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Joseph, E.D. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by E. L. Goldberg, W. A. Myers and I. Zeifman on 'Some Observations on Three Interracial Analyses'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:501-503.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:501-503

A Discussion of the Paper by E. L. Goldberg, W. A. Myers and I. Zeifman on 'Some Observations on Three Interracial Analyses'

Edward D. Joseph

To say that I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to read the paper by Dr Goldberg and his colleagues (this issue), and now to discuss it, is to understate the situation. I think this paper is of importance in a number of ways. Therefore the opportunity to talk about it is one I am eager to accept.

Psychoanalysis has been under criticism ever since its inception. The critics present a variety of reasons for their opposition to psychoanalytic findings and theory. In the past years, particularly in the United States, some of the criticism has been directed at the fact that psychoanalysis, as a therapy and as a theory, is derived from, and applicable to, only the white middle-class. These critics state that, while the findings are interesting, the therapy is questionable, but since it derived from the study of Viennese middle-class patients, it might at the most have some application to their equivalent categories in the United States or in other countries, but not to individuals of a mixed culture or a different racial background. To some extent, the critics have had a field day, since, given the nature of psychoanalytic practice, there have not been many analyses of blacks or of other individuals from the so-called disadvantaged or lower socio-economic levels.

A widely accepted psychological study suggests that the form of treatment offered to an individual depends as much on his socio-economic status as on the nature of his illness. Their findings purport to demonstrate that white upper- and middle-class patients tend to be directed and accepted into more psychotherapeutically orientated treatment modalities, particularly psychoanalysis, while Caucasian and black individuals of a lower socio-economic status tend to be directed into avenues of therapy that emphasize an organic or drug-orientated approach.

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