Psychiatric Annals

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Personal Reflections 

Random Thoughts Perhaps of Some Value

Francis J Braceland

Abstract

(ProQuest: ... denotes obscured text omitted.)

One hears regularly the comment from teachers of psychiatry that they look forward to receiving each issue of Psychiatric Annals because it usually covers a subject rather completely - the authors of the articles generally are well-known and the information put forth is, of necessity, up to date. This issue is no exception, for it contains the latest word on a subject that has had its up and downs in medical practice even before it was named by James Braid.

I have known the senior author of this issue for over 35 years and knew him always as a leader in the field that he writes about today. In hypnosis his is a name to conjure with, and his presentation here, "Hypnosis, Myth and Reality," covers the waterfront. There is a quiet wisdom in his article in regard to medicine's preoccupation with the scientific approach, with the physician's sometimes failure to see the patient as a person.

"The main thrust of medical care in the United States in the past halfcentury," he says, "has been largely reductionistic and engineer-oriented. The pain focus has been on the pill, etc." Mind you, he in no way denigrates medicine's scientific advances; he just asks that the person be the main therapeutic interest rather than the illness. I must say that, as a physician for more than half a century, 1 can readily agree with him.

Actually, I have nothing further to add here about hypnosis; the authors of these articles are knowledgeable and restrained and make no unwonted claims. I learned hypnosis in Burgholzli Hospital in Zurich in 1935 but 1 never got to be more than a neophyte.

On the very day J received the 'manuscripts for this issue for review, two tear sheets from a lay publication tenuously related to the subject came to my attention. The first* concerned one of my heroes, Dr. Rene Dubos of Rockefeller University, a Renaissance man who helped to introduce the antibiotic era in 1939 with his miracle drug gramicidin. One of the questions asked of him in this 80th year was, "Is the mind important in physical health?" In answer, he quoted Rene Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher and scientist who wrote, "When Tm happy I am never sick. I become sick only when Fm unhappy."

He added: "It is kind of a religion to me that human beings are something very special because we have a mind that gives us control over everything we do."

The second tear-sheet received! described the present-day arguments between psychiatrists and psychologists. Buried in the article was a report on the prevalence of psychosomatic problems in a study prepared for the Kaiser Permanenete Hospital in San Francisco. Among other things was the note that at the time the hospital's health-maintenance plan was established two decades ago, 60 percent of the hospital patients were found to have no organic disease! Then Kaiser began offering psychological services free to their enrollees. After ... psychotherapy sessions, ... duced their use of all medical ... 65 percent during the following And the rate has stayed down 16-year period.

Please note that I am ... relaying this report from a news and I have no words of wisdom it. There was one other ... the same article that merits attention, however. In ... insurance plans, one ... "benefits director" said, "If ... are worried about the ... allowing psychologists to tap insurance plans, one ... scared to death over the ... psychiatric social workers to ... same. When we went below ... Ph.D.s it was a drop…

(ProQuest: ... denotes obscured text omitted.)

One hears regularly the comment from teachers of psychiatry that they look forward to receiving each issue of Psychiatric Annals because it usually covers a subject rather completely - the authors of the articles generally are well-known and the information put forth is, of necessity, up to date. This issue is no exception, for it contains the latest word on a subject that has had its up and downs in medical practice even before it was named by James Braid.

I have known the senior author of this issue for over 35 years and knew him always as a leader in the field that he writes about today. In hypnosis his is a name to conjure with, and his presentation here, "Hypnosis, Myth and Reality," covers the waterfront. There is a quiet wisdom in his article in regard to medicine's preoccupation with the scientific approach, with the physician's sometimes failure to see the patient as a person.

"The main thrust of medical care in the United States in the past halfcentury," he says, "has been largely reductionistic and engineer-oriented. The pain focus has been on the pill, etc." Mind you, he in no way denigrates medicine's scientific advances; he just asks that the person be the main therapeutic interest rather than the illness. I must say that, as a physician for more than half a century, 1 can readily agree with him.

Actually, I have nothing further to add here about hypnosis; the authors of these articles are knowledgeable and restrained and make no unwonted claims. I learned hypnosis in Burgholzli Hospital in Zurich in 1935 but 1 never got to be more than a neophyte.

On the very day J received the 'manuscripts for this issue for review, two tear sheets from a lay publication tenuously related to the subject came to my attention. The first* concerned one of my heroes, Dr. Rene Dubos of Rockefeller University, a Renaissance man who helped to introduce the antibiotic era in 1939 with his miracle drug gramicidin. One of the questions asked of him in this 80th year was, "Is the mind important in physical health?" In answer, he quoted Rene Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher and scientist who wrote, "When Tm happy I am never sick. I become sick only when Fm unhappy."

He added: "It is kind of a religion to me that human beings are something very special because we have a mind that gives us control over everything we do."

The second tear-sheet received! described the present-day arguments between psychiatrists and psychologists. Buried in the article was a report on the prevalence of psychosomatic problems in a study prepared for the Kaiser Permanenete Hospital in San Francisco. Among other things was the note that at the time the hospital's health-maintenance plan was established two decades ago, 60 percent of the hospital patients were found to have no organic disease! Then Kaiser began offering psychological services free to their enrollees. After ... psychotherapy sessions, ... duced their use of all medical ... 65 percent during the following And the rate has stayed down 16-year period.

Please note that I am ... relaying this report from a news and I have no words of wisdom it. There was one other ... the same article that merits attention, however. In ... insurance plans, one ... "benefits director" said, "If ... are worried about the ... allowing psychologists to tap insurance plans, one ... scared to death over the ... psychiatric social workers to ... same. When we went below ... Ph.D.s it was a drop but at least was a line there. But there a many licensing boards for psych social workers that you don't ... who the hell you are dealing ...

In the words of that ... philosopher Jimmy Durante, erybody wants to get into the The number of lay therapist various stripes being trained is ... lievable. We are in danger of ... to live by treating each other those mythical people on an ... who lived by taking in one ... washing.

The fact that I don't have any deep words of wisdom here already be apparent from this ... tedly scattered editorial. But believe that all of us in ... should regularly stop and recall our every relationship with ... tients can be either ... or psychonoxious. This pause ... of value to both doctor and ...

10.3928/0048-5713-19810901-03

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