Prescriptions for the Mind: A Critical View of Contemporary Psychiatry

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 - ...

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195313833
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xi
Models
Neuroscience and Psychiatry     3
Psychotherapy and Psychiatry     21
Diagnosis
Diagnosis in Psychiatry     37
The Boundaries of Mental Disorders     55
Mood and Mental Illness     65
Psychiatry's Problem Children     83
Treatment
Evidence-Based Psychiatry     101
Psychiatric Drugs: Miracles and Limitations     111
Talk Therapies: The Need for a Unified Method     133
Psychiatry in Practice     149
Outlook
Training Psychiatrists     171
Psychiatry and Society     183
The Future of Psychiatry     197
Endnotes     209
References     213
Index     235
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