Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science/Humanism Divide

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MIT Press, 21 ago. 2009 - 200 páginas

A new patient-centered approach to psychiatry that aims to resolve the field's conceptual tension between science and humanism by drawing on classical American pragmatism and contemporary pragmatic bioethics.

Psychiatry today is torn by opposing sensibilities. Is it primarily a science of brain functioning or primarily an art of understanding the human mind in its social and cultural context? Competing conceptions of mental illness as amenable to scientific explanation or as deeply complex and beyond the reach of empirical study have left the field conceptually divided between science and humanism. In Healing Psychiatry David Brendel takes a novel approach to this stubborn problem. Drawing on the classical American pragmatism of Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, as well as contemporary work of pragmatic bioethicists, Brendel proposes a "clinical pragmatism" that synthesizes scientific and humanistic approaches to mental health care. Psychiatry, he argues, must integrate scientific and humanistic models by emphasizing the practical, pluralistic, participatory, and provisional aspects of clinical diagnosis and treatment. Psychiatrists need to have the skill and flexibility to use scientific and humanistic approaches in a collaborative, open-ended clinical process; they must recognize the complexity of human suffering even as they strive for scientific rigor. This is the only way, he writes, that psychiatry can heal its conceptual rift and the emotional wounds of its patients.

Healing Psychiatry explores these issues from both clinical and theoretical standpoints and uses case histories to support its basic argument. Brendel calls for an open-minded and flexible yet scientifically informed approach to understanding, diagnosing, and treating mental disorders. And he considers the future of psychiatry, applying the principles of clinical pragmatism to a broad range of ethical concerns in psychiatric training and research.

 

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Índice

Introduction
1
1 Science and Humanism in Psychiatry
7
2 A Pragmatic Approach to Psychiatry
25
Clinical Cases
47
4 Pragmatism and the MindBody Problem
77
Scientist and Pragmatist
91
6 Pragmatism in Neurology and Psychiatry
111
7 Pragmatism in Psychiatric Diagnosis
125
8 Pragmatism and the Future of Psychiatry
141
References
159
Index
173
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Página vii - In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the application of research-based theory and technique.
Página vii - ... messes" incapable of technical solution. The difficulty is that the problems of the high ground, however great their technical interest, are often relatively unimportant to clients or to the larger society, while in the swamp are the problems of greatest human concern. Shall the practitioner stay on the high, hard ground where he can practice rigorously, as he understands rigor, but where he is constrained to deal with problems of relatively little social importance? Or shall he descend to the...

Sobre el autor (2009)

David H. Brendel is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Deputy Editor of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and Associate Director of the Psychiatry Residency Program at Massachusetts General and McLean hospitals.

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