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Wright, M.B. (1924). A Manual of Psychotherapy for Practitioners and Students: By Henry Yellowlees, O.B.E., F.R.P.S. (Glas.), M.R.C.P. (Edin.), D.P.M. (Lond.). (Published by A. C. Black, Ltd., London, 1923. Pp. 247. Price 10 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:243.
(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:243
A Manual of Psychotherapy for Practitioners and Students: By Henry Yellowlees, O.B.E., F.R.P.S. (Glas.), M.R.C.P. (Edin.), D.P.M. (Lond.). (Published by A. C. Black, Ltd., London, 1923. Pp. 247. Price 10 s. 6 d.)
Review by: Maurice B. Wright
Dr. Yellowlees writes well; he has the gift, or rather art, of putting a highly technical subject into terms which can be readily understood by those to whom the book is especially addressed. Although a very wide field is covered, the reader is constantly reminded of the fact that only the fringe of a vast and technical subject can be touched upon in a work of this character. Throughout, the main tenets of the Freudian position are held as valid, although in the chapter on Auto-suggestion and Suggestion Theory a verdict of not proven is given.
The chapters on Mental Mechanism and Psychological Theory give the beginner a clear and non-technical description of the essential hypotheses. In discussing methods of Psychotherapy, the position taken is undoubtedly sound, that Psycho-analysis is for the expert and for the expert only; Suggestion, Hypnosis, Persuasion, may be used by the general practitioner who has devoted himself to a reasonably adequate study of the subject. A timely warning is given that cases which at first sight seem to need nothing more than some simple treatment by suggestion or surface analysis may soon prove under treatment to present problems which can only be dealt with by the specialist. For Dr. Yellowlees suggestion is the main and most potent weapon in the hands of the psychotherapist. To quote his own words,
the student will at least do well to remember that in suggestion we have probably the most powerful and readily available single weapon known to medicine. No occasion is too trivial for its use, and it is hard to reach the limits of its possibilities.
However true this may be to experience, the student must also be reminded that psychological autonomy is the ideal aimed for in all good psychotherapy, and suggestion unwisely used may bind as well as loose.
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