Biology and the future of psychoanalysis: a new intellectual framework for psychiatry revisited

Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Apr;156(4):505-24. doi: 10.1176/ajp.156.4.505.


The American Journal of Psychiatry has received a number of letters in response to my earlier "Framework" article (1). Some of these are reprinted elsewhere in this issue, and I have answered them briefly there. However, one issue raised by some letters deserves a more detailed answer, and that relates to whether biology is at all relevant to psychoanalysis. To my mind, this issue is so central to the future of psychoanalysis that it cannot be addressed with a brief comment. I therefore have written this article in an attempt to outline the importance of biology for the future of psychoanalysis.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / physiology
  • Biology* / history
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Forecasting
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Psychoanalysis / history
  • Psychoanalysis / trends*
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Unconscious, Psychology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones