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Friedman, R.C. Alfonso, C.A. Downey, J.I. (2015). Editorial: Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis: Two Different Models. Psychodyn. Psych., 43(4):513-521.

(2015). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(4):513-521

Editorial: Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis: Two Different Models

Richard C. Friedman, M.D., César A. Alfonso, M.D. and Jennifer I. Downey, M.D.

The journal Psychodynamic Psychiatry was created in order to provide a psychiatric forum for ideas that were once popular but now avoided by the formal psychiatric establishment. The editors, Richard C. Friedman, M.D., Jennifer Downey, M.D., and César Alfonso, M.D. decided to write a series of editorials describing the discipline of psychodynamic psychiatry.

We qualify our comments by emphasizing that we do not speak for any psychiatric organization. Although Psychodynamic Psychiatry is the official journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, the views expressed in this editorial are the authors' and do not represent a position statement of the organization. At present there is no subspecialty entitled “psychodynamic psychiatry.” The principles we outline are those that guide us as teachers, clinicians, and journal editors. Some may find the matters we discuss controversial. We welcome feedback and commentary from readers.

Modern Psychiatry Avoids Psychoanalytic Concepts

Psychoanalytic ideas, while useful in the treatment of the mentally ill, have largely been eliminated from modern psychiatry. The articles published in major psychiatric journals (excepting Psychodynamic Psychiatry) and the qualifications and interests of academic psychiatrists indicate that American psychiatry in 2015 is firmly bio-descriptive. The attempt to merge psychoanalytic and neurobiological thought in American medical schools during the three decades following World War II failed.

[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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