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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: Each chapter of this book is an interview with one of the key figures who has been implemental in removing homosexuality as a diagnostic category from the DSM or who has contributed to the growing integration of gay and lesbian practitioners in the American Psychiatric Association and to literature on gay and lesbian concerns. This collection was originally published in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy from 2001 to 2006.
Purpose: The goal is to provide a human face to the history of the transformation of the American Psychiatric Association, often at great personal risk.
Audience: Anyone interested in the topic, whether or not a clinician, will find the book interesting and readable.
Features: The cover has a striking picture of John Fryer, MD, wearing a mask to disguise his identity when he agreed to be a psychiatrist on a panel addressing homosexuality in 1972. The interviews show the true faces of those who have contributed to this arena through biographical content and comments.
Assessment: Readers interested in the field will find this book easy to read a bit at a time. They will find some chapters rich in presenting the personality and experiences of major figures. They will find some chapters a little shallow, leaving them with a desire to know more. There is a place for such a book that shows the human side to the challenges to, and changes in, psychiatry which, prior to 1973, included homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder.