As we begin our discussion of treatment, we should keep in mind what we learned in the preceding chapters, and consider the cure of psychasthenia from two aspects: 1. Functional2. PsychologicalWe will therefore have two ell-defined objectives: 1. Modify the cerebral mechanism through functional re-educa-tion. 2. Modify the mental state through psychological re-education. These two objectives are actually inseparable, and we are only making the distinction for the sake of clarity. Functional treatmentWe have stated that all cases of instability or insufficiency of control are characterized not only by psychological modifications, but also by functional changes. It is therefore quite natural to try and adjust the brain’s abnormal functioning, just as we try to adjust a patient’s abnormal thinking.
Patients find this material approach to their illness very useful: they need some kind of concrete representation, something more tangible than simply dealing with thought processes, since they know that these are already out of their control to a large extent. Through functional treatment, we teach patients how to modify an abnormal vibration by providing them with the qualities they lack. In other words, they are shown how cerebral control should operate, and how
to replace their own non-control.
The mental exercise we offer here are designed to re-establish the essential qualities of cerebral control; their aim, therefore, is to help patients acquire willpower, concentration and an awareness of their defects. They also correspond to the various types of normal vibrations, so that by practising them, patients are led towards the objective (functional and psychological healing). Insufficient control is not simply a question of thoughts and mental processes, but also affects even the simplest actions, and all forms of sensation.
We will therefore begin our program of re-education by teaching patients how to control their ordinary actions and sensations, before moving on to the control of thoughts and ideas. a