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Seitz, P.F. (1974). “Reality is a Stone-Cold Drag” Psychoanalytic Observations of Hippies, with a Selected List and Annotated Index of References on Adolescent Problems. Ann. Psychoanal., 2:387-410.

(1974). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 2:387-410

“Reality is a Stone-Cold Drag” Psychoanalytic Observations of Hippies, with a Selected List and Annotated Index of References on Adolescent Problems

Philip F. D. Seitz, M.D.

One of the slogans of the “hip” movement has been that “reality is a stone-cold drag.” Hippies mean by this that the world they grew up in and have dropped out from is a deadly bore and burden to them. That slogan struck me as an apt title for this essay because it contains certain key aspects of hip character—about which, more later.

For the last half-dozen years, 1 have lived and worked in the Old Town section of Chicago, where until recently most of the city's hippies lived. During the past year, increased police surveillance in Old Town has driven the hippies west into the adjacent Puerto Rican community, and north into the area called “New Town.”

I assume that my living and working in Old Town is one of the reasons that a fair number of hippie patients have been referred to me and have been willing to continue their treatments long enough and regularly enough to permit an analytic type of relationship with me to evolve. A number of the hippie patients whom I have treated, for example, had dropped out of treatment with previous analysts in North Michigan Avenue, Loop, or suburban offices, complaining that those therapists were “too square,” or, later—as hippies became more politically radical and militant—that their former therapists were “chauvinistic establishment pigs.”

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