We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self.

Naustin Deslauriers, PHD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(4):510-512. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730280126018.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


In this impressive and easily readable book, Bruno Bettelheim describes what he considers to have been over the many years of his clinical work, an experiment in the treatment of autistic children. The dramatic title and subtitle he gives to his report The Empty Fortress: Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self, is, in many Ways. misleading; first because Bettelheim never truly clarifies whether he is discussing early infantile autism (Kanner's syndrome, also defined Nas primary autism), or various forms of childhood schizophrenia or atypicalities (known as secondary autism); and, second, because his major point is that the "empty fortress" he talks about is not empty!"

The misleading aspect of the book's title appears, to me, to be a central characteristic of the entire literary effort Bettelheim makes here. I speak of literary effort in contrast to the clinical and scientific substance of the report; this substance carries


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.