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February 1968

Psychoanalysis Today: A Rather Lonely Island

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, Wis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(2):161-167. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740020033004

PSYCHOANALYSIS in the United States is today suffering a decline in prestige and popularity, having reached the high point of its influence in American psychiatry in the 1950's. Many young psychiatrists then believed to be really first class one had to become an analyst. In many residency programs, particularly in analytic training centers, almost all the residents applied to psychoanalytic institutes. Acceptance was a great event and rejection was treated as shameful. Young candidates who had been dropped from training because they were regarded as not suitable felt stigmatized and a pall of second-class citizenship was cast over their careers. Some psychoanalysts, by this turn of events placed in positions of great power over the careers of others, became afflicted by a distressing spirit of arrogance and pride. By certain sectors of urban, middle class society, psychoanalysis was also regarded with great respect and often illusory hopes existed about its

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