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July 8, 1974

Decline and Rise of Psychoanalysis

JAMA. 1974;229(2):139. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230400014010

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To the Editor.—  As a practicing psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, my own experience does not support Dr. Conn's conclusions as to the current status of psychoanalysis. Local, national, and international society membership and meeting attendance suggest quite the opposite.Statistics from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, compiled a little over a year ago, indicate that of the roughly 250 graduates, two thirds hold academic appointments in medical schools, ranging from lecturers to department heads to medical school deans. I have no reason to believe that other psychoanalytic training centers have not also made equivalent contributions to the training of future physicians and psychiatrists. How can such statistics be squared with the statement that psychoanalysis is on the way out?Psychoanalytic theory continues to evolve. It has not stopped, as Dr. Conn implies, with the reification of the id, superego, and ego, nor is it content with increasingly questioned energic metaphors of