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Riggall, R.M. (1927). Clinical: James Glover. Divergent Tendencies in Psychotherapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1926, Vol. VI, p. 93.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:80-81.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: James Glover. Divergent Tendencies in Psychotherapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1926, Vol. VI, p. 93.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:80-81

Clinical: James Glover. Divergent Tendencies in Psychotherapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1926, Vol. VI, p. 93.

Robert M. Riggall

This paper deals with certain broad issues dividing those practising Psychotherapy, the most fundamental of which depend on its conception as an Applied Science. Discussing certain grounds for scepticism and half-hearted reliance on psychological techniques, Glover comments on Reik's suggestion that a motive for psychologizing might be due to a desire to satisfy curiosity without uncovering the deeper determinants of our mental processes. He thinks that the reluctance to do so is not entirely due to any physiological bias in medical men, but may actually constitute a psychophobia. Emphasis on physical aspects of neurotic illnesses is probably determined by some inhibition connected with the exploration of their psychological causation. The psychotherapist tends to be influenced by a physiological bias which causes him to over-estimate environmental influences and under-estimate the importance of inner forces. It has recently been demonstrated that the fate of inner instinctual urges plays a far more important part in the ætiology of neuroses than environmental factors prevailing at the onset of the illness. Glover believes that man's capacity for achieving profound modification of instinct is now in part inherited. Neurosis is the expression of failure to establish a compromise between certain instinctual claims and the counterclaims

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of a cultural self created in the image of the parental representative of social ideals. The repression of instinctual demands and the failure of the neurotic to satisfactorily displace these strivings on socially acceptable ends, make it impossible to envisage the patient's relation to his environment as a simple biological one such as is established by animals in captivity. We are thus unable to build Mappin Terraces for our neurotic patients. The neurotic's inability to maintain a harmonious relationship to his environment is only partly due to the frustration of conscious aspirations; these factors can only precipitate the onset of neurosis. The treatment of neurotic disorders by modification of environment is considered and is shown to be a 'hit or miss' therapy; it can only be a palliative measure. Neurosis can only be stated in biological terms of 'organism reacting to environment' when we take into account the modification of instinct by the cultural milieu which takes place at the beginning of life. Scientific therapy should aim at better adjustment of internal conflicting forces rather than at reaction to environment.

The view that a scientific psychotherapy requires to be supplemented by philosophic or religious doctrines is criticized. In his criticism of 'medical moralization' it is noted that the neurotic is not so much concerned with ordinary temptations as with his arrested infantile cravings. Medical moralization will thus leave the real source of guilt untouched and may dangerously increase the already too strenuous activities of the super-ego. The paper concludes with a lucid account of the mechanism of transference and how it can be applied either to influence the patient directly, and so increase his repressions, or as a means of reviving memories of his forgotten infantile past. It cannot be used in both of these divergent directions. Analysis automatically achieves synthesis. To be scientific the transference situation must be conducted according to the rules of psycho-analysis.

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Article Citation

Riggall, R.M. (1927). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:80-81

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