pithiatism

pithiatism

An obsolete term that formerly dignified the elimination of signs of hysteria or conversion through suggestion or psychotherapy.
References in periodicals archive ?
In early 20th century, he proposed the use of the term "pithiatism" (curable by suggestion), rather than "hysteria" for defining medical conditions that could be reproduced by suggestion, and annihilated by persuasion.
Poirier J, Derouesne C (2014) Criticism of pithiatism: eulogy of Babinski.
There, Babinski was presented correctly as a representative of medical science whose aim was erasing hysteria by replacing it with a pithiatism that was curable by persuasive suggestion.
He concludes that this double perspective can clarify "difficult notions like over-simulation and pithiatism" (De la psychose paranoiaque 46, n33).
The fact that he considers pithiatism and over-simulation to be "notions" that merit a clarification is symptomatic.
By contrast, in 1936 Lacan was already a Freudian who explicitly criticized the use of the term pithiatism, as one can see in his "Beyond the Reality Principle," which appeared in a special "Freudian Studies" issue of Evolution Psychiatrique and later became part of Ecrits.
In the conclusion he proposed a new term, 'pithiatism', which refers to the effects of persuasion, to replace 'hysteria', a term which had long since lost its original meaning as determined by etymology.