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VERBALIZATION AND LANGUAGE SYMBOLS IN PERSONALITY ADJUSTMENT
Mandel Sherman
Am J Psychiatry 1938;95:621-640.
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University of Chicago

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Abstract

From the foregoing account it can be readily seen that language is the chief aid to personality adjustment. The overt non-verbal adjustmental reactions which allow an infant and young child to relate himself to others are replaced to a large extent by linguistic activity. In various neurotic and psychotic disorders a skilled observer may be able to detect personality disturbances long before they may show themselves by distortions of overt activity. Difficulties arise, however, in the attempt to make diagnoses from observations of language alone because the verbal responses may not give a true picture of the individual's personality. This is especially true of the psychoses because even an accurate account of the mental content may not be sufficient for a definition of the personality disorder.

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