Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

by Paul McHugh
     
 

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In the 1990s patients in psychotherapy began accusing parents and other relatives of sexually abusing them in childhood. Most of the accusations were false “recovered memories” implanted by therapists pursuing a new theory of mental illness. Paul R. McHugh saw it all and feared that his profession had done itself in, once and for all.

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Overview

In the 1990s patients in psychotherapy began accusing parents and other relatives of sexually abusing them in childhood. Most of the accusations were false “recovered memories” implanted by therapists pursuing a new theory of mental illness. Paul R. McHugh saw it all and feared that his profession had done itself in, once and for all.

The public, in losing confidence in psychotherapy and turning solely to medications for psychiatric treatment, abandoned an important healing method just as several psychiatrists, including McHugh, were teaching what had gone wrong in psychotherapy and putting it right. Everyone—the public and professionals—should appreciate how psychiatry lost its way on this occasion so as to guarantee that discredited ways of searching memory for sources of disorder do not reappear in some new garb.

The recent uptick in popular interest, for example, HBO’s "In Treatment," suggests that Americans may be ready to give psychotherapy another chance. McHugh wants them and their therapists to get it right this time. In Try to Remember, he describes his battles against “recovered memories,” multiple personality and the excessive diagnosis of PTSD to explain the difference between good treatment and bad and to draw urgent lessons for therapists and patients alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Tom Wolfe
Advance praise for Try to Remember:

"This is the absorbing, never-before-told story of how a cult of Freudian psychiatrists, believers in such dingbat doctrines as "multiple personality disorder," "disassociative identity disorder," "recovered memory," and "post-traumatic stress syndrome," went on a witch-hunting rampage across America that dwarfs the Salem and medieval European witch hunts of yore, prodding patients, most of them young women, into fantasies of childhood sexual abuse th

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014176620
Publisher:
Dana Foundation
Publication date:
03/12/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
276
Sales rank:
785,794
File size:
1 MB

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Meet the Author

Paul R. McHugh, M.D., is presently University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 1975-2001, he was the director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is the author or co-author of five books and has published more than 200 articles in scientific journals and many essays on psychiatry in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, American Scholar, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Commentary. In October 2008 Dr. McHugh received the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's prestigious Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for his achievements.

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