Mind Games: Are We Obsessed with Therapy? / Edition 1

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Overview

Psychotherapy can be a hazardous undertaking. Clients have only two choices: talk or pills. Modern psychiatry, with its emphasis on biological theorizing and genetic speculation, has been responsible for the "diseasing" and "tranquilizing" of the public and for convincing most Americans that if they are not already mentally ill and in urgent need of help, they soon will be. And instead of living free, independent, and spontaneous lives, most clients of psychotherapy wind up more dependent, more anxious, more addicted, and psychologically and emotionally worse off than before. The history of psychotherapy is marked by incompetence, inhumane and immoral treatment, and a total misunderstanding of human beings. Sadly, this lack of understanding also dominates mental health treatment today. The young, the elderly, the emotionally distraught, and the weak and dependent are still being taken advantage of by unethical, immoral, and incompetent psychologists, counselors, and social workers.

Dr. Baker addresses the problem of the lack of scientific training and outlook among the people in the mental health field and examines what is needed if the public is to be better served by the mental health professions.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: 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.
Walter F. Burke
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. 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. 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. The references provide a narrow scope of the existing literature on the subject; recent scientific investigations of pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions are not listed. 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.
Booknews
Now safely retired, presumably comfortably from his own successful presumably lucrative career, Baker warns potential clients of his colleagues that psychotherapy is not really very effective, especially for the cost, and can itself be dangerous to mental health. He notes that therapists offer only a choice between talk and drugs; that talk with family, friends, pastors, etc. is cheaper and just as effective; and that every one of the mind drugs have numerous, varied, and unpleasant side effects and some can even lead to permanent mental and physical damage. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

1 Star from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573920711
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 477
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Robert A. Baker, Ph.D. was the author of the acclaimed They Call It Hypnosis. He taught psychology at MIT, Standford University, and the University of Kentucky, where he was chairman of the Psychology Department until his retirement. He was also the author of Hidden Memories: Voices and Visions from Within, and Mind Games: Are We Obsessed with Therapy? and was editor of Child Sexual Abuse and False Memory Syndrome.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 13
1 Life in the Modern Psychotherapeutic State 51
2 The Short, Sorry History of Psychotherapy 88
3 Victims and Survivors: The Hazards of Mental Therapy 153
4 The Schizophrenic Scandal 201
5 Iatrogenesis: False Memories, Satanic Ritual Abuse, and Alien Abductions 249
6 The Inattentive Child: One of the Saddest Manipulations 299
7 The MPD Fiasco: Iatrogenesis Gone Berserk 309
8 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: The Culmination of Psychiatry? 330
9 Medicated America: The M.D. Pusher 342
10 Depression: The Right to Feel Bad 377
11 Metapsychiatry: Kooks, Quacks, Fundamentalists, and True Believers 401
12 Caring for Ourselves and Others 423
Afterword 444
Suggested Reading 449
Index 459
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