This book is aimed at a general reader who is committed to living as a citizen in a democracy as well as any individuals concerned that psychiatry controlled by Big Pharma is or has hurt their lives more than it has helped.The book argues that the term "mental illness" is an unscientific authoritarian moral judgement of problems in living that prevents real understanding of the emotional pain of those seeking professional help. It goes on to describe the author's concept of psycho"therapy" as a democratic relationship free of medical jargon that helps suffering individuals understand and change the narratives by which they live. The volume is composed of six chapters, including an "Introduction," "Philosophical Issues," "The Politics of Human Relationships," "Mental Illnesses," "Mental Health," "Education," and "Psycho"therapy."
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About the Author
Laurence Simon received his B.A. from City College of New York in 1962 and his Ph.D. from New York University in 1969. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York. He was Chief Psychologist at Flushing Hospital Mental Health Clinic and maintained a private practice on Long Island, New York. Dr. Simon is the author of "Cognition and Affect: A Developmental Psychology of the Individual," Prometheus Books (1986); "Psycho'therapy': Theory, Practice, Modern and Postmodern Influences" Praeger Publishers. (1998); "Psychology, Education, Gods and Humanity" Praeger Publishers. (1998) and "Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and the Politics of Human Relationships" Praeger Publishers. (2003). Dr Simon was co-editor of the journal "Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry" from 2005 - 2007.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Psycho"therapy" and The Stories We Live By based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
I particularly enjoyed Psycho "Therapy" having listened to Dr Simon's broadcasts "Stories We Live By". It, for me, is like reading an Audio Book. It is an easy to read page turner. I like it when an author can give examples to illustrate his theories. Dr Simon gives many colorful anecdotes to liven his theories thus making the reading even more enjoyable to a lay person, such as myself. His delving into the explanation of topics such as repression, anxiety, panic, denial, the place for Big Pharma and the side effects of some medication, depression, existential despair, PTSD, delusions, defense mechanisms, schizophrenia, mental health and mental illness illuminates the topics and makes them comprehensible. His many examples of his "patients" disorders give rise to a clear understanding of the ineptitude of the "accepted" belief systems of treating mental illnesses and disorders. He isn't afraid to step on certain "well established totalitarian toes". Witness the heart wrenching story of his patient who was diagnosed as schizophrenic and the conflict between Dr Simon and the psychiatrist who cancelled this patient's plan to plan a dinner party and the resulting effect of extinguishing hope. Dr Simon gets to the crux of the matter when he states "...professionals utilizing beliefs that are not delusional simply because they are shared by other professionals". I don't want to give away the conclusion of this book and may I say I don't have the wherewithal to go up against the medical establishment but this book is encouraging, to the point whereby I was screaming at the book "good for you".
Thought provoking and a good read. This book takes a deep dive into what really happens behind the scenes with today’s mainstream mental health professionals. It is well written and easy to read. The author shares thought provoking ideas about what is considered “normal” mental health as well as compelling stories from his long career as a both a professor and practicing psychologist. He exposes some issues within the fields of psychology and psychiatry that desperately need to be talked about. The book touches on the professions need to “diagnose” their patients. The author addresses how the process of “diagnosing” can and does prejudice mental health professionals into believing that their patients are damaged goods and beyond help. He shows how he personally was able to help patients when others couldn’t because he understood the importance of seeing each person as an individual instead of a diagnosis. This book is a great read for anyone who has ever wondered what really happens surreptitiously in the mental health field. It should become required reading for every mental health care professional as part of their post graduate education.
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite Psycho"therapy" and the Stories We Live By, written by Laurence Simon, is a non-fiction professional memoir on Laurence’s experiences, thoughts, and practice as a clinical psychologist. In this book, Laurence starts off with a detailed introduction that provides a comprehensive synopsis of the basis and subject of the book as well as how the book is organized. Next, the book is divided into several chapters, each of them talking about certain aspects of the general theme, which is that the modern American diagnostic criteria and the DSM lists have become a joke in the sense that every man, woman, and child on the planet can fit into one or more criteria and “diagnosis.” It emphasizes that the need is not to simply judge and try to modify external behaviors but to understand that each person simply adapts to their internal and external environment in the only way they can and instead help them understand themselves. Psycho"therapy" and the Stories We Live By also goes on to talk about the “politics” of human interaction and whether it is democratic or authoritarian determines a lot of our personality development and ability to integrate into society and our relations with others. I agree with almost everything that Laurence has to say in this book. It is true that professional psychologists and psychiatrists are more concerned with making money and marking progress in terms of superficially trying to change external behaviors. The elements of human connection and understanding which are so vital in healing are missing. Laurence writes in such a clear, lucid, and informative manner that it is very easy for laypeople and professionals alike to grasp these concepts. I couldn’t put this book down and it is one of those rare books written by a professional psychologist that could prove revolutionary, just like Thomas Szasz revolutionized the field in an earlier era. This is a must-read book that I highly recommend!