SIGMUND FREUD1 was the pioneer of psycho-analysis, and what has been called the new dynamic psychology. In any modern psychological study, these theories must be considered. To understand clearly what is involved, it is necessary to describe briefly how this new “psychology” came into being. In the year 1880, the Viennese physician Breuer was treating a case of hysteria by hypnosis. While in an hypnotic trance, the patient related a long train of events, some of which had occurred far back in her childhood. The narration was accompanied by marked emotional excitement, and after the patient was restored to full consciousness, her general condition was considerably improved. Following the suggestion offered on this occasion, Breuer and Freud investigated the effect of what they called abreaction. This they describe as the freeing of “confined affect,” which occurs when the patient is induced to relate an experience which was originally accompanied by considerable affective reaction, and which has not been allowed to come into consciousness for some considerable time. What really happens is that the engram, which subserves the set of ideas relating to the experience, is reassociated, so that it achieves that relatedness which involves consciousness. So, from the psychological aspect, the experience is reintegrated with proper relation to time and space, and in proper proportion to the rest of the personality. It is this reintegration which induces the therapeutic benefit, and not the mere ebullition of emotional excitement. This relief by “abreaction” is familiar in present-day psychotherapy, but its investigators soon found that abreaction in itself was not enough, in many cases of neurosis. Freud thereupon turned his attention away from pure therapeutics, and initiated an enquiry into the mental processes of neurotics. Even

so recently as 1920 he remarks, “At the present time theoretical knowledge is still far more important to all of us than therapeutic success.”