During the past several years, the American Psychiatric Association has periodically released statements concerning the relationship of psychiatry and (medical) psychotherapy to psychology.8,10 These statements embody the official position of this Association, as well as that of the American Psychoanalytic Association. The most recent of these statements, which appeared in the December, 1958, “Mail Pouch” of the American Psychiatric Association, has prompted me to offer the following comments.
Before presenting the problem and my arguments, it is essential that I state the frame of reference, or point of view, from which I shall approach this subject. I propose to regard the various “Resolutions” (which are essentially identical in content) as though they were legislative resolutions, or judicial opinions, such as the Supreme Court might render. Hence, psychiatry’s official position vis-à-vis nonmedical psychotherapy is basically an attitude of judicial prohibitionism. Consider, for example,