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11 Int'l J. Offender Therapy 1 (1967)

handle is hein.journals/ijotcc11 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Editorial


PSYCHOTHERAPY differs from other medical specialities
    in that no adequate attempts have as yet been made to study
its efficacy, results and ill-effects. For some therapists it is axio-
matic that therapy is invariably beneficial. The failure to insist
upon  well-designed follow-up studies demonstrates an evasion of
scientific standards. When in the last century the gynecologist
Semmelweiss  pointed out that more women  died from sepsis in
hospitals than at home,  attended only by midwives,  he was
widely  attacked, but his studies of childbed fever formed the
basis of modern care. There is need for effective psychotherapy,
but it is essential to study its results, not just statistically, but
in clinical detail, making use of observations made by both
therapists and patients.
  In this issue we  publish in A  Failure of Analysis, the
description of an articulate, highly intelligent patient, who
normalized after only a few interviews in which he was asked to
dress, feed and behave normally and was treated as the intelli-
gent personality he is. Today, two months after the interviews,
he holds a well paid job in computing, has friends, an apartment
of his own and a normal relation with his family. He had gone
for therapy nine years ago, when he was  depressed and dis-
illusioned, and might have snapped  out of that state spon-
taneously. But having his abnormality constantly highlighted,
and  having to associate in groups  with other unbalanced
persons accentuated his own   imbalance, and  the subsequent
deterioration and abnormal way  of life increased his sense of
failure. Probably most people go through bad periods, but their
own  resilience, or some change of circumstances or help from
friends may restore their functioning.
  The study of the mind is still in the Dark Ages, and though a
profuse literature has developed, its claims to describe the con-
tents of the mind are not justified. Obvious contradictions are
underplayed, or are even claimed to demonstrate the depths of
the theory.
  Understanding  the mind is not the prerogative of therapy.
Empirical knowledge   has existed ever since the beginnigs of
civilization, regarding the behavior of governments and govern-
ed, parents and children, patients and physicians, and married
                             I

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