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October 16, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(7):513-514. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900070045010

Unlike every other medical discipline, the tenets of psychoanalysis question the right or qualification of those who have not themselves been subjected to psychoanalysis to express any valid opinion on the subject.

Recently Hiram K. Johnson,1 writing in the Psychiatric Quarterly, presented a critique of psychoanalysis from a sympathetic yet skeptical and scientifically detached attitude. "In looking over the literature," he says, "one often has the feeling that the Freudian analyst is less concerned with results than with the fact that he is solely in possession of the one system of psychodynamics which purports to be thoroughgoingly scientific.... Rather grudgingly it is admitted by analysts that dream interpretation is a somewhat flexible matter and depends to a large extent on the preoccupations, values and therapeutic aims which the analyst maintains."

Dr. Johnson points out the close similarity between the problems concerned in psychoanalysis and those dealt with in theology.