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 PSYCHOTHERAPY

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Kawthar
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PostSubject: PSYCHOTHERAPY   Sun May 04, 2008 11:09 am

PSYCHOTHERAPY
From freckle lotion to psychotherapy- such was the range of treatment practiced by the physicians of Islam. Though freckles continue to sprinkle the skin of 20th century man, in the realm of psychosomatic disorders both al-Razi and Ibn Sina achieved dramatic results, antedating Freud and Jung by a thousand years. When Razi was appointed physician-in-chief to the Baghdad Hospital, he made it the, first hospital to have a ward exclusively devoted to the mentally ill."

Razi combined psychological methods and physiological explanations, and he used psychotherapy in a dynamic fashion, Razi was once called in to treat a famous caliph who had severe arthritis. He advised a hot bath, and while the caliph was bathing, Razi threatened him with a knife, proclaiming he was going to kill him. This deliberate provocation increased the natural caloric which thus gained sufficient strength to dissolve the already softened humours, as a result the caliph got up from is knees in the bath and ran after Razi. One woman who suffered from such severe cramps in her joints that she was unable to rise was cured by a physician who lifted her skirt, thus putting her to shame. "A flush of heat was produced within her which dissolved the rheumatic humour."

The Arabs brought a refreshing spirit of dispassionate clarity into psychiatry. They were free from the demonological theories which swept over the Christian world and were therefore able to make clear cut clinical observations on the mentally ill.

Najab ud din Muhammad'", a contemporary of Razi, left many excellent descriptions of various mental diseases. His carefully compiled observation on actual patients made up the most complete classification of mental diseases theretofore known." Najab described agitated depression, obsessional types of neurosis, Nafkhae Malikholia (combined priapism and sexual impotence). Kutrib (a form of persecutory psychosis), Dual-Kulb (a form of mania) .

Ibn Sina recognized 'physiological psychology' in treating illnesses involving emotions. From the clinical perspective Ibn Sina developed a system for associating changes in the pulse rate with inner feelings which has been viewed as anticipating the word association test of Jung. He is said to have treated a terribly ill patient by feeling the patient's pulse and reciting aloud to him the names of provinces, districts, towns, streets, and people. By noticing how the patient's pulse quickened when names were mentioned Ibn Sina deduced that the patient was in love with a girl whose home Ibn Sina was able to locate by the digital examination. The man took Ibn Sina's advice , married the girl , and recovered from his illness.

It is not surprising to know that at Fez, Morocco, an asylum for the mentally ill had been built early in the 8th century, and insane, asylums were built by the Arabs also in Baghdad in 705 A.D., in Cairo in 800 A.D., and in Damascus and Aleppo in 1270 A.D. In addition to baths, drugs, kind and benevolent treatment given to the mentally ill, musico-therapy and occupational therapy were also employed. These therapies were highly developed. Special choirs and live music bands were brought daily to entertain the patients by providing singing and musical performances and comic performers as well.

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