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July 8, 1974

Decline and Rise of Psychoanalysis

JAMA. 1974;229(2):139. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230400014009

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Conn's Procrustean sonnet is neither truncated nor stretched to fill the analytic couch. It is a collage-assemblage of quotations and references more appropriate to a stockmarket analyst quoting the priceearnings ratios of the Dow-Jones stock list.The fact that everyone and his cousin is now involved in mental health hardly signifies an end to an era. More accurately, it shows the impact of psychoanalysis on all disciplines. To obscure its basics and substantialities under synthetic revisions and blenderized versions is to deny the patrimony of a singular genius.Dr. Conn forgets too quickly the days of wet sheets, padded cells, and straightjackets. The plethoric spawnings that litter the landscape today did originate from the time that Freud paid his patients the supreme compliment of listening to them seriously.At the beginning of this century, some medical schools, diploma mills, and cultist fads were unsavory. Regulation and