Sunday, November 13, 2022

Psychiatric training needs to incorporate a critical perspective

I have been re-reading my first published book chapter in This is madness too (2001). Psychiatry doesn’t seem to have changed much in over 20 years.

It was obvious then that the fantasy hope of a neurobiology that would uncover genetic and neurobiological abnormalities in functional mental illness was nonsense. That hope was said to be inspired by (1) the overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of pharmacologic treatments, (2) a growing appreciation of the heritability of psychiatric disorders, (3) the standard use of objective, criterion-based diagnoses, and (4) the ability to examine the structure and function of the brain directly. I challenged those claims then and my arguments still apply (see eg. last post).

What I then concluded is required is still the same: “The case for an extensive, national programme of training and supervision in order to disseminate a critical perspective on psychiatry is overwhelming.” Psychiatric training has still not incorporated a critical perspective (see previous post). It’s too enamoured of its wish-fulfilling speculations.

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