The Concepts of Psychiatry

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-05-01

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Because most psychiatric illnesses are complex phenomena, no single method or approach is sufficient to explain them or the experiences of persons who suffer from them. In The Concepts of Psychiatry S. Nassir Ghaemi, M.D. argues that the discipline of psychiatry can therefore be understood best from a pluralistic perspective. Grounding his approach in the works of Paul McHugh, Phillip Slavney, Leston Havens, and others, Ghaemi incorporates a more explicitly philosophical discussion of the strengths of a pluralistic model and the weaknesses of other approaches, such as biological or psychoanalytic theories, the biopsychosocial model, or eclecticism. Ghaemi's methodology is twofold: on the one hand, he applies philosophical ideas, such as utilitarian versus duty-based ethical models, to psychiatric practice. On the other hand, he subjects clinical psychiatric phenomena, such as psychosis or the Kraepelin nosology, to a conceptual analysis that is philosophically informed. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in psychiatry, as well as psychologists, social workers, philosophers, and general readers who are interested in understanding the field of psychiatry and its practices at a conceptual level.

Author Biography

S. Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., M.P.H., is director of the Bipolar Disorder Research Program at Emory University School of Medicine.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xv
Preface to the First Editionp. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxv
Theory: What Clinicians Think and Why
The Status Quo: Dogmatism, the Biopsychosocial Model, and Alternativesp. 3
What There Is: Of Mind and Brainp. 24
How We Know: Understanding the Mindp. 33
What Is Scientific Method?p. 41
Reading Karl Jaspers's General Psychopathologyp. 54
What Is Scientific Method in Psychiatry?p. 78
Darwin's Dangerous Method: The Essentialist Fallacyp. 94
What We Value: The Ethics of Psychiatryp. 104
Desire and Self: Hellenistic and Eastern Approachesp. 116
Practice: What Clinicians Do and Why
On the Nature of Mental Illness: Disease or Myth?p. 135
Order out of Chaos? The Evolution of Psychiatric Nosologyp. 148
A Theory of DSM-IV: Ideal Typesp. 175
Dimensions versus Categoriesp. 185
The Perils of Belief: Psychosisp. 204
The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: Depressionp. 209
Life's Roller Coaster: Maniap. 219
Being Self-Aware: Insightp. 226
Psychopharmacology: Calvinism or Hedonism?p. 240
Truth and Statistics: Problems of Empirical Psychiatryp. 251
A Climate of Opinion: What Remains of Psychoanalysisp. 264
Being There: Existential Psychotherapyp. 270
Beyond Eclecticism: Integrating Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacologyp. 283
After Eclecticism
Bridging the Biology-Psychology Dichotomy: The Hopes of Integrationismp. 291
Why It Is Hard to Be Pluralistp. 299
Afterwordp. 309
Notesp. 311
Referencesp. 321
Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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