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Breuer, J. Freud, S. (1893). On The Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: Preliminary Communication from Studies on Hysteria. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume II (1893-1895): Studies on Hysteria, 1-17.

Breuer, J. and Freud, S. (1893). [SEB1a1]On The Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume II (1893-1895): Studies on Hysteria, 1-17

I Preliminary Communication (1893)

[SEB1a1]On The Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: [SEB1a2]Preliminary Communication from Studies on Hysteria Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud

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I [SEB1a3]On The Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: Preliminary Communication (1983)

[SEB1a4]I

[SEB1a5]A chance observation has led us, over a number of years, to investigate a great variety of different forms and symptoms of hysteria, with a view to discovering their precipitating cause —the event which provoked the first occurrence, often many years earlier, of the phenomenon in question. In the great majority of cases it is not possible to establish the point of origin by a simple interrogation of the patient, however thoroughly it may be carried out. This is in part because what is in question is often some experience which the patient dislikes discussing; but principally because he is genuinely unable to recollect it and often has no suspicion of the causal connection between the precipitating event and the pathological phenomenon. As a rule it is necessary to hypnotize the patient and to arouse his memories under hypnosis of the time at which the symptom made its first appearance; when this has been done, it becomes possible to demonstrate the connection in the clearest and most convincing fashion.

[SEB1a6]This method of examination has in a large number of cases produced results which seem to be of value alike from a theoretical and a practical point of view.

[SEB1a7]They are valuable theoretically because they have taught us

1 [SEB1a8]As explained above in the preface to the first edition, this first chapter had appeared originally as a separate paper in 1893.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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