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Welch, B. Nathan, S. (2003). The Lawsuit from the Plaintiffs' Perspective. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51S(Supplement):283-300.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51S(Supplement):283-300

The Lawsuit from the Plaintiffs' Perspective

Bryant Welch and Stockhamer Nathan

We appreciate Arnold Richards's invitation to participate in this revisiting of the lawsuit. We could not agree more with Richard Simons in his assessment of Robert Wallerstein's qualifications to write the definitive book on the issue of lay analysis. While there were, of course, a few areas in which our perspective differed from his, we greatly admire his obvious attempt to address the events even-handedly. This was consistent with the constructive role he played throughout the lawsuit.

Our relationship with Simons during the litigation was more strained, no doubt because we represented clearly adversarial positions, with the inevitable effect that has on communication and interpretation of events. Thus, it is especially gratifying to read his assessment of the lawsuit and to see the extent to which common views now predominate over areas of disagreement. While we sincerely believe the policies of the American were in conflict with the antitrust laws, we completely agree with Simons that the more important issue for psychoanalysis in this country is what he insightfully and empathetically describes as “arrogance.”

Behavior is multidetermined. Whatever role financial motive played in the policies of the American, if any, certainly neither plaintiffs nor defendants were motivated primarily by money. Most of the comments in the documents of the American that were discussed in the court's denial of the motion for summary dismissal mentioned motivations that were not entirely financial.

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