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Prescriptions for the Mind: A Critical View of Contemporary Psychiatry
     

Prescriptions for the Mind: A Critical View of Contemporary Psychiatry

by Joel Paris
 

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The practice of psychiatry has undergone great changes in recent years. In this book, Joel Paris, MD, a veteran psychiatrist, provides a fluently written and accessible "state-of-the-field" assessment. Himself a clinician, researcher, and teacher, Paris focuses on the most striking change within the field - the diverging roles of psychopharmacology and

Overview

The practice of psychiatry has undergone great changes in recent years. In this book, Joel Paris, MD, a veteran psychiatrist, provides a fluently written and accessible "state-of-the-field" assessment. Himself a clinician, researcher, and teacher, Paris focuses on the most striking change within the field - the diverging roles of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy in contemporary practice. Where once psychiatrists were trained in Freudian psychoanalysis - which involved, more than anything else, talking - current pressures in mental health practice, including those imposed by managed care, are leading psychiatrists to treat more and more of their patients exclusively with medication, which is cheaper and faster. At the same time, psychotherapy is increasingly not being taught to new psychiatrists-in-training, even though, as Paris reveals, there is scientific evidence that both talk therapies and medication can play an important role in the treatment of mental illness. These developments are occuring against a backdrop of exploding research in the genetics and neurobiology of mental illness that will continue to drive the field. Paris ends by contemplating how going forward psychiatry can best respond to all these forces and proposes a team-based approach to mental health care. The book will appeal both to specialists and nonspecialists, particularly psychiatric residents and fellows, medical students considering specialization in psychiatry, clinical psychologists, social workers, and general readers, especially consumers of mental health services.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Penned as a critique of contemporary psychiatry, this book presents a brief history of psychiatry leading to its current state and offers the author's insights into how this will change in the future, emphasizing the roles of both pharmacology and therapy in treatment.
Purpose: The author's aim is to provide an overview of the practice of psychiatry, written from an insider's perspective, with the hope of enlightening nonprofessionals as well as educating those in the field.
Audience: This book is aimed at readers who are interested in the diagnosis, etiology, and treatment of mental health disorders. Professionals, as well as the general public, are intended to benefit from the author's analysis and perspective.
Features: Each of the four major sections delves into a different area to provide readers with an unfamiliar perspective. There are no diagrams, charts, tables, or illustrations. At its conclusion, the author includes both endnotes and an extensive list of references.
Assessment: For those who value the idea of self-reflection, the concept of a book examining both the positive and negative aspects of psychiatry should be a welcome addition to the field. Though much of the material in the initial chapters is useful and digestible, the remainder of the work appears, in part, to be based on personal opinion rather than fact. For example, the author objects to the use of psychiatrists as forensic experts, deeming this activity as outside the scope of psychiatry. Yet he fails to provide suggestions for how to adequately address cases in which individuals with mental illness are involved in the justice system. Similarly, when discussing the education of U.S. residents, the author suggests "not every program meets the same standards." However, the ACGME, and more specifically, the Psychiatry Residency Review Committee, regularly reviews residency programs and has a very specific set of training guidelines which must be followed for accreditation. While the RRC does not insure an entirely uniform educational experience, it does require that residents reach a level of competency in most major areas of psychiatry.
From the Publisher
"This is a bold, well-informed, articulate, and realistic assessment coming from an expert who explores the faults—and the smaller but still important advances—in psychiatry."—PsyCRITIQUES

"This is a multifaceted and thoughtful perspective on where psychiatry has been, where it is, and where it might be going, written by a leader on the journey."—New England Journal of Medicine

"Read Paris...and feel wiser. I recommend...to specialists and lay readers alike."—Todd Dusfrene, Professor of Philosophy and Research Chair at Lakehead University as reviewed in the Toronto Globe

"Accessible to anyone with an interest in the field, Prescriptions for the Mind provides a knowledgeable consideration of today's psychiatry by the experienced clinician, researcher and teacher, Joel Paris....Oftentimes, ideas about the future can be tiresomely unbelievable. Fabulously enough, Prescriptions for the Mind is not science fiction, but rather....sprinkled with optimism."—Metapsychology Online Reviews

"There is much about contemporary psychiatry to be worried about, and Dr. Paris is worried. Issues in diagnosis, matters of treatment, and how we work and are trained are all courageously addressed...I doubt that anyone will agree with all of his perspectives—I certainly did not—but I am sure that they will be respected as an honest effort to help the profession examine itself. This is the most critical aspect of the book...It is a service to the profession and to those who are trying to understand the profession and its work. I hope that many psychiatrists and people who care about psychiatry read this book and talk about it and about the big picture in front of us."—Kenneth S. Thompson, MD, as reviewed in Psychiatric Services

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195313833
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/10/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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