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Commentary |

Psychoanalytic Contributions to Psychiatry

Otto F. Kernberg, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(6):497-498. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.59.6.497.
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THE TIGHTLY argued essay in this month's issue of the ARCHIVES1 by 3 outstanding psychoanalytic researchers and highly respected contributors to both psychoanalytic and psychiatric literature is a welcome wake-up call to the psychoanalytic profession, as well as an expression of a realistic concern for the future of the psychoanalytic contributions to psychiatry. Its main recommendation, that the psychoanalytic profession carry out research on the efficacy and effectiveness of psychoanalytically based treatments, is eminently reasonable and convincing. The restriction of the essay's focus, however, underestimates other actual and potential contributions of psychoanalysis to the field of psychiatry, as well as the constraints to some of the authors' recommendations. This commentary explores some of these broader issues and may modulate their proposals, while reflecting an essential agreement with them.

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