Практическое пособие для студентов IV курса специальности «Психология», страница 17

3. Read the text once again and retell it according to your plan.

Supplementary Reading

Read the text and discuss it using the questions that follow.

The History of Therapy

When people suffer from behavioral disorders it's only reasonable that members of society should want to help. Good intentions are not always sufficient. Any help or therapy that is provided should be beneficial. Unproved therapies despite all the reasoning behind them may do more harm than good. Psychologists study therapies because rigorous investigation is needed to determine the effectiveness of different therapeutic measures. Once an effective therapy is found, it often furnishes clues to the underlying cause of the disorder. On the other hand, once a therapy has proved ineffective, it can be eliminated so that patients no longer need be subjected to it.

Therapeutic attempts to alleviate mental disorders are perhaps as old humankind. Half a million years ago Stone Age people applied media techniques to open the skulls of patients in distress. The procedure was called trephining. An opening was cut in the skull chipping away at it with a sharp stone tool. Mad thoughts or evil spirits were supposed to escape through this opening. Some trephined skulls show signs of healing around the opening, indicating that the individuals may have survived the procedure and lived for many more years.

The Greek and Roman Era (Approximately 400 b.c. to a.d. 476)

From the time of the Green physician Hippocrates (circa 460 to 377 b.c.) to the time of another Greek physician, Galen (circa a.d. 131 to 201), the Greeks and Romans, more often than not, argued for humane treatment of people who had mental disorders. The Greek and Roman countryside was dotted with hundreds of temples dedicated to the Roman god of medicine and healing, Aesculapius, where people who were troubled could go for rest, sleep, and gentle consultation. At these temples, humane treatment often was combined with attempts by the priests to bring about magical cures.

Although these cures weren't particularly effective, the ancient Greeks and Romans did document many disorders and separate them into categories that are still, to some degree, considered valid. For example, the ancients differentiated between acute and chronic disorders and between mania and depression, and they distinguished among illusions, delusions, and hallucinations. Some of the temple priests even relied on dream interpretation to draw conclusions about their patients.

The Middle Ages (a.d. 476 to 1453)

When the Roman Empire fell, the rational view of mental disorders was, to a degree, displaced by religious demonology. People who suffered from mental disorders often were suspected of having been invaded by a spirit or a devil. Madness was sometimes thought to be the will of God, and therapy for madness was a religious ritual. Psychotics often became targets of religious persecution.

One of the major Christian treatises of the Middle Ages was the Malleus Maleficarum, the "witch's hammer." This was a book that described the kinds of signs by which a witch could be identified. The signs closely parallel many of the symptoms of behavioral disorders that are known today. The Malleus Maleficarum went through 29 editions, the last published in 1669. By then the Renaissance had established a more humane view of mental disorders.

The Renaissance (Approximately 1400 to 1600)

During the Renaissance, the writings of the early Greeks and Romans reemerged as a powerful force. Invention of the printing press made it possible to distribute these writings widely. Reading the ancient Greek and Latin texts quickly became the mark of the well educated. In fact, early in the twentieth century, it was a rare college that did not offer ancient Greek and Latin as part of its curriculum. Gradually, the demonology of the Middle Ages was abandoned.

After the Renaissance