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THE CRITICS OF PSYCHIATRY : A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL ATTITUDES
MILTON H. MILLER; SEYMOUR L. HALLECK
Am J Psychiatry 1963;119:705-712.
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Chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

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Abstract

We have presented a small sampling of contemporary critical writings about psychiatry. Serious questions have been raised regarding almost every aspect of our theory, our practice, and our place in society. Understandably, any clinician actively involved in treatment activities needs to have a certain freedom from obsessive rumination and doubt. However, training and practice which occur in a setting that recognizes the possibility of truth in criticism while sometimes exquisitely painful may be the healthiest of all for the nurturing and growth of psychiatry. A mature psychiatrist hears what the critic has to say, without condescension, without automatic interpretation of malicious motivation and with recognition that the critic may be right. One may say, in the spirit of Milton's Aeropagetica, "Truth is compared in Scripture to a streaming fountain. If her waters flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition."

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