Cover image for Care of the psyche : a history of psychological healing
Care of the psyche : a history of psychological healing
Jackson, Stanley W., 1920-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 504 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
BF637.C6 J335 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this book, a distinguished historian of medicine surveys the basic elements that have constituted psychological healing over the centuries. Dr. Stanley W. Jackson shows that healing practices, whether they come from the worlds of medicine, religion, or philosophy, share certain elements that transcend space and time.

Drawing on medical writings from classical Greece and Rome to the present, as well as on philosophical and religious writings, Dr. Jackson shows that the basic ingredients of psychological healing--which have survived changes of name, the fall of their theoretical contexts, and the waning of social support in different historical eras--are essential factors in our modern psychotherapies and in healing contexts in general.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The care of the soul or spirit has been part of medical therapy for centuries. Jackson, Yale professor emeritus of psychiatry and the history of medicine, has long been interested in this facet of medicine and has written on several aspects of it. In this thoroughly documented and comprehensive account, he examines particularly the elements common to many different psychotherapies. Among those are catharsis, confession and confiding, consolation and comfort, and the use of imagination, persuasion, and self-understanding and insight. He traces each through Greek and Roman times, various stages of Christianity, and especially the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Psychology, he observes, has frequently played a crucial role in healing; indeed, attempts at healing that have lacked care for the psyche have been, at best, a waste of everyone's time. Many fascinating figures appear in these pages, and their ideas come to life in Jackson's lucid treatment. Although the book may not attract a huge popular readership, those interested in the relationship between psychology and medicine will find it very valuable. --William Beatty

Library Journal Review

This work differs from previous histories of psychiatry and psychotherapy in two ways. First, it includes records of religious and philosophical counseling practices as well as information from medical treatises. Second, it is thematically arranged, the stated purpose being "to study a selection of basic elements...that have recurrently appeared as aspects of the many and varied approaches to psychological healing." Jackson (psychiatry/history of medicine, emeritus, Yale Univ.) examines the healer-sufferer relationship, emotional expressiveness, consolation, influence, and cognitive therapies as discussed in various historical documents. This title is unique in examining a broader range of sources and in looking at the psychological component of general medical practice. Essential for large academic libraries serving medical historians, though smaller academic and public libraries will be better served by more general histories, such as Roy Porter's The Greatest Benefit to Mankind (LJ 2/15/98).ÄMary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

"Psychological healing" here encompasses that broad array of mental, psychic, and psychological interventions used for centuries in Western practice to ameliorate suffering. An accomplished, graceful, and engaging writer, Jackson (emeritus, psychiatry and the history of medicine, Yale) makes splendid use of a wealth of scholarship and draws on his own clinical wisdom and sensitivity to explicate the developmental origins of psychotherapy. This comprehensive work, richly annotated and referenced, traces topics such as (but not limited to) listening and talking cures, catharsis and confession, consolation and comfort, suggestion and persuasion, conditioning, and insight and introspection from their origins in ancient times to the array of 20th-century psychotherapies. The history encompasses both theory and ritual operating in philosophy, medicine, and religion as well as in psychiatry and psychology, always taking note of the cultural embeddedness of healing practices, to demonstrate that certain basic elements have prevailed as "bedrock": talking, listening, and the healer-sufferer relationship. A "must have" for upper-level academic programs in psychology and for advanced scholars of psychiatry, history of medicine, and pastoral care; rewarding also for general readers. E. Scarborough; Indiana University South Bend