Unconscious Psychotherapeutics





The great authorities in medicine, the men whose thought counted for

most in the development of not only the science but the art of

medicine, the men to whom we look back as having been great practicing

physicians, have always used this remedial measure deliberately and

have suggested to others that it should be so used. But the smaller

minds have been satisfied to think that their drugs, their external

remedies and applications, have been the sole sources of the benefit

that accrued to the patient. Such smaller men are prone to think that

they have specifics for disease, while the larger men hesitate and

recognize that coincidence plays a large role and that the suggestive

factors in therapeutics often deceive us as to the real efficacy of

drugs and remedies.



All physicians have at all times used, though often unconsciously, the

suggestive factor in therapeutics, and mental influence has had

everywhere a large role in the treatment of disease. Only in recent

years have we come to appreciate how many diseases are self-limited.

In the treatment of these self-limited diseases all sorts of drugs and

therapeutic methods achieved a reputation. Some of them were looked

upon by generations as specifics, though we know now that they are

almost, if not completely, useless so far as any direct influence upon

the disease is concerned. Indeed, at times they were, per se,

harmful rather than beneficial, and the patient literally got well in

spite of the treatment, though the repeated suggestion of betterment

often more than overcame the ill effect and helped in recovery.





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