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J., E. (1921). The Psychology of Nervous Ailments: By Joseph Ralph. (Ralph, Chelston, Torquay, 1920. Pp. 62.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:129-130.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:129-130

The Psychology of Nervous Ailments: By Joseph Ralph. (Ralph, Chelston, Torquay, 1920. Pp. 62.)

Review by:
E. J.

Since writing the brochure which was reviewed in the last number of the JOURNAL (p. 487), Mr. Ralph has returned from America to England and has just published a second brochure. Like the former one, it is a clear, though brief and elementary, presentation of the aims of the psycho-analytic method, especially in regard to psychotherapy. As in the former case, we note an historical error regarding Dr. Breuer. This time, it is true, he becomes connected with Vienna and not Zurich, but it is said of him that in 1880, when "an old Viennese neurologist", he made certain discoveries, but was unable to appreciate their importance on account of his advanced age (pp. 13, 15). Dr. Breuer is a practising physician, and his speciality is physiology, not neurology; as he is, we believe, still in practice, he was presumably in the thirties in 1880, so that the reasons why he did not pursue his investigations are more likely to be connected with youth than with age.

Two others slips may be commented on. Freud never found that the neurasthenias were "merely symptoms of underlying mental causes" (p. 16), but has always regarded them as of purely physical origin. Nor can we agree that "it is advisable that the patient relinquish the usual routine of life and place himself at the disposal of the analyst for daily treatment of about two hours' duration" (p. 61). It is, on the contrary, important that the patient's mode of life during the analysis should approximate as nearly as possible to his normal one, and every effort should be made to ensure this, since it is a far more favourable condition for the analysis; while the cases it is advisable to treat for two hours daily are exceptions rather than the rule.

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