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Healing Psychiatry


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American psychiatry, in its commitment to biological determinism, is in danger of dehumanizing the patient it is attempting to cure. To heal itself, psychiatry must change its philosophical assumptions. I believe that Brendel is absolutely right that it needs to adopt a skeptical, pragmatic, pluralistic outlook. This is an important contribution to the philosophy of psychiatry. -- Arnold H. Modell, M. D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Healing Psychiatry clarifies what a philosophical pragmatic approach to psychiatry would be. There has been little work done on applying pragmatism to psychiatry, so this is a valuable contribution to the debate. One of the great strengths of this book is that it manages to bridge the gap between philosophy and psychiatry. It is a significant contribution to the fields of medical ethics and philosophy of medicine, pragmatism, medical humanities, and philosophy of psychiatry. -- Christian Perring, Department of Philosophy, Dowling College This work is valuable, and will contribute to a dialogue that focuses on our patients' needs rather than our professional theoretical biases. -- Ashok J. Bharucha, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

About the Author

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.


Any mental health worker would do well to read this book and take note of the main theme; patients come before theory. -Journal of Mental Health
The approach throughout is thoughtful, well-reasoned, and persuasive. Psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and all mental health professionals will find it informative and challenging. -The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

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