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Liberatory Psychiatry


  • 5 b/w illus. 5 tables
  • Page extent: 306 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.64 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 362.2
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: RC455 .L474 2008
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Social psychiatry
    • Psychology and philosophy
    • Political psychology

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521689816)

Psychiatry can help free persons from social, physical and psychological oppression, and it can assist persons to lead free self-directed lives. And, because social realities impact on mental well-being, psychiatry has a critical role to play in social struggles that further liberation. These are the basic foundations of liberatory psychiatry. In recent years, dramatic transformations in social and political structures worldwide have increased the problems of domination, alienation, consumerism, class, gender, religion, race and ethnicity. Confronting the psychological impact of these changes, and exploring new ideas to help develop the liberatory potential of psychiatry, this book should be read by mental health practitioners from the widest range of disciplines and those interested in social theory and political science.

• Defines a new role for psychiatry • Sets an agenda embracing social and political factors • International in outlook and holistic in coverage


Introduction. Carl I. Cohen and Sami B. Timimi; 1. Working towards a liberatory psychiatry? Radicalizing the science of human psychology and behaviour Carl I. Cohen; 2. Power, freedom and mental health: a postpsychiatry perspective Philip Thomas and Pat Bracken; 3. Challenging risk: a critique of defensive practice Duncan Double; 4. Democracy in psychiatry: or why psychiatry needs a new constitution Bradley Lewis; 5. German critical psychology as emancipatory psychology Charles W. Tolman; 6. Psychopolitical validity in the helping professions: applications to research, interventions, case conceptualization and therapy Isaac Prilleltensky, Ora Prilleltensky and Courte W. Voorhees; 7. Class exploitation and psychiatric disorders: from status syndrome to capitalist syndrome Carles Muntaner, Haejoo Chung, Carme Borrell and Joan Benach; 8. Ecological. Individual. Ecological? Moving public health psychiatry into a new era Kwame McKenzie; 9. Children's mental health and the global market: an ecological analysis Sami B. Timimi; 10. Postcolonial psychiatry: the Empire strikes back? Or, the untapped promise of multiculturalism Begum Maitra; 11. A new psychiatry for a new world: postcolonialism, postmodernism, and the integration of premodern thought into psychiatry Amjad Hindi, Ramotse Saunders and Ipsit Vahia; 12. Neoliberalism and biopsychiatry: a marriage of convenience Joanna Moncrieff; 13. Psychoanalysis and social change: the Latin American experience Astrid Rusquellas; 14. A new psychiatry? Carl I. Cohen, Sami B. Timimi and Kenneth S. Thompson.


'… melange of ideas and sources … fresh and stimulating … The gap between patients' neurotransmitters and their human stories brings a diverse group of authors together here to show the limits of science - not to bash it - and the importance of meaningful narratives of human experience. … The important theme of this stimulating work is both obvious and unappreciated. Over the eons and throughout the world, the human brain has evolved as an entity, relatively unified, while our narratives have remained, or become, amazingly diverse.' PsycCritiques

'Many of the issues which the papers raise … are of vital concern to psychiatry … Such issues are also important for those in the helping professions generally.' Journal of Psychosomatic Research

'This book is not about consensus and answers; it is about throwing down the gauntlet and kickstarting debate. It is the collective voice of mental health professionals, faced with dilemmas and responsibilities, who challenge their own practice, with sensitivity, sincerity and above all humanism. This reviewer thoroughly recommends it.' Psychological Medicine


Carl I. Cohen, Sami B. Timimi, Philip Thomas, Pat Bracken, Duncan Double, Bradley Lewis, Charles W Tolman, Isaac Prilleltensky, Ora Prilleltensky, Courte W Voorhees, Carles Muntaner, Haejoo Chung, Carme Borrell, Joan Benach, Kwame McKenzie, Begum Maitra, Amjad Hindi, Ramotse Saunders, Ipsit Vahia, Joanna Moncrieff, Astrid Rusquellas, Kenneth S. Thompson

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