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Retreat, P.H. (1939). Schilder, Pau. Psychotherapy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. $3.50.. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(4):592-594.

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(4):592-594

Book Reviews

Schilder, Pau. Psychotherapy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. $3.50.

Review by:
Prescott Hartford Retreat

Schilder's “Psychotherapy” is an interesting and stimulating contribution to the psychological field of medicine. The book has been presented from his conviction that psychotherapy should not be considered an art but rather a technical procedure based upon scientific principles, being part of the science of psychology and psychopathology. Dr. Schilder remarks that it has often been said that a psychological approach to the patient requires only two qualities: a personality and intuition; but these, without knowledge or training, he states, could no more suffice for psychotherapy than they would for surgery. The technique of psychotherapy he regards as no less complicated than that of any other branch of medicine for which years of preparation are necessary.

Many eminent neurologists and psychiatrists, Dr. Schilder believes, do not wish to acknowledge psychological facts, and refuse to recognize the problems in this field. They take the right to judge on problems which they have not studied and with which they are not familiar, because of their achievements in psychiatry and neurology prior to modern psychology. He recognizes psychotherapy as a young science which must necessarily be bold in its experimental approach, and so must use psychological facts which may not as yet have had universal acceptance. He emphasizes the fact that modern psychotherapy must use psychoanalysis, and that this should be done openly. In some respects, he deviates from the opinions of Freud and the codifications of the analytic school. He considers that the psychology of Jung and Adler can be studied from their books, and he regards these as well as the works of Meyer as unquestionably important in the development of psychotherapy. The point is made that this book is an attempt to survey the field of psychotherapy in general, and is not an introduction to psychoanalysis.

Schilder says that patients come to the physician either because they themselves suffer or because they make others suffer. The suffering may be somatic, psychological or both; the borderline between a physical and a psychological ailment would not appear to be very sharp. The importance of social relationships in the life of the individual is stressed. So it is that psychotherapy has the task of not only establishing the relation between the physician and the patient, but of finding out methods by which better understanding can be had of the patient's problems.

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