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May 1949

Failures in Psychiatric Treatment.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;61(5):597. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310110132012

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Abstract

"As an outsider, may I say that I like the emphasis on 'failure' in the topic of this symposium? It is a semantic device beautifully designed to bring down the professional defenses of the therapeutist. It even invites a certain amount of professional masochism. I would like to congratulate the program committee for devising and selecting this title."

J. McV. Hunt thus opens his discussion on one of the topics presented in this interesting proceedings of the thirty-seventh annual meeting of the American Psychopathological Association. It could not be improved on. It is the reverse expression of the time-honored wisecrack that doctors bury their mistakes.

It is remarkable to note the way in which those who participated in the symposium have responded to the call of duty. Acknowledgment of failure is difficult, even when it is called for by the program committee and by the title of the symposium. Indeed,

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