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may be failure of response to the vibrations of a tuning fork conducted through air or by bone, and the auditory-motor reflex may not be obtained. In addition Hurst has observed that patients with complete deafness which has proved later to be psychogenic in origin may, during sleep, appear to be entirely uninfluenced by loud noises, and under deep hypnosis may show a similar inability to respond to sounds. The tests, however, which are of value in differentiating the two groups of cases are those for the vestibular reactions; with deafness of psychical origin the vestibular reactions are normal while they are diminished or absent when the internal ear or the eighth cranial nerve has been injured. Many other points of practical importance will be found in this book which will be read with admiration for the success which has attended the author in his treatment of hysterical conditions.
Suggestion and Autosuggestion. A Psychological and Pedagogical Study based
upon the Investigations made by the New Nancy School. By CHARLES BAUDOUIN. Translated from the French by EDEN and Cedar Paul. Pp. 288. London: George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1920. Price: 15s. net.
A book exclusively devoted to suggestion might seem almost an anachronism at the present day, when the analytic study of unconscious mental activity so completely holds the field in psychology, psychotherapy and pedagogy. But in the present volume Charles Baudouin has shown that it is still possible to say something new about suggestion and, what is more, something decidedly to its credit as a mental force. With great modesty he attributes his views to Emile Coué of Nancy, to whom he dedicates his book, and he devotes much space to a description of Coué's methods. But it is to Baudouin himself that our gratitude is due for the wonderful clearness with which he has presented these views and for the most interesting speculative theory which sums up his philosophical position.
After a clear analysis of earlier definitions of suggestion, in which he finds the emphasis wrongly put on the first part of the process, viz. the acceptation by the mind of the subject of an idea proposed or imposed by the operator, Boudouin defines it as “the subconscious realisation of an idea.” He thus emphasises its active rather than its passive side, and also opens
the the view that suggestion is primarily auto-suggestion and does not need an operator, and that hetero-suggestion itself is not the primary form, as is usually believed, but is secondary to, and dependent upon, auto-suggestion. Spontaneous auto-suggestion is continually occurring, especially in childhood, and is often noxious. It needs therefore to be counteracted. No doubt the greater intellectual insight given by analysis is the most effective antidote, but Baudouin has much to say in favour of counter-suggestion here, because he looks upon suggestion as an active force which can go beyond the neutralising of bad tendencies and, through the subconscious, can give greatly enhanced power over the physical organism.
The laws of suggestion are formulated as follows: (1) Law of Concentrated Attention. “The idea which tends to realise itself
in this way [by suggestion) is always an idea on which spontaneous attention is concentrated, or an idea which has been forced on the attention after the manner of an obsession."
(2) Law of Auxiliary Emotion. “When, for one reason or another, an
idea is enveloped in a powerful emotion, there is more likelihood that
this idea will be suggestively realised." (3) Law of Reversed Effort. “When an idea imposes itself on the mind to
such an extent as to give rise to a suggestion, all the conscious efforts which the subject makes in order to counteract this suggestion are not merely without the desired effect, but they actually run counter to
the subject's conscious wishes and tend to intensify the suggestion.” (4) Law of Subconscious Teleology. “Suggestion acts by subconscious
teleology. When the end has been suggested, the subconscious finds
means for its realisation." Baudouin attributes the great practical success of the New Nancy School to the explicit recognition of the law of reversed effort by Coué. Coué's own formulation of the law is as follows:
“When the will and the imagination are at war, the imagination invariably gains the day.”
“In the conflict between the will and the imagination, the force of the imagination is in direct ratio to the square of the will.”
It is thus clear that suggestion, which belongs to the sphere of imagination, is different in kind from voluntary effort, and that the attention, needed by in accordance with Law (1), must not be voluntary attention. It is rather a state of recueillement (collection) and contention—the latter being a French term which Baudouin defines as “a psychological equivalent of attention, minus effort.”
The author has much to say on the practice of auto-suggestion which is of the utmost interest and value, and he gives a description of Coué's practice and concrete results which will arouse high hopes. His occasional attempts to link up his doctrine with that of psycho-analysis are not conspicuously successful. Indeed, his apparent approval of the latter is little more than mere lip-service. He uses the term 'transference' where he should be speaking of 'displacement, and he does not even mention the Freudian theory of suggestion as transference-thus missing a great opportunity of bringing the two schools of thought face to face. He sums up his ultimate theory in the pregnant words: “Suggestion (autosuggestion) is to the will what the complex is to the sentiment and what intuition is to intelligence.” Whereas the will is the normal mode of acting on matter, on the external world, suggestion is the normal mode of acting upon ourselves as living beings. By training one's powers of auto-suggestion, one is therefore supplementing one's will-power, not supplanting nor diminishing it.
The obvious criticism that arises is that the subconscious plays too much the part of deus ex machinâ in this New Nancy Doctrine. There is a close resemblance, almost amounting to identity, between it and the subliminal of F. W. H. Myers. We need a more positive account of its nature and activities. For this we must look to the methods of psycho-analysis. Coué's law of reversed effort has long been known to successful suggestionists, but it is well to have the law accurately formulated and justified by skilful psychological analysis, as is done in these pages.
The book can be whole-heartedly recommended as the most important and helpful book on suggestion of modern times.
The Elements of Practical Psycho-Analysis. By PAUL BOUSFIELD, M.R.C.S.
(Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.). London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd. New York: E. P. Dalton & Co., 1920. Pp. xii + 276.
When we speak of Psycho-Analysis we may be referring to a special technical method of investigating the human mind; or to the body of doctrine which has been built up on the results obtained by the use of this method; or to the practice of this method for therapeutic purposes. Anyone who undertakes to expound the elements of practical psycho-analysis needs to be very well qualified in all three directions; he must have a sound knowledge of the technique of the method; he must be well informed on the theoretical side; and he must have had sufficient experience to give weight to what he has to say on the practical applications of psycho-analytical doctrines.
Our doubts of Mr Bousfield's competence for the task he has set himself are aroused on reading his preface. He there concedes that Freud is the originator of the technique and theory of the psycho-analytic system, but he informs us that there are three notable subjects on which he considers Freud's evidence to be insufficient—"firstly, in his theory of complete determinism as opposed to Free-Will; secondly, in his statement that all dreams have the same causative factors; and, thirdly, in his theory that sexual desire is the fundamental desire underlying all the other desires and emotions.”
Mr Bousfield's first point of disagreement with Freud arises from a strange misapprehension-a misapprehension which is not uncommon among some recent writers whose first introduction to psychology seems to have been by way of psycho-analysis. These writers seem to think that Freud was the originator of the notion of psychic determinism. The most casual acquaintance with the history of philosophy should have prevented such a misconception. In every attempt to subject the mind to scientific investigation we must, perforce, adopt the postulate of psychic determinism. Just in so far as we abandon this postulate we are abandoning scientific method. It is, however, open to anyone to believe that science is inadequate to the understanding of man's whole being, and to deny that there can be any true science of man. And so it is true, in a sense, as Mr Bousfield says, that “Freud's belief or otherwise in this matter does not in any way affect the main postulates of psycho-analysis”; for it is not a question of anyone's belief: it is a question of how far scientific method will carry us in our investigation of the human mind.
The author's second point of disagreement with Freud is too vaguely put to show exactly what he is referring to, but it is doubtful if Freud would say that all dreams have, in any sense, the same causative factors. The third point of disagreement, however, is stated explicitly enough, and is sufficient to show that Mr Bousfield has no real understanding of Freudian doctrine, Freud has, over and over again, insisted on the distinction between the sexual impulses and the 'ego-tendencies'; and, far from showing that "sexual desire is the fundamental desire underlying all other desires and emotions,” his whole theory of the neuroses is founded on the conflict which arises between sexuality and the 'ego.'
Perusal of the body of this book serves but to justify the doubts raised in our minds by the preface. The author begins with a chapter on the unconscious mind in which, by way of simplification, he divides the mind into J. of Psych. (Med. Sect.) 1
conscious mind and unconscious mind, and denies the necessity for any more precise classification of mental contents and processes. This is a bad start for a book which purports to give an account of psycho-analytic theory; for if Freud himself found it impossible to formulate his views without introducing his conception of the preconscious, it is unlikely that Mr Bousfield will succeed where Freud failed. The psycho-analytic doctrine of the unconscious is now quite definite and precise, and it is desirable that a book dealing with psycho-analysis should expound psycho-analytic doctrine in terms which render its conceptions intelligible. In the absence of a suitable terminology we are not surprised to find it stated that the unconscious mind
can reason clearly, it can control to some extent the physiological functions of the body, it can carry out complicated automatic actions, known as “habits, it can to some extent register the thoughts of others by a “sixth sense,' as yet but little understood, the process being known as telepathy.”
Besides refusing to use the terms which psycho-analysts have provided for the exposition of their doctrines, Mr Bousfield commits the more serious error of using technical terms incorrectly. Thus, for example, he speaks of the exhibition tendency “sublimating itself as its antithesis”; he says
coprophilia that “its opposite becomes its sublimation”; he describes pity as the opposite of cruelty, and adds that “pity is a form of the sublimation of cruelty.” In a footnote we are told that “pity and other opposite manifestations are not true sublimations.” That is so, for they are not sublimations at all. They have a different mechanism and a different name. Psycho-analysts call them ‘ reaction-formations.' Again, ‘projection' is a technical term which does not mean the same thing as 'transference'; but on page 199 we read that “the impulses and emotions directed towards the father... have merely been projected upon the physician as substitute."
Not only is there misuse of technical terms in this book, but there is also serious misunderstanding in the author's mind concerning many important mechanisms. The processes of repression are here almost wholly ascribed to forces acting from without; hardly any indication is given that the repressing forces exist in the mind and are innate. In a similar way, the part plaved by conflict in the production of fixation is entirely missed. Dreams are not "outlets” for infantile wishes or for anything else; the dream does not serve two purposes, but one only--the preservation of sleep. Symbolism is not the only means made use of by the censor in dream distortion, as is implied in the summary at the end of the chapter on dreams. The assertion that “there is of course no fixed symbolism in dreams” is directly opposed to the views of psycho-analysts. The parents cannot be held responsible for a cbild's failure to sublimate his primitive impulses; for sublimation must arise spontaneously and cannot be forced.
When we come to the chapter on Functional Diseases we are apt to forget that we are reading a book the object of which is stated to be “to give an account of the theory, technique, and scope of psycho-analysis, in such a form that its essentials may readily be understood by the student or practitioner without previous systematic reading in psychology and psychotherapy." A member of an ambitious village choir, when asked if they did not find Handel too difficult, replied cheerfully, “Oh no, we alters him.” This seems to be Mr Bousfield's way of making Freud's views clear to his readers. He says that Freud's classification of the various neuroses is probably the best, and adds: “if I vary this slightly it is in order to simplify it from the point
of view of the student.” On the principle, presumably, that it is always desirable to teach the student something false to start with, in case he should learn the truth too soon, he gives a classification which includes early paranoia and certain cases of dementia praecox among the psycho-neuroses, and omits hypochondria from the list of actual neuroses.
It is difficult to imagine how his distinction between the psycho-neuroses and the actual neuroses is to simplify the student's task. The psycho-neuroses are, he says, “conditions following repressed ideas; the actual neuroses, those dependent upon accumulated emotions, whether ideas are there in a subsidiary form or not." This does not seem as simple as if he had said that actual neuroses are of physical origin, while psycho-neuroses are of mental originwhich is the essential difference laid down by Freud.
The promulgation of error in matters of theory does not perhaps do much lasting harm; but misdirection in the practical application of the methods of psycho-analysis has far-reaching effects which may be pernicious in many ways. It is therefore necessary to warn the student that the chapter which is devoted to the technique of psycho-analysis, and the chapter which gives extracts from the analysis of a case, should be read in conjunction with Freud's own papers on technique, or the writings of some competent exponent of psycho-analytic teaching. They will then be found useful as a very full account of “how not to do it,” and the necessary ‘dont's' may be interpolated in the text.
Questioning the patient about his life, and instructing him in psychoanalysis are not profitable ways of utilising the first few interviews. These are invaluable for free association, since the patient is then quite ingenuous, and reveals the kernel of his neurosis by allusions which the psycho-analyst can easily understand. If questions are asked all indications of the degree and character of the resistance to the emergence of the facts will be lost. No questions should be asked except to make clear some point about which the patient is talking; for much can be learnt from the patient's attitude about volunteering facts. Facts are, however, the unimportant things in analysis; it is the buried feelings which have to come out, and in regard to these it is no use to probe and force; the patient must overcome his own resistances. Nothing extracted by the analyst will help him.
It is highly undesirable, in these early interviews, to explain the nature of analysis, since all knowledge of this kind is useful to the resistance, and warns the unconscious how to avoid discovery. Certain explanations may be given later on, but only as opportunity arises. Any preliminary explanation interferes with the subsequent emergence of associations. It is not desirable to "point out that the patient is not alone in possessing repressed infantile forms of sexuality etc.” All reassurance of this kind, as well as any expression of opinion or indications of praise or blame by the analyst, hinders the appearance of the patient's subjective, unconsciously controlled, ideas on the matter.
The extracts from an analysis show very clearly the author's mistaken tendency to 'attack' or 'concentrate on' whatever he wishes to remove,' and his failure to appreciate the necessity for passivity on the part of the analyst. The methods described may be of value for some purposes, and anyone is free to adopt them if he finds them suitable; but no one has any right to teach that these are the methods of psycho-analysis.
In regard to the applications of psycho-analysis to educational and social problems a strong protest must be made against Mr Bousfield's attempt to