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Rickman, J. (1957). IX. The General Practitioner And Psycho-Analysis (1939). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 52(1):61-67.

(1957). The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 52(1):61-67

IX. The General Practitioner And Psycho-Analysis (1939) Book Information Previous Up Next

John Rickman, M.D.

In two recent issues of The Practitioner some problems connected with psychology in general practice were dealt with. As this is often connected—in the minds of patients, at least—with psycho-analysis, it may be well also to give some account of this subject. The term psycho-analysis' was first introduced (Freud, 1896) to indicate a particular kind of treatment of neurotic patients which, although hypnosis was dispensed with, relied on mental means for curing emotional disturbances of the mind. As this was done by a detailed examination of the patient's symptoms, the name came to be applied to the special method employed in the making of this examination; and since these studies resulted in the discovery of a set of data concerning those parts of the mind which are unconscious, the term was employed also for the branch of science which deals with those data. The term ‘psycho-analysis’ therefore denotes (according to context) a method of treatment, a research technique, or a branch of psychology which deals with a part of the mind more or less inaccessible apart from the special technique. When a patient says, ‘I think I need some psycho-analysis,’ he may be interpreted as saying, ‘There is something bothering my mind, I do not know exactly what it is, but I want it dealt with!’ and the practitioner, even though he may not be trained in the technique, should know from this that his patient is referring to, and is worried by, something definite but as yet unplaced, and therefore probably not capable of full solution by ordinary introspection or interrogation.

Early History

The beginning of this work was as follows.

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