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Healing EEs/EHEs/Healing Process
Record Type: Review   ID: 798

Persuasion and Healing: A Comparative Study of Psychotherapy (3rd ed.)

Frank, Jerome D., & Frank, Julia B.

 The purpose of this third revision of Jerome Frank's classic is twofold. First, there is the need to bring it up to date as an introductory text. But perhaps even more important is the second. In Frank's words, "recent developments within the field and changes in my own conceptualizations have inspired me" (p. xiii). He extends his effort to find the common factors in all types of persuasion and healing by including "healing in nonindustrialized societies, miracle cures, religious revivalism, and the so-called placebo response in medical practice and relevant experimental studies" (p. xiii). Of special interest is new material in this volume on "psychotherapy as a form of rhetoric involving hermeneutics, and consideration of some limits of research from this perspective" (p. xv). This edition also deals with post-traumatic stress disorders, which is Julia Frank's speciality. In a chapter on the therapist-patient relationship there is a subsection on telepathy and psychotherapy. Another subsection of interest in the study of EHEs is on the functions of myth and ritual. Other chapters of special relevance to readers of this Journal is the one on religious revivalism and cults, that on religiomagical healing, and the one on the placebo responses. Perhaps of most interest is the epilogue, in which Jerome Frank describes the aha experience, itself an EHE, he had when he glimpse the possibility that "psychotherapy might be more closely allied to rhetoric and its close relative, hermeneutics, than to behavioral science!" (p. 300). This led him to ask: "Could the fundamental limitation of psychotherapy research be that researchers have been trying to apply to the realm of meanings methods created to elucidate facts?" This same question could also be applied to efforts to understand EHEs.
Publisher Information:Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 343p. Bibl: 303-331; 4 graphs; Index: 333-343
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