnosis of asthma is, that on removal from home these children appear to improve at once, irrespective of the vicinity to which they are sent.
The following case illustrates some of these points. The patient was a boy of six, brought to Dr. Neustatter by an overwrought and distressed Jewish mother. She complained that the boy had had asthma since he was two, that he suffered from a violent temper, and that he insisted upon having his own way, and always developed an attack of asthma if he were thwarted ! He was jealous of his baby brother. She was not only distressed about the child's asthma and his behaviour, but there was a considerable note of antagonism in her description. ' Much more of it and she would be a nervous wreck/ The doctor also heard from the boy's physician that the mother mishandled him considerably. That the asthma was real, Dr. Neustatter ' can vouch for ', for he ' saw the child in an attack \ The patient had been away to a convalescent home for a year, and during that time he had been free from attacks. As soon as he came home he immediately developed them again.
This case illustrates both how the asthma is brought about by psychological stimuli, and how it appears to be made use of though quite unconsciously by the patient to gain his own ends. Dr. Neustatter only saw the child once, and knows nothing of any possible deeper mechanism which may also have been present.
Moos l6° claims cures by psychoanalysis in all of a series of eighteen cases of bronchial asthma. Though it has now become commonplace, the case of the man who recovered from asthma by breaking a clock-case, as described by Gillet, one of Coue's pupils, is worth