intellectual understanding

Erq

Senior Member
persian
Hello,

"Emboldened by Klerman’s approval, Ray decided to sue Chestnut Lodge for negligence and malpractice, and he began looking for experts to testify on his behalf. He mailed part of his memoir to Frank Ayd, who had conducted the first clinical trial of Elavil, the antidepressant that Ray was taking. Ayd had described the emergence of psychopharmacology as a “blessing for mankind,” one of the “most important and dramatic epics in the history of medicine itself.” In his book Recognizing the Depressed Patient, from 1961, which became a bestseller, Ayd wrote that “no advantage is gained by an intellectual understanding of the psychological aspects of the illness.”"

What does "intellectual understanding" mean here? What does it refer to?

Source: Strangers to Ourselves: Stories of Unsettled Minds by Rachel Aviv

Thanks
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Perhaps he meant that nothing is gained by a systematic study (as in science) of the psychological aspects of the illness. After reading this passage it seems to me Ayd thought it was more important to focus on the physiological underpinnings of mental illness.
     
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    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    It isn't clear to me from the context whether Ayd is referring to the therapist or the pateint. It is possible that he means that the patient gains nothing by an intellectual understanding of his or her illness, such as may occur with psychoanalysis. In other words, for the patient, understanding the illness with processes of rational thought may be useless to effect improvement. This seems particularly possible if Ayd was a proponent of medication.
     
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    Erq

    Senior Member
    persian
    It isn't clear to me from the context whether Ayd is referring to the therapist or the pateint. It is possible that he means that the patient gains nothing by an intellectual understanding of his or her illness, such as may occur with psychoanalysis. In other words, for the patient, understanding the illness with processes of rational thought may be useless to effect improvement. This seems particularly possible if Ayd was a proponent of medication.
    As far as I can tell, Ayd is refering to therapists who believe in psychoanalysis.
     
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