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On Persuasion and Healing: A Comparative Study of Psychotherapy (1961), by Jerome D. Frank–reflection

  • Scott Henderson
Extract

Persuasion and Healing was one of the most significant books for psychiatry and clinical psychology during the 20th century. Thirty years after it was first published, Frank was joined by his daughter, Julia B. Frank, in an expanded edition in 1991. After training in psychology and medicine at Harvard and Berlin, then psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University, he had come to formulate a truly fundamental question: what is happening when we make a troubled person better? In trying to answer this, Frank took the study of psychotherapy to a conceptually much higher level, doing so in a non-partisan manner in times when psychoanalysis was endemic and highly influential in America. He helped a whole generation think more deeply about psychotherapy, to see beyond the immediacy of the doctor–patient situation. The forces that are at work are also to be seen in religious healing ceremonies, in the prescription of a placebo and in rhetoric using hermeneutics. In each, the recipient is urged to accept the therapist's assumptive world and is expected to be the better for doing so.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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On Persuasion and Healing: A Comparative Study of Psychotherapy (1961), by Jerome D. Frank–reflection

  • Scott Henderson
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