Mind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy / Edition 1

Mind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy / Edition 1

by Eric Caplan
Pub. Date:
University of California Press

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Mind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy / Edition 1

Eric Caplan's fascinating exploration of Victorian culture in the United States shatters the myth of Freud's seminal role in the creation of American psychotherapy. Resurrecting the long-buried "prehistory" of American mental therapeutics, Mind Games tells the remarkable story of how a widely assorted group of actors—none of them hailing from Vienna or from any other European city—compelled a reluctant medical profession to accept a new role for the mind in medicine. By the time Freud first set foot on American soil in 1909, as Caplan demonstrates, psychotherapy was already integrally woven into the fabric of American culture and medicine.

What came to be known as psychotherapy emerged in the face of considerable opposition, much—indeed most—of which was generated by the medical profession itself. Caplan examines the contentious interplay within the American medical community, as well as between American physicians and their lay rivals, who included faith-healers, mind-curists, Christian Scientists, and Protestant ministers. These early practitioners of alternative medicine ultimately laid the groundwork for a distinctive and much heralded American type of psychotherapy. Its grudging acceptance by both medical elites and rank and file physicians signified their understanding that reliance on physical therapies to treat nervous and mental symptoms compromised their capacity to treat—and compete—effectively in a rapidly expanding mental-medical marketplace. Mind Games shows how psychotherapy came to occupy its central position in mainstream American culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520211698
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/28/1998
Series: Medicine and Society Series , #9
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

2Trains, Brains, and Sprains: Railway Spine and the Origins of Psychoneuroses11
Psychosomatic Backlash17
From the Spine to the Brain: A Functional Reassessment19
Railway Surgeons Respond26
Suggestion and American Railway Surgery32
3Avoiding Psychotherapy: Neurasthenia and the Limits of Somatic Therapy37
The Significance of Patient-Centered Therapeutics40
The Role of Rapport42
Neurasthenic Therapy: Soma not Psyche45
4Inventing Psychotherapy: The American Mind Cure Movement, 1830-190061
Mental Healing in America: Controversies and Consensus65
The Early Disciples: Warren Felt Evans and Mary Baker Eddy69
Midwestern Mind Cure76
New Thought and the Challenge to Christian Science78
Physicians Respond83
5Flirting with Psychotherapy: Somatic Intransigence and the "Advanced Guard"89
Demedicalizing the Mind90
The Maintenance of Psychological Medicine93
Somatic Intransigence95
The Advanced Guard and the Challenge to Somaticism98
Enduring Somaticism: 1906-1908113
6Embracing Psychotherapy: The Emmanuel Movement and the American Medical Profession117
The Program Begins122
The Movement Spreads123
In the Public Eye125
Medical Opposition: The Quest for Control131
The New York and Boston Controversies136
Clerical Opposition143
Psychological Opposition145
Final Defense146
Selected Bibliography209

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