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(1954). Joint Resolution on the Relationship of Psychotherapy to Medicine. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 10:813-815.

(1954). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10:813-815

Joint Resolution on the Relationship of Psychotherapy to Medicine


Following the publication of the statement of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, December, 1952, concerning Licensure and Certification of Clinical Psychologists, and the Report of the Committee on Clinical Psychology of the American Psychiatric Association, it had been suggested that a joint statement on the subject of the relationship of psychotherapy to the practice of medicine, subscribed to by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychoanalytic Association would be valuable for public education and in problems of legislation.

In July, 1953 the Committee on Mental Health of the American Medical Association invited the American Psychoanalytic Association to initiate this project. An ad hoc committee of the officers of the Association, consisting of Drs. Hendrick, Frank, Gitelson and Morse, presented to the Executive Council in December 1953, and subsequently to the business meeting of members, seven basic principles to be included in the proposed Joint Resolution. All were passed by unanimous or almost unanimous votes.

Using these basic principles, a committee composed of Dr. M. Ralph Kaufman, representing the American Medical Association, Dr. Paul E. Huston, representing the American Psychiatric Association, and Dr. Robert T. Morse, representing the American Psychoanalytic Association, with the editorial assistance of many members of all three organizations, ultimately drafted the resolution printed below. In May, 1954 this resolution was accepted and passed by the Council and Business Meeting of Members of the American Psychoanalytic Association and by the Council of the American Psychiatric Association. In June, 1954 it was passed by the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. In its final form and signed by the presidents of the three Associations, it has been published in the September edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The statement has been constructed with the purpose of making it informative to persons not medically trained, such as legislators and public officials. It is hoped that it conveys validly the contemporary concept of the role and responsibilities of physicians, with special reference to the diagnosis and treatment of illness by psychological means.

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