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Gillespie, W.H. (1945). Narco-Analysis: By J. Stephen Horsley. (Humphrey Milford, London, 1943. Pp. vii + 134. Price, 8s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:83.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:83

Narco-Analysis: By J. Stephen Horsley. (Humphrey Milford, London, 1943. Pp. vii + 134. Price, 8s. 6d.)

Review by:
W. H. Gillespie

This little book gives a useful practical account of the technique now so commonly employed of using intravenous barbiturates for the purpose of overcoming resistances. The author is well known as a pioneer in the popularization of this form of psychotherapy, and he naturally shows more enthusiasm and makes larger claims for its usefulness than many others who have experience of the method. He observes that 'Freud originally used hypnosis as the shortest and readiest route to the unconscious; but this short cut was baulked by the fact that many patients could not be hypnotized.' This statement overlooks the other grave disadvantages which Freud pointed out in a method which seeks to short-circuit the ego. Dr. Horsley, however, is evidently aware that abreaction is not enough, and he discusses the need for analysis and synthesis, and even the transference phenomenon. There are 75 references, but the historical aspect of the subject is dealt with in a summary manner.

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