Description: This is a thought-provoking book on the developments in psychiatry since the 1950s, both good and bad, and how they have affected present-day practice and the future course of psychiatry.
Purpose: It brings together a number of internationally recognized experts in research and clinical treatment. The goal is not to review the scientific literature in each area, but to integrate the contributors' personal and professional perspectives on the evolution of psychiatry in their respective areas since the 1950s.
Audience: The audience includes a wide range of mental health providers, psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals. It is also intended for lay readers who wish to better understand the present day role of psychiatry. Lastly, the book will give trainees and younger clinicians a perspective of the dramatic changes in psychiatry over the past 60 years.
Features: Each of the 21 chapters provides an author's perspective of his or her area of expertise. The main themes are the move to a more neuroscience-oriented perspective, the expanding field of neurogenetics, the shifting of power relations in psychiatry, and the proliferation of diagnoses and treatments for psychiatric conditions. Chapters cover general areas in the history of psychiatry, health legislation, defining and classifying mental illness, and past and present ethical dilemmas. Chapters also cover the changes in specific areas such as schizophrenia, geriatric psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, trauma, addiction, forensics, psychopharmacology, brain stimulation, and psychodynamic psychiatry.
Assessment: This is thought-provoking reading for all mental health professionals. Readers may not agree with every expert's opinion, but the book provides welcome food for thought.