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Angel, R.W. (1958). Letter to Editors. Psychoanal. Rev., 45C(3):117.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Review, 45C(3):117

Letter to Editors

Ronald W. Angel, M.D.

Board of Editors, Dear Sirs:

The following are my comments on the paper entitled “Irrational Trends in Contemporary Psychotherapy: Cultural Correlates” by Emanuel K. Schwartz and Alexander Wolf, which appeared in the most recent issue of your journal.

Drs. Schwartz and Wolf have presented a lucid exposition of the current “revolt against reason.” This revolt is manifested not only in such mass phenomena as the Bridey Murphy and flying saucer fads, but also in the writings of many intellectuals. Aldous Huxley raises his voice against the “sins of the intellect” and advocates the use of hallucinogenic drugs as the way to contact with reality. Colin Wilson cries “Down with discursive thought.” Britain's Angry Young Men, San Francisco's Beat Generation writers, the numerous intellectuals who are turning to Zen Buddhism-all these exemplify the world-wide movement described by the authors.

It is unfortunate that so thoughtful a paper did not receive a more careful reading by the three commentators. Dr. Spotnitz derived the impression that the authors “feel they have discovered a way to do psychotherapy which is universally good or right.” Yet, in the paragraph describing their approach, the authors refer to it as “an experiment in psychotherapy,” “an experimental technique,” and “an experimental approach.” No careful reader could accuse Drs. Schwartz and Wolf of proclaiming the “one right way to do psychotherapy.

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