Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice

Overview

Psychiatry has lagged behind many clinical specialties in recognizing the importance of narrative for understanding and effectively treating disease. With this book, Bradley Lewis makes the challenging and compelling case that psychiatrists need to promote the significance of narrative in their practice as well.

Narrative already holds a prominent place in psychiatry. Patient stories are the foundation for diagnosis and the key to managing treatment and measuring its ...

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Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice

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Overview

Psychiatry has lagged behind many clinical specialties in recognizing the importance of narrative for understanding and effectively treating disease. With this book, Bradley Lewis makes the challenging and compelling case that psychiatrists need to promote the significance of narrative in their practice as well.

Narrative already holds a prominent place in psychiatry. Patient stories are the foundation for diagnosis and the key to managing treatment and measuring its effectiveness. Even so, psychiatry has paid scant scholarly attention to the intrinsic value of patient stories. Fortunately, the study of narrative outside psychiatry has grown exponentially in recent years, and it is now possible for psychiatry to make considerable advances in its appreciation of clinical stories. Narrative Psychiatry picks up this intellectual opportunity and develops the tools of narrative for psychiatry. Lewis explores the rise of narrative medicine and looks closely at recent narrative approaches to psychotherapy. He uses philosophic and fictional writings, such as Anton Chekhov’s play Ivanov, to develop key terms in narrative theory (plot, metaphor, character, point of view) and to understand the interpretive dimensions of clinical work. Finally, Lewis brings this material back to psychiatric practice, showing how narrative insights can be applied in psychiatric treatments—including the use of psychiatric medications.

Nothing short of a call to rework the psychiatric profession, Narrative Psychiatry advocates taking the inherently narrative-centered patient-psychiatrist relationship to its logical conclusion: making the story a central aspect of treatment.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

This volume would be a helpful teaching tool for clinicians who want to think carefully about how various approaches might shape their favorite clinical paradigms.

British Journal of Psychiatry

Like language, we may need to be reminded of the unobstrusive infrastructure on which stories are built. For this reason alone, Lewis's book is very much welcome.

Journal of Medical Humanities - Delese Wear

Narrative Psychiatry is an important book, offering critical insights to both clinicians and to humanities scholars as to how their world views, their knowledge, and their methods work together to 'open the door' to a more nuanced practice of psychiatry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801899027
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor of medical humanities and cultural studies at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with affiliated appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Bioethics. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Medical Humanities and the author of Moving beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New Psychiatry.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Listening to Chekhov 1

2 Narrative Medicine 18

3 Narrative Approaches to Psychotherapy 32

4 Narrative Psychiatry 57

5 Mrs. Dutta and the Literary Case 75

6 Mainstream Stories I: Biopsychiatry, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Psychoanalysis 86

7 Mainstream Stories II: Interpersonal Therapy, Family Therapy, and Humanistic Therapy 104

8 Alternative Stories: Spiritual Therapy, Expressive Therapy, and Cultural, Political, and Feminist Therapies 121

9 Doing Narrative Psychiatry 144

10 Critical Reflections 157

Appendix: "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter," Chitra Divakaruni 173

Notes 189

References 197

Index 211

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