Paradigms of Psychiatry: Eclecticism and Its Discontents

Seyyed Nassir Ghaemi


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2006;19(6):619-624. 

In This Article

Psychoanalysis: A Kinder, Gentler Freud

Psychoanalytic extremism or orthodoxy is now rather rare. Yet the negative consequences of a half-century stranglehold of this dogmatism on psychiatry, especially in the USA, can hardly be underestimated. The lifework of the late Paul Roazen[15] provides great insight into the tragic flaws of psychoanalytic orthodoxy, as well as its sometimes under-appreciated merits. Today, most psychoanalytic groups adhere to the BPS and tend to be eclectic,[16*] with multiple subtypes of psychoanalysis being acceptable to all, rather than the past experience of insistence on a pure Freudian variety by mainstream leaders in this group.[17] The limits of the 'anything goes' nature of eclecticism have also been raised among psychoanalysts.[16*]


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.