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.
One illustration will suffice: The patient was a young man of thirty years of age, having a wife and five children. He came to me to be treated for impotency, and no-pathological cause, from a physical examination, could be ascertained to account for his impotency. The history elicited by questioning him gave no clue to the etiology of his psychoneurotic manifestations. He assured me that he was devoted to his wife; that they were congenial in every respect; that no foreign goddess figured in the etiology of his condition; that he had been otherwise well capacitated physically until a few weeks previous to consulting me, at which time he began to suffer from insomnia, indigestion, depression, and other nervous symptoms. His conduct, however, excited my apprehensions, and on one occasion I interrogated him unconsciously by the employment of the association method of Jung. This was commenced by taking in my hand a list of one hundred words and beginning by asking him this question:
"If I should say stork, of what would you be reminded?"
"Baby," was his reply.
"Very well; in the same way repeat the first word that comes into your mind as I read to you this list of words."
Let me say that I have adopted a method of diagramming the reaction time of each test person instead of recording the reaction time with a stop watch. After repeating the stimulus word, I begin making a number of straight perpendicular lines about like the figure "1" as it appears when written with a lead pencil, making probably three to each second. In looking over my test sheets I can recognize at a glance the "complex indicators" by the long row of marks opposite the stimulus words. The answers to the stimulus words - the reaction words - are also recorded. After going over the list once, the patient is held in waiting for ten minutes by diverting his attention to some other subject, and he is then requested to see if he can repeat his answers to the stimulus words. The reproduction is indicated by a cross mark, and, if the reproduction words in going over the second time are not identical with the first reaction words, they are likewise recorded, and these are frequently very significant "complex indicators," showing impeded adaptation in the test person to the group of ideas aroused by the stimulus words.
Further explanation of certain acts manifested by the test person - such as a failure to react to the stimulus word, interrogations, repetitions, etc. - will not be necessary unless I were going into the minute technic of employing Jung's association method, but these are not without significance as probable complex indicators. They always indicate something very important for the individual psychology of the test person.
Now, to return to my patient for the significance of the record diagrammed as described. A glance over the test sheet warranted me in saying:
"I am so very sorry to find that you are laboring under such a suppressed feeling of shame and humiliation; you are carrying a heavy burden which you are forcing yourself to conceal; it concerns some one dear to you; a separation has been seriously considered; it concerns your most intimate family relations; the welfare of your children is at stake; you have contemplated beating some one; your pride has been wounded, and you are very much depressed by this unfortunate state of affairs. I now see the bearing of this misfortune upon your symptoms. Do as you please about telling me the details of what is here plainly indicated, but, if you care to confide in me, I shall be more than glad to render whatever assistance I possibly can to help you adapt yourself to this situation."
He arose from his chair, put on his coat and was in the act of going from my office, but again removed his coat and gave me the facts, showing that I had obtained a true history of this recent psychic trauma. The unbosoming or liberation of the pent-up feelings which he had borne alone had the effect to bring about a rapid amelioration of his neurotic symptoms, but the earnest talk given him, in which I endeavored to show him how he could be as a "savior" to the life and happiness of the erring one, and save his children from a hurtful trauma from which they would never completely recover, as well as the weekly conversations afterward, must not be overlooked, for these combined efforts constituted the psychotherapeutic management of the case in question.
Jung tells us that the larger number of neurotics show a tendency to cover up their intimate affairs in impenetrable darkness, even from the doctor, so that the doctor finds it very difficult to form a proper picture of the patient's psychology. In all such cases the association experiment is indispensable.
Jung further tells us that one must get rid of the idea that educated and intelligent test persons are able to see and admit their own complexes. Every human mind contains much that is unacknowledged, and hence unconscious as such, and no one can boast that he stands completely above his complexes. Those who persist in maintaining it do not see the spectacles which they wear on their noses.
The study of psychoanalysis - the field of investigation - is only begun, and is indispensable for the intelligent understanding of neurotic disease. It helps us to understand ourselves and others with whom we associate in every department of life, and enables one to be more tolerant of the frailties and weaknesses of human nature. Especially does it better equip us to help the psychic cripples to help themselves, which is the ultimate aim of every branch of psychotherapy. Moreover, it gives us a clearer insight into the understanding of child life, and will better enable us to begin today a method of preventing many of the psychoneuroses and psychoses of a hundred and a thousand years hence. But be it understood that by indorsing the great value of "psychoanalysis" I do not mean sexual psychoanalysis, as I have endeavored to distinctly emphasize throughout this entire article.