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Schimel, J.L. (1979). Presidential Address: The Context of the Psychoanalytical Enterprise. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 7(1):7-14.

(1979). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 7(1):7-14

Presidential Address: The Context of the Psychoanalytical Enterprise

John L. Schimel, M.D.

John A. P. Millet has attributed the founding of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis to the increasing authoritarianism in the development of psychoanalytic training institutes approved by the American Psychoanalytic Association and in the regulations imposed by its Board of Professional Standards. A revolt led to a new psychoanalytic community of students training under the direction of experienced and internationally known psychoanalysts. In time, there emerged the need for a new national platform where there could be a free interchange with colleagues and fellow professionals in the medical and social sciences. The organizing meeting of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis was held on December 3, 1955 in the auditorium of the New York Medical College. In the address of the first president, Janet Rioch Bard, it was stressed that, Probably the most basic element underlying the pressure for this new forum was the resistance felt by scientists who were accustomed to the egalitarian traditions of a free society to the assumption of authoritative control which has no basis in law, science, or fiat other than that perpetuated by the hierarchical traditions of European universities. The right to dissent and require proof of validity is the privilege and duty of scientists and free men. It was in this context that The American Academy of Psychoanalysis emerged.

But let us turn to a prior context. Psychoanalysis was introduced to the United States in the early years of this century. Americans who early became interested in psychoanalysis crossed the Atlantic to become psychoanalyzed by Freud or one of his group. Among them were A. A. Brill, Abram Kardiner, Ives Hendrik, Roy Grinker, Sr., and Clarence Oberndorf.

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