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Berliner, B. (1949). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXII, 1948: Psychoanalysis—A Critique. Hiram K. Johnson. Pp. 321–338.. Psychoanal Q., 18:401-402.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychiatric Quarterly. XXII, 1948: Psychoanalysis—A Critique. Hiram K. Johnson. Pp. 321–338.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:401-402

Psychiatric Quarterly. XXII, 1948: Psychoanalysis—A Critique. Hiram K. Johnson. Pp. 321–338.

Bernhard Berliner

This is one of those pamphlets of the name-calling variety which could have been written forty years ago but is now very much out of date. The opening sentence reads: 'In the following pages the writer will attempt to show that at the present time, coming closest to the phrenology and animal magnetism of another age, both from the standpoint of cult value and in success in erecting an imposing scientific façade, is that discipline which has come to be known as psychoanalysis'. Johnson does not indicate the sources of his information. The trained analyst finds little of what he knows to be his science and method; most of the paper is strange fiction, e.g., 'The fundamental fallacy will be discovered in the concept of "free" associations, the basic concept upon which the entire superstructure is built and upon which all the scientific pretensions of psychoanalysis are based'. A critic ought to know that free association is not a 'basic concept' but simply a technical help. There is no evidence that Johnson has read Freud's works; these at least are not the subject of this critique. Some older and newer pamphlets against Freud are applauded, Maylan's The Tragic Complex of Freud, the books by Helen Puner and Emil Ludwig, and

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Oswald Bumke's Die Psychoanalyse which was written in pre-Nazi Germany some decades ago but is praised by Dr. Johnson as 'Europe's final judgment on the problem'. Has anyone yet passed America's final judgment?

If Dr. Johnson meant to criticize the misuse of psychoanalysis by quacks, we could agree with him on some of his points. Unfortunately, he does not say so.

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Article Citation

Berliner, B. (1949). Psychiatric Quarterly. XXII, 1948. Psychoanal. Q., 18:401-402

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