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December 14, 1994

Psychoanalysis: Waning or Waxing?

Author Affiliations

Cleveland, Ohio
Albany, NY

JAMA. 1994;272(22):1721. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520220015008

To the Editor.  —Dr Somerfeld-Ziskind1 begins a recent review of a book on "biological psychiatry" with the gratuitous sentence: "Now that psychoanalysis is on the wane, inevitably earlier opinions in psychiatry will resurface." While it may be comforting to some to repeat the myth that psychoanalysis is in some sort of decline, the facts about psychoanalysis support exactly the opposite conclusion.In the United States, the membership of the American Psychoanalytic Association has gone from 1880 in 1974, to 2828 in 1984 to 3050 in 1994 (oral communication, American Psychoanalytic Association, August 1994). Most of these members are physicians. In addition, the membership of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, the section concerned with clinical psychoanalysis, has risen from 1950 in 1984 to 3801 in 1994 (oral communication, American Psychological Association, August 1994).While surveys over these years have shown a slight decline in the number of psychoanalytic

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