Schneider, Irving, M.D. "The Theory and Practice of Movie Psychiatry." The American Journal of Psychiatry 144.8 (1987): 996-1002. This article explores the depiction of psychiatry in the movie and how it has been a source of concern to many in the profession over the years. They feel that a false picture of the work of a psychiatrist has been illustrated to the public. In fact, psychiatry in the movies has developed its own characteristics, which only occasionally intersect with those of the real-life profession. In this paper, Schneider outlines theories of the invented profession of movie psychiatry.
"I'll explain to you about dreams so you don't think it is hooey. The secret of who you are and what has made you run away from yourself-these secrets are buried in your brain, but you don't want to look at them. The human being very often doesn't want to know the truth about himself because he thinks it will make him sick; so he makes himself sicker trying to forget. You follow me?... Here's where dreams come in. They tell you what you are trying to hide, but they tell it to you all mixed up like pieces of a puzzle that don't fit. The problem of the analyst is to examine this puzzle and put the pieces together in the right place and find out what the devil you are trying to say to yourself."
The above quote from the movie by Dr. Alex (addressed to Ballentine), shows how method of criminal detection and psychoanalytic method are related. The truth behind Edwardes murder is buried beneath an accumulation of alibis, false tracks, confusing recollections, and the analyst-detective patiently tries to get to the bottom of the case. Throughout the history of film, the psychoanalyst has been a solver of mysteries, often criminal mysteries, as the murder in Spellbound, but just as often personal ones.