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Paul Charles Dubois

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Paul Charles Dubois (November 28, 1848 - November 4, 1918) was a Swiss neuropathologist who was a native of Chaux-de-Fonds. He studied medicine at the University of Bern, and in 1876 was a general practitioner of medicine in Bern. He was interested in psychosomatic medicine, and subsequently gained a reputation as a highly regarded psychotherapist. In 1902 he became a professor of neuropathology at Bern.

Paul Dubois is famous for introducing "persuasion therapy", which was a rational approach for treatment of neurotic disorders. He was influenced by the writings of German psychiatrist Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773-1843), and was disdainful of hypnotic therapy. Dubois created a psychotherapeutic methodology that was a form of Socratic dialogue that used a doctor-patient relationship to persuade the patient to change his/her behavior. He believed it was necessary to appeal to a patient's intellect and reason in order to eliminate negative and self-destructive habits. He also believed it was necessary for the physician to convince the patient of the irrationality of his/her neurotic feelings and thought processes.

His best known written work was the 1904 Les psychonévroses et leur traitement moral, which was later translated into English as "Psychic Treatment of Nervous Disorders (The Psychoneuroses and Their Moral Treatment}". The preface of this book was written by his friend, neurologist Joseph Jules Dejerine (1849-1917). Another influential publication by Dubois was a "mind over matter" treatise titled De l'influence de l'esprit sur le corps. Dubois was also an editor of Constantin von Monakow's Schweizer Archiv für Neurologie und Psychiatrie (Swiss Archive for Neurology and Psychiatry).

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