MENTAL FIRST AID: Toward Balance in a Dizzy World by

MENTAL FIRST AID: Toward Balance in a Dizzy World

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There is a certain vertigo in trying to establish the central theme or objective of Dr. Meerloo's book. He's hard to stabilize and wanders here and there, from his own personal reactions, to those of his patients, from truly physical, organic causes of imbalance to most neurotic of psychotic disturbances: paranoia, suicide, murder and assassination, addiction of all kinds, mass hysteria. He also discusses plastic surgery (twice) as injurious to one's sense of identity; dark glasses as an evasion; tranquilizers and all the new drugs (a ""naive"" reliance on chemistry as a cure); the fragmentation of family life; boredom. Tears he finds therapeutic; hypnosis- that is ""natural self-hypnosis"" sometimes helpful; but on the whole his mental first aid, never defined very thoroughly, seems to consist of the sympathetic rapport between therapist and patient and useful, not only in times of stress, but also for those in childbirth, those with heart conditions, etc. Dr. Meerloo wrote The Rape of the Mind in 1956 in which he pursued brainwashing techniques at greater depth than any of the many varieties of disequilibrium touched on here. Just touched on.

Publisher: Hawthorn