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Balkányi, C. (1965). Le Bégaiement. Sa Nature Et Son Traitement: By Edouard Pichon and S. Borel-Maisonny. (Paris: Masson, 1964. 2nd edition, revised and enlarged.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:397-398.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:397-398

Le Bégaiement. Sa Nature Et Son Traitement: By Edouard Pichon and S. Borel-Maisonny. (Paris: Masson, 1964. 2nd edition, revised and enlarged.)

Review by:
Charlotte Balkányi

This book was first published in 1937 and is based on the observations and results of 180 cases of stammering, treated by Mme Borel-Maisonny who is a speech-therapist. The relevance of the book for the general psycho-analytic reader lies in the fact that this was about the first attempt to apply methodically psycho-analytic theory to a speical field of education. Dr Pichon was not only an analyst but also a linguistic scientist; and he was thus able to see the unconscious and the primary mechanisms as the scientific basis of the explanation of the normal function of speech and verbal thinking. It is apparent from his text that Pichon's theory derived from the fundamental Freudian works of the 1900–1915 period, but unfortunately he did not use analytical terminology. No doubt one reason was that in 1937 ego psychology was just coming into existence and Pichon was discovering an ego function. What he called 'la pensée lingui-spéculative' is in today's analytical nomenclature termed the ego function of verbalization. Stammering was the speech condition which most successfully confirmed the correctness of Pichon's view; it was this condition which, as is well known, stubbornly persisted in the face of various therapeutic approaches but yielded amazingly to the Pichon-Borel method. The number of cases treated since the first edition was published has of course greatly increased.

The essence of the authors' argument is that the stammerer suffers primarily from a disorder of verbalization.

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