Lay Analysis - Opposition To Freud

Opposition To Freud

However, embroiled in a struggle for psychoanalytic respectability, the plurality of Freud's followers were not at one with him on this issue, and opposition was especially contentious in the States. The issue remained heated until World War II - a split with the American Association only being prevented in the 1920s when a compromise allowed lay analysts to work with children alone in New York.

However in 1938, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) formally began limiting membership of the association to physicians who had first trained as psychiatrists and subsequently undergone a training analysis at a (then European) psychoanalytic institute. The move has been described as initiating an official cleavage with the rest of the IPA which would not be settled until 1987.

During that period, many in the States believed, in Janet Malcolm's words, that "American psychoanalysis is a great cut above psychoanalysis elsewhere in the world...the laxness and sloppiness of English, European, and South American analysis. There are other people, naturally, who... whether too much wasn't lost by this strategy - whether too many good people who are unwilling to go through medical training aren't being lost to analysis". The policy was somewhat softened by the readiness of the APsaA to grant waivers over the decades to a number of individuals: these included, for example, Erik Erikson and David Rapaport. There was also the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis which Reik had founded in 1946 specifically to train non-doctors.

However only when lawsuits were brought in the 1980s alleging "restraint of trade"' was the official American position finally altered, and the question of lay analysis resolved - on a footing of which Freud himself might actually have approved.

Read more about this topic:  Lay Analysis

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