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Mintz, M. (2005). The History Of Membership/Certification In The American Psychoanalytic Association: Old Demons, New Debates Presenter: Arnold Richards, M.D. Discussant: Kenneth Winarick, Ph.D. Date: May 20, 2004. Am. J. Psychoanal., 65(1):77-79.
(2005). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 65(1):77-79
Scientific Meetings of The American Institute for Psychoanalysis
The History Of Membership/Certification In The American Psychoanalytic Association: Old Demons, New Debates Presenter: Arnold Richards, M.D. Discussant: Kenneth Winarick, Ph.D. Date: May 20, 2004
Michelle Mintz, CWS
On May 20, 2004, Arnold Richards, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, presented his paper, which was co-authored with Paul Mosher. In this summary of the event, I will focus on a few highlights, as Dr. Richard's presentation was a complex and rich account of the topic of the tensions between the forces of diversity and the forces defending standards and the status quo, within the APsaA. Richards began by providing background on the APsaA's founder, A. A. Brill, who came to the States from Eastern Europe. Brill, able to resist pressure from Freud and Putnam, started his own exclusionary organization—the New York Psychoanalytic Society. In 1932, the New York Psychoanalytic came together with Societies from the East Coast to form the APsaA. Soon after the founding of the APsaA, Brill established that only MD's would be granted membership in the APsaA. As Richards described it, “second class membership” was granted to analysts who did not have an MD degree. In 1954, psychotherapy was considered a medical procedure, only to be performed by physicians.
According to Richards, Brill worked to establish certification hoping that this would “legitimize psychoanalysis as a medical specialty.” In 1946, the certifying process became a criterion for membership in the APsaA and this process became official in 1972.
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