Sunday, December 23, 2012

Don't be taken in by neuropsychoanalysis

Oh dear! - in an eletter in response to the article that I keep mentioning about paradigm shift in psychiatry (eg. see previous post), a past chair of the Faculty of Psychotherapy of the Royal College of Psychiatrists confirms he's been taken in by neuropsychoanalysis (see his editorial to which he refers in the eletter). He doesn't mention the case against neuropsychoanalysis (eg. Blass & Carmeli, 2007). I had my own views confirmed in person recently by attending a seminar by Rachel Blass organised by Anthony Stadlen.

Holmes is worried that psychodynamic psychotherapy has become "something of an endangered species", in a similar way to those proposing remedicalised psychiatry are worried that psychiatrists could become extinct (see previous post). I do understand what he is saying about the brain being dynamic rather than static but to believe that psychoanalysis has gained credibility because physical correlates of its "black-box postulates" can now be envisaged on a fMRI scan is neo-phrenological phantasy. Sorry, psychiatry does have to deal with the complexity and uncertainty of human relationships, however "vague and anodyne" Holmes may find this. I take a more pragmatic than postmodern view of psychiatry (see previous post), but still prefer my neo-Meyerian approach to his environmental neuroscience.

I think it's a shame to see the history of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy being given up to modern neuromania.


CCA said...

I agree...

Anonymous said...

I think it's a shame any psychiatrist or psychologist thinks that they are conducting any legitimate "therapy". Problems in life are not medical problems.

I think it's a crying shame.

But it's a living for you people right?

Unknown said...

Anonymous said...

Just spotted this blog post Duncan, a bit late in the day. The word 'neuropsychoanalysis' is new one to me, so I have looked through your links. I'm thinking it means a connection between the neuroscientific and psychoanalytic. In other words a biomedical slant.

But the Holmes article also mentions psychodynamic psychiatry being endangered. I never even knew it existed and wonder where it is practised? Not in my neck of the woods, Fife in Scotland, or in other Scottish areas, as far as I'm aware.

Over 40yrs of psychiatric engagement in Scotland has been about diagnoses and medication or, if you like, labelling and drugging. And I agree with Anonymous that clinical psychologists sit on the fence and seem to be par

t of the psychiatric system also. Where trauma is reduced to mental illness and recovery is a means by which the government tries to get folk off their welfare benefits. Folk put there by psychiatry who told them they had 'lifelong mental illness'.

I know because it happened to me. I didn't believe it, took charge of my own mental health and recovered, completely. Although the schizoaffective disorder label lingers. Indelibly.

cobweb said...

It's a real shame to see those such as Jeremy Holmes who have previously challenged inhumane practices of 'medical psychiatry; going down this route - it seems in order to legitimise the continuation of 'psychiatry'. Jeremy Holmes is actually giving a talk on the 'hub in the pub' network in Exeter later this hopefully this topic will be included in the discussion.,this scheme has recently been established by BPS and is open to all and is free...unlike the ones being organised by psychodynamic researchers involved with promoting 'psychodynamic neuroblah - which is closed to the public and charges high fees to attendees in the club. It is puzzling how somebody who has concerns about the way meaning and values are neglected in psychiatry can get so caught up in this. The method of practice is calimed to be that suitably qualified therapists can actually change the brain and therefore personality of people with 'personality disorders'.who these paragons of virtue are and who will select them is a worry, who will monitor what they are doing; who decided at what stage 'treatment' will end...and how about the issue of informed consent.are the research 'objects' going to be given copies of their brain scans along the way.or is the research which is already on the way,and has been in the ai r for a few years, going to skirt over issues of human rights attending to this bizarre proposal...Shades of clockwork orange I;m afraid. Let's hope it's another rather grotesque failure in psychiatry which wont attract too much funding or have the sort of casualties other historical abuses have wishes.susanne stevens