Maxwell Maltz

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Maxwell Maltz
Born (1889-03-10)10 March 1889
New York City[1]
Died 7 April 1975(1975-04-07) (aged 86)
Nationality American
Education Doctor of Medicine
Alma mater Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Occupation Author, cosmetic surgeon
Known for Psycho-Cybernetics

Maxwell Maltz (March 10, 1889[1] – April 7, 1975[2]) was an American cosmetic surgeon and author of Psycho-Cybernetics (1960), which was a system of ideas that he claimed could improve one's self-image. In turn, the person would lead a more successful and fulfilling life.[3] He wrote several books, among which Psycho-Cybernetics was a long-time bestseller — influencing many subsequent self-help teachers.[4][5][6] His orientation towards a system of ideas that would provide self-help is considered the forerunner of the now popular self-help books.[7]

In 1923, Maltz graduated with a doctorate in medicine from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.[2]

In 1960, Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living out of Life was first published by Prentice-Hall and appeared in a pocket book edition by 1969. The book introduced Maltz's views where a person must have an accurate and positive view of him- or herself before setting goals; otherwise he or she will get stuck in a continuing pattern of limiting beliefs. His ideas focus on visualizing one's goals and he believes that self-image is the cornerstone of all the changes that take place in a person. According to Maltz, if one's self-image is unhealthy or faulty — all of his or her efforts will end in failure.[3]

Maltz also wrote fiction, including a play called Unseen Scar (1946)[8] and a novel, The Time is Now (1975).[9] His autobiography, Doctor Pygmalion: The Autobiography of a Plastic Surgeon (1953),[10] was popular and influential,[11] being discussed in many subsequent books on body and identity.[12] It was re-titled Doctor Psycho-Cybernetics after his self-help work was published.

Although the book Psycho-Cybernetics was first published in 1960, as of 2008 the book is one of 50 recommended in the book 50 Self-Help Classics.[13]


  1. ^ a b "College of Physicians and Surgeons Obituary Database". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Welcome to". Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  3. ^ Gray, Michael C. "Psycho-Cybernetics Book Review". Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  4. ^ Manz, Charles. Emotional Discipline. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  5. ^ Joseph L. DeVitis, John Martin Rich. The Success Ethic, Education, and the American Dream. SUNY Press. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  6. ^ Lynn Bridgers, James W. Fowler. Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  7. ^ Maltz, Maxwell (1946). Unseen Scar: A New Play. New York: Hart Stenographic Bureau. OCLC 44450040. 
  8. ^ Maltz, Maxwell (1975). The Time is Now. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-21859-X. OCLC 1009493. 
  9. ^ Maltz, Maxwell (1953). Doctor Pygmalion: The Autobiography of a Plastic Surgeon. New York: Crowell. OCLC 14656784. 
  10. ^ D. H. J. Morgan; et al. Gender, Bodies and Work. Ashgate Publishing. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  11. ^ Davis, Kathy. Dubious Equalities and Embodied Differences. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  12. ^ "Welcome to". Retrieved 2008-03-14. 

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