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Galdi, G. (2015). Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(2):119-120.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(2):119-120

Introduction

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis

Giselle Galdi, Ph.D.

In the evolution of psychoanalysis, and in our own clinical experience, we have seen much change. As we look back on the 75 years of this journal, we wonder what has changed in our clinical work and how our positions differ from the ones held by some of our predecessors. How do we understand the way our foremothers and fathers worked and thought?

To find out, we thought of going back to a pivotal time in North American psychoanalysis, to a time when this journal represented an alternative voice in psychoanalysis, to the days of psychoanalytic pioneers, who practiced largely without prescribing medications (let's recall that the first major psychotropic medications only became available in this country in the 1950s), and the major method of treatment for a wide range of psychological difficulties was psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. That time was not only one of pre-medications, but one also much before the later explosion of alternative psychoanalytic schools in this country such as object relations theories, self-psychology, the relational school, intersubjective thought, and so on.

In the 1950s the country awakened to the plight of the many thousands of patients in state hospitals for long years and there was deep concern about the humanitarian aspects and the resulting wasted human potential. These concerns also motivated our clinician panelists in 1954 and 1964, to offer treatment to patients, “to see themselves the way they are and make adjustments that will free them from the misconceptions about themselves and others” (Lussheimer, 1955, p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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