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Davidson, L. (1974). Comments and Criticisms. Contemp. Psychoanal., 10:155-156.

(1974). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 10:155-156

Comments and Criticisms

Leah Davidson, M.D.

To the Editors:

Dr. Witenberg's address at the William Alanson White Institute graduation of 1971, entitled "Horoscopes and Other Scientific Phenomena" (Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 8, No. 2) seems to warrant a reply from someone at the other end of the scale; someone to whom the speech was addressed, like myself.

As a recent graduate I have reflected on his message and wondered how much do I feel as he does and where along the road did we part company? At best, I suppose I can put my finger only on his description of himself as a "manager"—"someone who thinks he knows right from wrong"—and someone who is predicting the future to "motivate through hope or fear those who would be apathetic."

Reading this, I am reminded of Emile Durkheim's statement: "God is society worshipping itself." Can one assume that without "management" people would become apathetic or even hopeless?

I write this with a full appreciation of the unique climate Dr. Witenberg has created at the White Institute, a climate which enables budding analysts to grow and to flower into full bloom. Yet, between the deed and the work, the ambience at our Institute and this address, falls the shadow of role and formality and the anxieties of our elders for our future; a suggestion of overwhelming tasks ahead and a question about our ability to meet the challenges.

We live in an age that threatens individualism and authentic interpersonal relatedness—qualities essential to our skill as therapists and our health as human beings. We are painfully aware of the anti-human values inherent in our technocratic society.

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