Article ID: CBB171698648

Cyclical Swings: The Bête Noire of Psychiatry (2016)


Progress in psychiatry in the West has been retarded by the proclivity of the discipline to swing violently between 2 approaches to viewing mental illness; that is, emphasizing—to the exclusion of the other—the material–somatic vs the psychical–experiential avenues to knowledge. Each time a shift occurs, the leaders of the new dominant approach emotionally denounce the principles and ideas that came before. We can examine this phenomenon historically by looking at Romantic psychiatry, mid-/late-19th century empirical psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and modern biological psychiatry. Looking at the 2 approaches in treatment today, the gold standard of patient care involves combining empirical/psychological care in 1 person (the psychiatrist) or shared between 2 clinicians working intimately with each other (psychiatrist with psychologist or social worker.) Yet as regards psychiatrists, they are discouraged from paying full attention to the psychological side by the way managed care and third-party payment have combined to remunerate them. Finally, how do we account for the intense swings and denunciations in psychiatry? The author speculates on possible explanations but leaves the question open for her readers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

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Authors & Contributors
Keegan, Eduardo
Kapila, Shruti
Naccarato, Peter
Parle, Julie
Tauber, Alfred I.
Berkenkotter, Carol
History of Psychiatry
History of Psychology
Past and Present
Medicina Historica
Psychoanalysis and History
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press
University of South Carolina
Duke University Press
Edwin Mellen Press
University of California, Berkeley
Mental disorders and diseases
Discipline formation
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Freud, Sigmund
Flechsig, Paul Emil
Esquirol, Jean Étienne Dominique
Pinel, Philippe
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Lacan, Jacques
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
18th century
South Africa
Chicago (Illinois, U.S.)
Great Britain

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