Hence the whole first part of this book is an abstract discussion and its first chapters have not even any direct relation to disease. I am convinced that both physicians and ministers and all who are in practical contact with these important questions ought to be brought to such painstaking and perhaps fatiguing inquiry into principles before the facts are reached. To those who seek a discussion of life facts alone, the whole first part will of course appear to be a tedious way around; they may turn directly to the second and third parts. One word for my personal right to deal with these questions, as too much illegitimate psychotherapeutics is heard to-day. For me, the relation between psychology and medicine is not a chance chapter of my science to which I have turned simply in following up the various sides of applied psychology. And still less have I turned to it because it has become the fashion in recent years. On the contrary, it has been an important factor in all my work since my student days. I have been through five years of regular medical studies, three years in Leipzig and two years in Heidelberg; I have an M.D. degree from the University of Heidelberg. In my first year as docent in a German university twenty years ago, I gave throughout the winter semester before several hundred students a course in hypnotism and its medical application. It was probably the first university course on hypnotism given anywhere. Since that time I have never ceased to work psychotherapeutically in the psychological laboratory. Yet that must not be misunderstood. I have no clinic, and while by principle I have never hypnotized anyone for mere experiment's sake but always only for medical purposes, yet I adjust my practical work entirely to the interests of my scientific study. The limitations of my time force me to refuse the psychotherapeutic treatment of any case which has not a certain scientific interest for me, and of the many hundreds whom I have helped in the laboratory, no one ever had to pay anything. Thus my practical work has strictly the character of laboratory research. The chief aim of this book is twofold. It is a negative one: I want to counteract the misunderstandings which overflood the whole field, especially by the careless mixing of mental and moral influence. And a positive one: I want to strengthen the public feeling that the time has come when every physician should systematically study psychology, the normal in the college years and the abnormal in the medical school. This demand of medical education cannot be postponed any longer. The aim of is not to fight the Emmanuel Church Movement, or even Christian Science or any other psychotherapeutic tendency outside of the field of scientific medicine. I see the element of truth in all of them, but they ought to be symptoms of transition. Scientific medicine should take hold of psychotherapeutics now or a most deplorable disorganization will set in, the symptoms of which no one ought to overlook to-day. Harvard University, March 20, 1909
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by Hugo Münsterberg
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by Hugo Münsterberg
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by on October 21, 2016
- Library of Alexandria, July 2009
Library of Alexandria
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