Sir, – Andrew Scull’s review of After Freud Left: A century of psychoanalysis in America, edited by John Burnham (November 23), begins with a reference to Freud’s “suicide” and ends with the statement that psychoanalysis has “essentially collapsed”. Most students of the history of psychoanalysis learn that Freud was dying of cancer and his death was hastened by an injection of morphine by his physician. This is not an uncommon practice in many hospices and is not usually or indeed ever considered to be a bona fide suicide.
On the second point, many analysts such as myself continue to practise and teach psychoanalysis, which has certainly changed over the years, especially within psychiatry, but a reader cannot be certain if, again, this “collapse” is demonstrated in the book under review or is but an opinion of Andrew Scull. In the United States, there is a clear delineation between reporting and so-called opinion pieces, which are best placed on the editorial page.
ARNOLD GOLDBERG Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, 122 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603.Explore posts in the same categories: Letters To Editors