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Recovery Beyond Psychiatry

: Whitwell. David

David Whitwell’s thesis is that it is not conventional psychiatric treatment that is key to recovery but non-specific aspects of care such as support, safety, general health, good relationships. The author’s conclusion is that recovery should be adopted as the goal of mental health services. Treatment then becomes just one option that can be used in certain situations, for example acute psychiatry becomes a particular set of procedures for dealing with essentially urgent and dangerous situations – as a special kind of first aid which needs to be fitted into the individual’s long-term recovery plan. Read more…

I Had a Mummy Too

: Brunori, Patrizia Candolo, Gianna etc.

“…But a grenade blew her to bits I also had a brother But a grenade blew off his leg I wonder if one day my daddy will appear What’s the point of a dream If it doesn’t come true?” This poem was written by a Bosnian child to her mother. The child could have been Afghani, Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, because war injuries of the body and soul know no boundaries. In 1994, the war was in Bosnia, and this book is an account of how psychotherapists, from Bosnia and Italy, struggled with the psychological trauma in women who had suffered rape, torture, death of husbands and children, and loss of cultural identity. The text describes six years of clinical work and training by a small innovative group of psychotherapists who worked through cases of individual and collective suffering. The authors Patrizia Brunori,  Gianna Candolo and others describe the growth and development of their multidisciplinary intercultural group as it lived and worked in the extreme and unfamiliar environment of collapsing social and civil life, while under intense pressure to provide therapeutic aid. Read more…

R.D. Laing and Psychodynamic Psychiatry in 1950s Glasgow

: Hunter-Brown, Isobel

The author, Isobel Hunter-Brown, worked alongside R.D. Laing in Glasgow, seeks to put the record straight. From the contemporary perspective, Laing is admired as a pioneer of ideas and a charismatic and prominent anti-psychiatrist. Isobel Hunter-Brown reveals, however, that Laing’s view of sanity and insanity as a continuum and his opposition to high-dosage anti-psychotic medication already formed part of the Scottish psychiatric tradition. Hunter-Brown argues that the culture of the Glasgow units in which Laing worked early in his career had already been strongly influenced by the Scottish psychoanalyst, Fairbairn. Furthermore, for decades prior to this, their inspiration had traditionally been drawn from Adolph Meyer, who promoted a holistic view of his patients – exploring biological, psychological and social dimensions as part of their diagnosis – an approach that is widely believed to have originated with Laing. Psychiatrists seldom write about their profession, but this author describes the inner workings of psychiatric practice in Glasgow during the 1950s and the way in which some practitioners in that allegedly barbarous era were already using psychodynamic methods to help their patients. Read more…

The Butterfly and the Serpent: Essays in Psychiatry, Race and Religion

: Littlewood, Roland

Presents a collection of papers by an author, Roland Littlewood, established as a contributor to the field of cultural psychiatry. Dealing with essential issues in the area, the papers range across culture, history, language, religion, and gender and present material from around the world. The text examines the realization that Anglo-Saxon approach to psychiatry doesn’t necessarily work when used with non-white groups. Read more…

Asylum to Anarchy

: Baron, Claire.

Following the classic work on asylums by Erving Goffman, this is a studyby Claire Baron of democratic tyranny, a tyranny of the therapeutic, in which naked power replaced the ideals of a therapeutic community designed to eliminate hierarchy and bureaucracy. It is a detailed study of a London day hospital, a model community for psychoanalytic treatment in a democratic setting which went badly wrong in its attempt to capture the momentum of de-institutionalization in mental health care. It is also a critique of power for our time, as it moves well beyond a case study to analyse shifts in social control. Read more…

The Ailment and Other Psychoanalytic Essays

: Main, Tom.

The distinguished British psychoanalyst Tom Main had, throughout his career, a genius for the application of psychoanalysis to other fields: community psychiatry, hospital settings, family planning, marriage guidance, probation and general practice. Read more…

The Dividing of Women, or Women’s Lot

: Lemoine-Luccioni, Eugenie

Eugenie Lemoine-Luccioni, M. Davenport (Translator), M. Read more…

Critical Voices in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

: Maitra, Begum Timimi, Sami

“Part of these institutionalized biases, we think, results from the institutionalized racism that lies at the heart of the conceptual systems we use in psychiatry”. There is a crisis of credibility within child and adolescent psychiatry. Child and adolescent mental health theory and practice have come to be dominated by a narrow biomedical frame. Rising numbers of children are being diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses and given psychotropic medication to ‘treat’ these ‘illnesses’. This text brings together knowledgeable specialists across the spectrum of child and adolescent psychiatry, which are deeply critical about current mainstream theory and practice. These ‘critical voices’ drawing upon research and writing from related disciplines, radically question many of psychiatry’s most cherished assumptions and offer new ways of thinking about theory and practice. This courageous book by authors Begum Maitra and  Samiaims Timimi  brings marginal voices into the mainstream. Exploring the influence of drug companies, the impact of trauma, the crisis in academic medicine, systemic perspectives, adolescent in-patient units, ADHD, childhood depression and the role of diet and nutrition, the contributors offer hope to those looking for alternatives to diagnosis and medication for children and families with emotional and behavioral problems. Read more…