November 1965

The Ethics of Psychoanalysis: The Theory and Method of Autonomous Psychotherapy.

Author Affiliations

By Thomas Szasz. Price, $5.50. Pp 226. Basic Books, Inc., 404 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10016, 1965.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(5):480-482. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730050094021

In this work Dr. Szasz turns from his past emphasis upon the less savoury aspects of psychiatry to the more positive issue of what psychoanalysis should be. Psychoanalysis, according to Dr. Szasz, is not a form of treatment and does not belong in the medical domain. He says, "I use such words as 'patient,"therapist' and 'treatment' as a matter of convenience, to communicate easily with the reader; it will be obvious, however, that I eschew their medical, psychological, and therapeutic connotations." He later adds, "But it is unwise to justify psychoanalysis by its medical value, which is, I think, scant. If anything, this is its Achilles heel; nor has this gone unrecognized by discerning colleagues, in and out of psychiatry."

Yet if psychoanalysis has no medical value, of what use is it? Dr. Szasz proposes that the best way to look at psychoanalysis is as a model "for

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