March 1964

Psychiatry Rides Madly in All Directions

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training of Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(3):228-237. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720210010003

I  My title seems at first glance scarcely in keeping with a serious symposium on "Current Trends in Psychiatry." Yet indeed this shortened paraphrase of Stephen Leacock's1 description of Lord Ronald's behavior, accurately and picturesquely portrays what is happening today in psychiatry.* This can be demonstrated by summarizing several images of the field.The public today holds an admixture of opinions. As magical helpers of nature's curative powers who know so much about the unknowable, who can interpret a glance, a gesture, a slipped word, or a phrase to mean so much, we are endowed with all the powers of the idealized or supernatural father. The press exemplifies this attitude by insisting on obtaining and even printing our comments off the cuff on any and all facets of life and even behavior. On the other hand, the sophisticated who have sought our services in clinics or private offices to obtain

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