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Kaufman, M.R. (1947). Narco-Analysis: By J. Stephen Horsley. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1943. First American Edition, 1946. 134 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 16:559-560.

(1947). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 16:559-560

Narco-Analysis: By J. Stephen Horsley. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1943. First American Edition, 1946. 134 pp.

Review by:
M. Ralph Kaufman

This publication is of some historical importance in psychiatry since it seems to settle a smouldering conflict about priorities which caused some stress during the war. The author credits Bleckwenn with the use of barbiturates for the production of hypnosis in 1929. His own work began in 1931. The first chapter deals with the origin of narcoanalysis with comment on the biochemical and psychodynamic concepts.

The author's description of the use of the drug seems to emphasize a hypnotic state rather than a biochemical one. There appears to be a minimal use of the drug which seems primarily to be an adjunct to the induction of hypnosis. His basic therapeutic concept is related to the making of repressed material conscious with abreaction and a combination of suggestion and the use of transference relationship. The reviewer's own experience fits very well with that of the author. In actual combat patients very frequently began to react before any large amount of barbiturate had been introduced into the blood stream. This led to a questioning of the necessity for the use of the drug at all, and further work indicated that as good, if not better, response could be obtained with hypnosis only.

There is a brief chapter on the history of hypnosis and hypnoanalysis with a paragraph on the limits of hypnoanalysis. A quotation indicates the author's basic therapeutic concepts: 'A criticism often heard is that hypnotic treatment only removes symptoms, and therefore tends to be followed by other symptoms. This criticism is a reflection on those who make it, for it implies that they are the ones who are content merely to charm away symptoms without any analysis of the cause. I repeat that all hypnosis should include suggestions for increasing self-reliance and independence, [italics added] and this must be followed at a later stage in the treatment by analysis of the temporary emotional tie to the physician. If this tie is gradually and consciously terminated, there need be no fear of the uncontrolled transference of sexual feeling to the person of the physician.' The author feels that narcohypnosis induces a hypermnesia particularly for childhood and infantile memories.

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