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Wilson, C. (1924). The Hope of the Variant: By John George Gehring, M.D., Sc.D. (Charles Scribner & Sons, 1923. Pp. 252. Price 10 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:111-112.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:111-112

The Hope of the Variant: By John George Gehring, M.D., Sc.D. (Charles Scribner & Sons, 1923. Pp. 252. Price 10 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
Cyril Wilson

Dr. Gehring regards a 'variant' as one who varies from the normal, because of nervous or physical disorder, habit, or training. He attends first to the physical side, and then to the psychical by suggestion and re-education. We cannot accept as a serious contribution to psycho-pathology a book where such phrases occur as on page 38, where he says:

It is not his mind nor his soul that is at fault, it is his disturbed chemistry, the absorption of toxic products, pressure and pulling incident to disturbed or congested viscera, and often his physician that are to blame.

Or again, on page 90:

And here the Author wishes to place himself on record as implying that in the large majority of cases somewhere in the functioning of abdominal organs his mental distress has its origin.

The book has a savour of the doctrine of Christian Science, e.g. page 84: 'Fear is at the bottom of obsessive ideas'. Page 183, in speaking of anger, he says: 'No emotion save fear is so stupid and unpardonable'.

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