Case 1 was treated first in an institution for delinquents where every effort was made to cure her disease and where she was taught to employ herself in constructive work. It was found she had ability to design, and this was used to the utmost. Then her lying tendencies were checked by social disapprobation as much as possible. A special effort was made toward this. The girl was undoubtedly made more serious-minded by the after-effects of her experience and perhaps by her disease. She was later successfully handled at home by her sensible mother. Leaving the years of adolescent instability behind her was also undoubtedly a factor in betterment.
Case 4 was taken in hand by a sterling character who restrained very carefully the tendency to lying, and by firm methods showed her the social advantages of self-control in this respect. At the same time she was given a vastly better environment, particularly in the matter of her friends. However, there is little doubt that nothing would have been accomplished in this case without first a deep understanding of the girl's troubles and of her mental conflicts.
Case 7 was treated for her sex difficulties under the constant care of a vigorous mother, who first, naturally, had to gain an understanding of the case. With her bettered physical and mental conditions, the girl was able steadily to hold a position for which earlier she had no capacity.
Betterment in Case 14 came about mainly as the result of an understanding of the child's mental conflicts and somewhat through partially bettered environmental conditions. We learned lately that the severe visual defect had been neglected.
In Case 15 the false accusations were made upon the basis of mental conflict. Investigation of the case, followed by the personal services of a probation officer and by the legal proceedings, served to clear up conditions, including those of the family in general, so that the girl was given a greater chance for success.
Case 19 seems to have been largely cured through the girl herself being able to work out her mental conflicts. Adolescence was a factor and she was tided over this period in a good environment and with friends who understood her type of case and who were willing to put up with her aberrancies for this time. Although we would not minimize the efforts of stalwart friends, we may say that there were more evidences of cure by self-help in this case than in any other we have seen.
Lest we should seem to be placing too much emphasis upon adolescence, with the idea that the mere passing of that period will lead to change in behavior, we cite Cases 3, 5, and 6, where the addition of years has brought no betterment. In neither of these was the essential nature of the difficulty explored during earlier troublous periods.
An interesting consideration for treatment is embodied in the rational idea of utilizing the special powers, so that there may be ample gratification in self-expression, and in use of the imagination. Through this new satisfaction there may be a mental swerving from the previous paths strewn with pitfalls. The inclination to verbal composition, already spoken of as existing in so many cases, may be utilized, and imagination be given full sway in harmless directions. It seems likely that just this deliberate practice may serve to more clearly demarcate truth from falsehood in the individual's mind. Unfortunately we have had too little actual proof of the value of this method, some cases being worked on now are too recent for report, but there is plenty of indication of the possibilities. Had we been able to control environment better, much more of this type of work would have been carried out.