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Psychiatry in the future: The next 15 years: postmodern challenges and opportunities for psychiatry

  • Richard Laugharne (a1)
Extract

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine, and medicine has its roots in scientific empiricism. Scientific modernism, a product of the Enlightenment, has come under considerable fire from critics, often labelled as postmodern (Muir Gray, 1999; Bracken & Thomas, 2001; Laugharne, 2002). These criticisms include a portrayal of science as a ‘grand narrative’ that reduces reality to a material, measurable world, which follows rational rules, and excludes the non-measurable and non-material. The idea of the objective observer is questioned, because all observers have some interest in what is being observed. Also, multiple views of reality are seen as necessary to understand different perspectives, and the idea that scientific knowledge should ‘trump’ other forms of experience is criticised. This has been described by Bracken in the following way.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bracken, P. J. (2003) Postmodernism and psychiatry. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 16, 673677.
Bracken, P. J. & Thomas, P. (2001) Postpsychiatry: a new direction for mental health. BMJ, 322, 724727.
Coulter, A. (2002) The Autonomous Patient: Ending Paternalism in Medical Care. London: Nuffield Trust.
Coulter, A. & Magee, H. (2003) The European Patient of the Future. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Department of Health (2001) In-patients Formally Detained in Hospitals Under the Mental Health Act 1983 and Other Legislation, England: 1990–1991 to 200–2001. London: Department of Health.
Faulkner, A. (2000) Strategies for Living: A Report of User-led Research into People's Strategies for Living with Mental Distress. London: Mental Health Foundation.
Faulkner, A. & Thomas, P. (2002) User-led research and evidence-based medicine. British Journal of Psychiatry, 180, 13.
Ford, S., Schofield, T. & Hope, T. (2003) What are the ingredients for a successful evidence-based patient choice consultation? Social Science and Medicine, 56, 589602.
Laugharne, R. (2002) Evidence: the postmodern perspective. In Evidence in Mental Health Care (eds Priebe, S. & Slade, M.). Hove: Brunner-Routledge.
Muir Gray, J. A. (1999) Postmodern medicine. Lancet, 354, 15501553.
O'Neill, O. (2002) A Question of Trust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatry in the future: The next 15 years: postmodern challenges and opportunities for psychiatry

  • Richard Laugharne (a1)
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