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May 1969

The New Eclecticism

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Wisconsin Medical Center, Madison, Wis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(5):514-523. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740170018003

TO THE YOUNGER generation of psychiatrists the orthodoxy-eclecticism controversy is not the vital issue it once seemed to be. The eclectic therapist, vintage 1950, is committed at least to a strong negative position. He is against freudian orthodoxy and the therapeutic rituals, theory of the libido, and general biological instinctualism which are its hallmarks. What the old eclectic is for is much more variable and harder to define. Sometimes he is only for his own therapeutic free play which he seeks to dig nify by an ideological label. But more often, he is for a greater recognition of transactional, sociocultural, or existential factors in explaining behavior.

To the doctrinally uncommitted younger psychiatrist, however, the differences between his eclectic and orthodox forbears seem far less significant than their basic similarities, which include a primary commitment to the practice of dyadic psychotherapy and the principles of out-of-awareness motivation, childhood psychogenesis, and

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