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The Sidis Psychotherapeutic Institute

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Photos, Advertisements, Floor Plans



(ca. 1914)



Advertisement in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1910




Made Possible by Martha Jones’ Gift

         The gift of Martha S. Jones, widow of the late Frank Jones of Portsmouth, N.H., of her great estate “Echo Park” at Portsmouth, will make possible the establishment by Prof. Boris Sidis of Harvard of an institution where the latest methods in the treatment of neurasthenic cases will be applied.

        “It is well known and correspondingly deplored among physicians and psychologists,” said Dr. Sidis, “that there are fully 50pc. of mentally disturbed cases that cannot be cared for in an insane asylum. These cases are of persons who are not actually insane, but who are on the verge of that condition. Also, they are not physically ill, or if they are ill it is not so serious that they should be sent to a hospital.

      “What I am to do at the Portsmouth institution is to take just such cases and treat them with special methods elaborated within recent years here and in Europe. These methods have not yet been applied widely anywhere and might be said to have been demonstrated in only laboratories. But they are, nevertheless, proven as thoroughly as are many medical and surgical treatments.

      “When the institution opens in the spring we shall have about a dozen patients, and this number will undoubtedly increase, since slight mental troubles are probably the most frequent of all American afflictions. For instance, we shall treat persons who are suffering from obsessions and insistent ideas, or in other words, persons who are hobby ridden. We know that it is a good thing for a person to have a hobby, but when the hobby becomes the rider instead of the ridden a halt must be called or insanity is the outcome.” 

New Bedford (NH) Standard, Saturday, June 24, 1911.



THE SIDIS INSTITUTE is established for the treatment of Neurasthenia, Psychasthenia, functional nervous diseases, psychopathic maladies of the sense organs, of the motor apparatus, of visceral disturbances, such as of the heart, the stomach, the intestines, disturbances of memory, will and intellect; all forms of obsessions, fears and anxieties, and in general for the treatment of all mental affections of a mild character. All these functional nervous and mental diseases are treated by means of modern medical methods of Psychotherapy, developed by recent psychopathological research.

The location of the Sidis Institute is very attractive. The climate is healthful and the air is pure and invigorating. The scenery is charming and there are many excellent drives. The place is dotted with numerous stately pine groves, extending far into the country. To the East the ocean can be seen, and towards the North the peaks of the White Mountains can be discerned in the distance.

The treatment is essentially PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC, based on the latest methods of medical research in the domain of Psychopathology. The psychotherapeutic treatment, however, is combined with general medical treatment of the patients along established and well accepted methods of medicine. Special care is given to the hygienic and dietetic regulation of the patient's life, and electrotheraphy and hydrotherapy, etc., are used when requisite.

By psychotherapeutic methods is meant to indicate the practical therapeutic results obtained by medical psychopathologists in clinics and laboratories. As a reply to many inquiring letters, the opportunity is taken here to state, although it ought to be needless, that Psychotherapy, based on Psychopathological research, has nothing in common with, and in its methods is, diametrically opposed to the superstitious and anti-scientific practices of lay healers and non-medical practitioners. This point cannot be too strongly emphasized.

MAPLEWOOD FARMS was originally the private estate of a prominent and wealthy resident of Portsmouth, and was but recently utilized for therapeutic purposes. The grounds, consisting of about thirty acres of land, are laid out in lawns and parks famous for their beauty. Evergreens from Europe and Asia, rarest trees from distant lands, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and other countries grow luxuriantly in the parks. There is a fine private drive between evergreen hedges. The estate contains several miles of fine gravel walks, ponds, fountains, summer houses and a large beautiful solarium for nervous patients. The drives around Portsmouth are interesting and attractive. Patients derive much enjoyment from riding, driving or walking. There is ample accommodation on the premises for the keeping of automobiles and horses.

As the house, with all its present furnishings, was until recently the private residence of its former owner, the accommodations at the Institute hardly be surpassed for attractiveness. The rooms are large and luxuriously furnished, provided with steam heat and electric lights, and offer an extensive view of the surrounding country. All the larger rooms have fine sanitary private baths attached. The cheerfulness and comfort of the rooms, the charm of the rural scenery all the year around, the beauty of the grounds with their fine evergreens, firs and pines, the maple trees, the beech trees, the Japanese ginkgo, cherry blossom, plum blossom, strawberry trees, umbrella and tulip trees, the rich foliage of the overhanging branches forming picturesque natural tents, the several secluded summer houses are well adapted to the relaxation and repose indispensable to the treatment of nervous and mental diseases.

THE Institute has about it little of the atmosphere of the hospital. Full privacy is given to the patient, who can have the feeling of life in a country house, combined with the rest, care and medical attendance afforded by a modern psychotherapeutic. hospital and health resort.

Patients are not permitted to bring with them their own nurses, attendants or companions.

A course of treatment is not less than four weeks.

Terms:  $50.00 to $100.00 and upwards per week. Bills are payable in advance each month.*

There is frequent express train service from North Station, Boston, Mass., via Boston and Maine R. R. to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

For further particulars address Boris Sidis, M. D., Sidis Institute, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Telephone, 104 Portsmouth.

* $50 in 1912 would be $1100 in 2008.










(Click to enlarge.)



Institute Financial Data




Boris Sidis on bridge over pond on the Institute's grounds, ca. 1916.




Off to left: W. J. Sidis; foreground left to right: Helena, Sarah, and Boris;
back to right: residents (?), ca. September, 1913.


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