This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
At least the cases I have reported in the foregoing pages will show a broader application of psychotherapy - embracing the various methods of psychotherapeutic technic, including psychoanalysis, physical education, moral education, prophylactic education, suggestion with or without hypnosis, instruction in diet, hydrotherapy, exercise, and gymnastics - and will give us a psychotherapy applicable to all branches of medical practice, and, as applied strictly to neurological work, will reach a much greater variety of cases, as the case reports herein presented will prove beyond contradiction, than the limited field admitted by Freud for psychoanalysis.
Moreover, we have a psychotherapy not limited to "class or wealth," but, when selected and applied to meet the requirements of the individual patient, according to his peculiar development, it is applicable to the great mass of sufferers needing assistance by the combined efforts of all classes of medical practitioners.
In the application of psychotherapy, in the broad sense indicated, by the various educational, dietetic, hygienic, and physiological methods embraced, results are accomplished in a shorter time, and by the employment of all such measures the physician is less liable to find himself in a muddle of embarrassing complications, for his remedial agents are such as to meet the requirements of the individual as a whole.
Adolph Meyer has well said: "Mind should be looked upon as a sufficiently organized living being in action, and not a peculiar form of mind stuff. Mental activity is best understood in its full meaning as the adaptation and adjustment of the individual as a whole, in contrast to the simple activity of single organs, such as those of circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination, or simple reflex activity. It is the act that counts; the reaction of the person as a whole - not merely one 'thought.' Psychotherapy is regulation of action, and complete only when action is reached. Habit training is the backbone of psychotherapy - suggestion merely a step to the end. Action with flesh and bone is the only safe criterion of efficient mental activity; and actions and attitude, and their adaptation, are the issue in psychotherapy."
But, as important as is "action with flesh and bone," we must not forget that the psychic elements, either inherited or acquired, are what determine the activities, actions, and attitudes of the individual in action. Freud and Jung have shown with masterful skill how the bisexual elements of father and mother are manifested in the activities of the offspring, constituting the chief psychic and physical determinants to the characteristics of the individual, with as much certainty as that the seeds of two varieties of corn, planted side by side, will produce corn having characteristics not the exact reproduction of either of the original varieties, but presenting all the marked characteristics of the parent elements. Moreover, those who have studied the laws of heredity show us how the individual of today is but a reproduction of the psychic and physical characteristics of ancestors eons and ages remote. This we know from the study of the histories of normal and abnormal persons, or from the study of ourselves and others, and the principle holds good whatever be our especial characteristics.
If the reader will pardon a personal reference, I can trace for him my own essential characteristics, as illustrated in every page of this presentation, showing that all through life I have been my mother's boy and my father's son, and how the emotional factors proved to be the determinants. On my mother's side her predominating emotional manifestation was seen in her motherly attitude toward the exslaves and the children of exslaves. For these she constantly exhibited as much kindly interest and motherly sympathy as if they were her own children. In sickness or in trouble of any kind she took their part with the zeal of one whose own heart had felt the pressure of their tremendous problems, and they leaned upon her when in need of advice or material assistance, but never imposing upon her generosity, on account of the dignity of her method of dealing with them. From her I acquired my passion for taking the part of the "under dog" in all of my relations in life.
My father's greatest emotional manifestation seemed to be a subconscious recognition of his own loss in the death of his only brother. He had no recollection of his own father, who died in his early infancy; so he leaned upon this elder brother, many years his senior, making him his model of ideal manhood. This elder brother, in accordance with the wishes of his mother, received a splendid education at one of the best eastern universities and afterward studied medicine. Shortly after his graduation in medicine he was thrown from his conveyance by an unruly horse, sustaining injuries from which he shortly died. On account of his death my father's education was necessarily neglected, and his widowed mother practically reduced to poverty. This physician brother seemed to have been my father's ideal, and, although my father later became one of the most important contributors to the cause of scientific agriculture, and though I enjoyed farm life as a duck enjoys water, I felt impelled, as if by an irresistible force, to study medicine.
But why should I, an unsophisticated country practitioner, have also felt impelled, by a force which I was powerless to resist, to give lectures on psychotherapy? I must go back to the records of Edinburg University, and there I find that for one hundred consecutive years my direct forefathers had held a professorship in that institution. Hence we see both hereditary and environing determinants in their respective relations to individuality. But this has nothing to do with the formation of a neurosis, might be said of the defenders of Freud's theory. Then I will make a personal illustration of the factors contributing to the development of a pronounced neurosis, and make my deductions from that illustration.