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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Walter F. Burke, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book catalogs the many brands of therapeutic interventions currently on the mental health marketplace and the diverse backgrounds of the professionals delivering those services.
Purpose: The author argues that the personal freedom of the individual has been overrun by the mental health establishment's need to pathologize and treat any behavior that deviates from society's norms. Although the objective of upholding personal freedom of choice in healthcare is worthy indeed, the author's argument fails to achieve this objective based on the presentation of a balanced and scientifically informed perspective.
Audience: This book is intended for the unsuspecting consumer of mental health services as a warning to be aware of the intrusive nature and unfulfilled promises of mental health treatment modalities. The author's background does not lie in the area of scientific investigation of the outcome/efficacy of biologic or psychotherapeutic interventions.
Features: The references provide a narrow scope of the existing literature on the subject; recent scientific investigations of pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions are not listed.
Assessment: The author has chosen to endorse the worthy value of personal freedom for emotionally stressed individuals by recommending an avoidance of what he labels as intrusive, unproven approaches of the mental health professionals practicing today. By listing only potentially ineffective intervention strategies, the author offers a one-sided approach that ignores current research findings on the efficacy of psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic treatment methods.