Humanizing Psychiatry: The Biocognitive Model

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Future Psychiatry Press, 2009 - Psychology - 240 pages
3 Reviews

Does psychiatry have a future?
Assailed from many directions, under constant attack for its reliance on "a drug for all problems" and increasingly unable to attract bright new trainees, the specialty is showing every sign of terminal decline. The reason is simple: modern psychiatry has no formal model of mental disorder to guide its daily practice, teaching and research. Unfortunately, the orthodox psychiatrists who control this most conservative profession are utterly antagonistic to criticism. Despite the evidence, they maintain a blind faith that "science will deliver the goods" by a biological examination of the brain. This book argues that their faith is entirely misplaced and is contributing to the destruction of an essential part of civilized life, the fair and equitable treatment of people with mental disorders. The author offers a rational model of mental disorder within the framework of a molecular resolution of the mind-body problem. Fully developed, this model will have revolutionary consequences for psychiatry--and the mentally-afflicted.

 Acclaim for the writing of Niall Mclaren, M.D.

 "This book is a tour de force. It demonstrates a tremendous amount of erudition, intelligence and application in the writer. It advances an interesting and plausible mechanism for many forms of human distress. It is an important work that deserves to take its place among the classics in books about psychiatry."
--Robert Rich, PhD, AnxietyAndDepression-Help.com

 "Dr. McLaren brilliantly wields the sword of philosophy to refute the modern theories of psychiatry with an analysis that is sharp and deadly. His own proposed novel theory could be the dawn of a new revolution in the medicine of mental illness."
--Andrew R. Kaufman, MD, Chief Resident of Emergency Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center

"I found Niall McLaren's book to be an incredibly well-written and thought provoking. It is not, by any means, easy reading. It is also not for someone who doesn't have some form of background in understanding the various psychological theories and mental health conditions. I think that this would make an excellent textbook for a graduate class that allows students to question the theories that we already have."
--Paige Lovitt for "Reader Views"

 About the Author
The author is a psychiatrist of some 35 years standing. He writes philosophy in the bush outside Darwin, northern Australia, with his family as critics. For six years, while working in Western Australia, he was the world's most isolated psychiatrist.

 For more information please visit www.FuturePsychiatry.com
PSY018000 Psychology: Mental Illness
MED105000 Medical: Psychiatry - General
PHI015000 Philosophy: Mind & Body

 

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Humanizing Psychiatry: The Biocognitive Model Author: Niall McLaren, M.D. Publisher: Future Psychiatry Press ISBN: 978-1-61599-011-5 Psychiatry has been around for a long time; in fact, conventional ... Read full review

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Humanizing Psychiatry: The
Biocognitive Model
Author: Niall McLaren, M.D.
Publisher: Future Psychiatry Press
ISBN: 978-1-61599-011-5
Psychiatry has been around for a long time; in fact, conventional methodologies, systems and beliefs haven't changed that much since their inception. Battered now from all sides, the debate centers on the reliance on pharmaceutical drugs as the cure-all of any real and imagined psychiatric difficulties.
We read magazine articles touting the latest "discovery" of mental disorder , an almost "flavor of the month" mindset seems to prevail in our society, We study the tv shows, advertising and media articles asking ourselves if we have these symptoms, and writing down the name of this or that drug, all but guaranteed to quickly and painlessly cure us. Of course, some of the listed side effects are frightening, but we forge ahead for the miracle cure. These pills are going to change and repair our chemical imbalance. As McLaren states, it usually is not that easy.
There are several schools of thought, with science demanding that all aspects of a patient's life experiences, family history, brain function and proven theory and practice be examined. In a society and field of science that is looking more and more to the "quick fix", the actual science of psychiatry is too often ignored.
Part I of this work explains the scope of biology psychiatry and it's restrictions by taking a very indepth look at the well known and often cited works of Eric Kandel. Basically, Kandel presented the argument that there is no limit to the capacity of biology to explain human behavior. In other words, nothing is beyond our perception, if we merely take a "wait and see" attitude, eventually the answers will become obvious. Of course, that's not taking into account all the false answers that may come our way in the meantime. Also discussed in great detail is the work of mathmetician and logician Alan Turing, most popularly referred to as the "Turing Machine". Turing believed that all human thought processing and problem solving could essentially be reduced to a single set of thought processes; thereby placing this set of processes as commands into a machine (computer) would show that the machine is capable of human thoughts, processing and reasoning. Given these beliefs, the goal of biological psychiatry is to remove psychiological cause from the concept of mental disorder.
What about science and the ever-growing psychiatric publishing industry? Publications can be both educational and correct flawed popular but outdated and incorrect theories and thinking. Unfortunately, there is no agreement or idea of what constitues the proper model of mental disorder. The actual objectivity of these many popular articles, magazines and "self help" psychiatric books tend to lean most heavily toward the reductionist theory illustrated by Kandel and Turing. Rarely is alternative theory or criticism written or published. Accountability on the part of publishers, editors, authors is pretty much nonexistent, with no knowledge of the background and basis for publishing specific theory.
Part II is Resolving the Mind-Body Problem for Psychiatry. It illustrates the author's belief in the science as it pertains to mentalist control of human behavior, the possibility of molecular resolution of the mind-body problem, embodied logic, the biocognitive model, language as a test of the biological model, and human nature.
In Part III of this work, Niall McLaren M.D. applies the biocognitive model of psychiatry, the role of personality and numerous fascinating case studies; and includes the most interesting to this reader, the Circus Vitosus, or vicious circle of the biocognitive model of psychiatry.
In conclusion, regardless of a reader's personal view of biocognitive modeling in psychiatry, McLaren has prepared a fascinating and timely study of the fallacies or facts of the science and where it is headed
 

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About the author (2009)

The author is a psychiatrist of some 35 years standing. He writes philosophy in the bush outside Darwin, northern Australia, with his family as critics. For six years, while working in Western Australia, he was the world's most isolated psychiatrist. 

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