Mental Disorders in the Social Environment: Critical Perspectives

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Stuart A. Kirk
Columbia University Press, 2005 - Psychology - 478 pages
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Social workers provide more mental health services than any other profession, yet recent biomedical trends in psychiatry appear to minimize the importance of their traditional concerns, which focus on the social environment that accompanies mental disorders and their treatment. In twenty-four chapters written by distinguished scholars this book not only calls attention to this emerging problem and challenges conventional mental health beliefs and practices, but also raises provocative questions: Has social work become too closely associated with psychiatry and too quick to adopt a medical approach? Has the focus on the therapeutic relationship negated social work's commitment to social reform? Is the social worker marginalized by the emphasis in mental health on biochemistry and psychopharmacology?

This book calls on social workers and other health care professionals to be more skeptical about diagnosis, community treatment, evidence-based practice, psychotherapy, medications, and managed care.

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About the author (2005)

Stuart A. Kirk holds the Marjorie Crump Chair in the Department of Social Welfare at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Policy and Social Research. Among his books are The Selling of DSM: The Rhetoric of Science in Psychiatry and Making Us Crazy: DSM -- The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders (both with Herb Kutchins), as well as Science and Social Work: A Critical Appraisal (with William J. Reid). He lives in Oak View, California.

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