[Skip to Navigation]
May 1965

Social Psychiatry: An Overview

Author Affiliations

Professor of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, San Francisco, Calif 94122.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(5):501-509. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720350069009

PSYCHIATRY definitely has passed through its infancy and, after a somewhat hectic adolescence, has come of age. Signs of maturity can be observed in many ways. While at the beginning of the century Kraepelin, Bleuler, Freud, and Jung still hoped to find universal laws of normal and abnormal functioning, contemporary psychiatrists have become more cautious. Id psychology has been replaced by ego psychology; the search for universal dream symbolism and for the collective unconscious has given way to phenomenological and existential approaches.49 The bitter disagreements about high-level theories and dogma are on the wane, and what remain are personal and organizational rivalries of professionals. Furthermore, the shrinkage of space and the spread of science over the four corners of the earth have cautioned psychiatrists not to generalize from small samples or from local conditions. The period of sweeping generalizations is over, and the

Add or change institution