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Szecsödy, I. (1999). The rôle of psychoanalysis as theoretical system and treatment method in future psychiatry: a panel. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):268-272.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):268-272

The rôle of psychoanalysis as theoretical system and treatment method in future psychiatry: a panel

Imre Szecsödy, M.D., Ph.D.

Crisis Recurrans

We trained our troops rigorously - but as soon as we became a well-functioning unit, we were reorganized. Later in life, I learned more of this propensity of the human race, which is to encounter each novel situation utilizing reorganization. And what an exquisite method it is, as it is creating the illusion of progression, while causing chaos, inefficacy and demoralization. (Gajus Petronius from AD 66)

Since 1527, when King Gustav Vasa of Sweden nationalised the asylums for the sick and poor, which were until then run by the church - a new investigation has been commissioned about every 30 or 40 years. The commissions were perpetually submitting revisions of or reiterations of the existing regulations concerning the custody of the poor and the insane. Often the treatment of the mentally-ill was ordained by law, which mirrored the lack of engagement and interest of those who took them in confinement. The lasting scarcity of available finances frequently led to reorganisation - under different labels and authorities - of the institutions caring for them. The latest reorganisation is still ongoing, influenced by the growing interest for the rôle of constitution contra environmental influences, for genetic and biological contra psychological research, for establishing the decade of the brain contra that of the mind. Deep cuts in communal finances are forcing structural changes, like stressing the overall rôle of the primary health-care system, which does seriously thwart the use of and the maintenance of psychotherapeutic competence among mental-health professionals (Szecsödy, 1994).

Protests and warnings, stressing the vital importance of maintaining comprehensive and integrated services, where patients can be met with continuity, granting that the ideology of the organisation correspond with the competence of the staff, were met with half-hearted interest by government and administrators.

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