Mental Health
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
50 Signs of Mental IllnessA Beautiful MindA Beautiful MindA Bright Red ScreamA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Corner Of The UniverseA Lethal InheritanceA Mood ApartA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Slant of SunA War of NervesAbnormal Psychology in ContextADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeAddiction Recovery ToolsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAl-JununAlmost a PsychopathAlterations of ConsciousnessAm I Okay?American ManiaAmerican Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical NeurosciencesAn American ObsessionAngelheadAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnthology of a Crazy LadyApproaching NeverlandAs Nature Made HimAsylumAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Betrayal TraumaBetrayed as BoysBetter Than ProzacBetter Than WellBeyond AppearanceBeyond ReasonBinge No MoreBiological UnhappinessBipolar DisorderBipolar DisorderBipolar Disorder DemystifiedBlack-eyed SuzieBlaming the BrainBleeding to Ease the PainBluebirdBlueprints Clinical Cases in PsychiatryBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBorderline Personality DisorderBrain Circuitry and Signaling in PsychiatryBrave New BrainBreakdown of WillBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Therapy Homework PlannerCalm EnergyCassandra's DaughterCaught in the NetChild and Adolescent Treatment for Social Work PracticeChildren Changed by TraumaChronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts)Clinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Manual of Women's Mental HealthCognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCommonsense RebellionCommunity and In-Home Behavioral Health TreatmentComprehending SuicideConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsole and ClassifyContesting PsychiatryCoping With TraumaCopshockCrazy for YouCrazy in AmericaCrazy Like UsCreating HysteriaCritical PsychiatryCruel CompassionCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCulture and Mental HealthCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCultures of NeurastheniaDaddy's GirlsDante's CureDarwinian PsychiatryDaughter of the Queen of ShebaDaughters of MadnessDeinstitutionalization And People With Intellectual DisabilitiesDelivered from DistractionDepression In Later LifeDepression SourcebookDepression-Free for LifeDescriptions and PrescriptionsDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDevil in the DetailsDiagnosis: SchizophreniaDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TRDirty Filthy Love DVDDisorders Of DesireDisrupted LivesDissociative ChildrenDivided MindsDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Weisinger's Anger Work-Out BookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDSM-IV-TR in ActionDSM-IV-TR Mental DisordersE-TherapyEccentricsElectroshockEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmergency PsychiatryEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEmotions and LifeEmpowering People with Severe Mental IllnessEssential PsychopharmacologyEssentials of Cas AssessmentEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEverything In Its PlaceFamily Experiences With Mental IllnessFatigue as a Window to the BrainFear of IntimacyFinding Iris ChangFinding Meaning in the Experience of DementiaFlorid StatesFolie a DeuxFor the Love of ItForensic Nursing and Multidisciplinary Care of the Mentally Disordered OffenderFountain HouseFrom Madness to Mental HealthFrom Trauma to TransformationGandhi's WayGender and Its Effects on PsychopathologyGender and Mental HealthGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGetting Your Life BackGracefully InsaneGrieving Mental IllnessHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of DepressionHandbook of Self and IdentityHealing the SplitHerbs for the MindHidden SelvesHigh RiskHope and DespairHow Clients Make Therapy WorkHow People ChangeHow to Become a SchizophrenicHow We Think About DementiaHughes' Outline of Modern PsychiatryHumanizing MadnessHysterical MenHystoriesI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Never Promised You a Rose GardenI Thought I Could FlyI'm CrazyImagining RobertImpulse Control DisordersIn Others' EyesIn Two MindsInsanityIntegrated Behavioral Health CareIntegrative MedicineIntegrative Mental Health CareIntuitionJust CheckingKarl JaspersKissing DoorknobsKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLiberatory PsychiatryLife at the BottomLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLithium for MedeaLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with AnxietyLiving With SchizophreniaLiving with SchizophreniaLiving Without Depression and Manic DepressionLost in the MirrorLove's ExecutionerLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderMad in AmericaMad TravelersMad, Bad and SadMadhouseMadnessMadness at HomeMadness in Buenos AiresManaged Care ContractingMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManic Depression and CreativityMary BarnesMasters of the MindMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedicine As MinistryMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMemory, Brain, and BeliefMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Issues in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities Mental Health MattersMental Health Policy in BritainMental Health Policy in BritainMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental IllnessMental Illness and Your TownMental Illness, Medicine and LawMental SlaveryMindfulness in Plain EnglishModels of MadnessMothers Who Kill Their ChildrenMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotMultifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric DisordersMuses, Madmen, and ProphetsMyths of ChildhoodNapkin NotesNeural MisfireNew Hope For People With Bipolar DisorderNight Falls FastNo Enemies WithinNolaNormalNot CrazyNovember of the SoulOf Two MindsOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn Our Own, TogetherOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOrigins of Human NatureOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOvercoming Compulsive HoardingPathologies of BeliefPathways through PainPersonal Recovery and Mental IllnessPersonality Disorder: Temperament or Trauma?Pillar of SaltPoints of ViewPoppy ShakespearePosttraumatic Stress DisorderPsychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric Genetics and GenomicsPsychiatric Illness in WomenPsychiatrists and Traditional HealersPsychiatryPsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry in SocietyPsychological Dimensions of the SelfPsychology and the MediaPsychopathia SexualisPsychopathologyPsychopathyPsychotic DepressionQuitting the Nairobi TrioRaising a Moody ChildRapid Cognitive TherapyRebuilding Shattered LivesReclaiming Soul in Health CareReclaiming the SoulRecollection, Testimony, and Lying in Early ChildhoodRecovery from SchizophreniaRecovery in Mental IllnessRedressing the EmperorRelational Mental HealthRemembering TraumaRepressed SpacesResearch Advances in Genetics and GenomicsRestricted AccessRethinking the DSMReviving OpheliaRewarding Specialties for Mental Health CliniciansSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural IrelandSchizophreniaSchizophrenia RevealedSchizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion?Self-Determination Theory in the ClinicShunnedShynessSigns of SafetySilencing the VoicesSlackjawSocial Cognition and SchizophreniaSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSoul Murder RevisitedSounds from the Bell JarSpeaking Our MindsSpontaneous HealingStop PretendingStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStranger Than FictionStreet CrazyStudy Guide to the DSM-IV-TRSurviving Manic DepressionSurviving SchizophreniaSurviving SchizophreniaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaking the Fear Out of ChangingTalking Back to PsychiatryTarnationTeen LoveTelling Is Risky BusinessTelling SecretsThe Age of InsanityThe American Psychiatric Press Textbook of PsychiatryThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anger WorkbookThe Anorexic SelfThe Behavioral Medicine Treatment PlannerThe Betty Ford Center Book of AnswersThe Bipolar ChildThe Bipolar Disorder Survival GuideThe Body in PsychotherapyThe Borderline Personality Disorder Survival GuideThe Broken MirrorThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Medical Ethics WorkbookThe Case for Pragmatic PsychologyThe Center Cannot HoldThe Chemical Dependence Treatment Documentation SourcebookThe Chemical Dependence Treatment PlannerThe Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Clinical Child Documentation SourcebookThe Clinical Documentation SourcebookThe Complete Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Condition of MadnessThe Construction of Power and Authority in PsychiatryThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Criminal BrainThe Cultural Context of Health, Illness, and MedicineThe Day the Voices StoppedThe Death of PsychotherapyThe Depression WorkbookThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Early Stages of SchizophreniaThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe Epidemiology of SchizophreniaThe Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality DisorderThe Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical WayThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Explosive ChildThe Fall Of An IconThe Fasting GirlThe Forensic Documentation SourcebookThe Forgotten MournersThe Gift of Adult ADDThe Good EaterThe Green ParrotThe Healing Power of PetsThe Heart of AddictionThe Heroic ClientThe Insanity OffenseThe Invisible PlagueThe Last Time I Wore a DressThe Limits of Autobiography The LobotomistThe Madness of Our LivesThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of AddictionThe Meaning of MindThe Medical AdvisorThe Mind/Mood Pill BookThe Most Solitary of AfflictionsThe Mozart EffectThe Naked Lady Who Stood on Her HeadThe Older Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe OutsiderThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines & Healing TherapiesThe Places That Scare YouThe Plural SelfThe Problem of EvilThe Psychology of Religion and CopingThe Quiet RoomThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Right to Refuse Mental Health TreatmentThe Rise of Mental Health NursingThe Roots of the Recovery Movement in PsychiatryThe Savage GirlThe Self-Help SourcebookThe Talking CureThe Trick Is to Keep BreathingThe Unwell BrainThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Way of TransitionThe Wing of MadnessThe Wisdom in FeelingTheoretical Evolutions in Person-Centered/Experiential TherapyTherapy's DelusionsTheraScribe 3.0 for WindowsThis is Madness TooThoughts Without a ThinkerThrough the Looking GlassTo Have Or To Be?Toxic PsychiatryTransforming MadnessTraumaTraumatic PastsTraumatic Relationships and Serious Mental DisordersTreating Affect PhobiaTreating Chronic and Severe Mental DisordersTreating Self-InjuryTreatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental IllnessTreatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety DisordersTwinsUnderstanding and Treating Violent Psychiatric PatientsUnderstanding Child MolestersUnderstanding DepressionUnderstanding ParanoiaUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnholy MadnessUnspeakable Truths and Happy EndingsUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryViolence and Mental DisorderVoices of MadnessVoices of RecoveryVulnerability to PsychopathologyWarning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental HealthWashing My Life AwayWhen History Is a NightmareWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen the Body SpeaksWhen Walls Become DoorwaysWitchcrazeWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and Mental IllnessWomen Who Hurt ThemselvesWomen's Mental HealthWrestling with the AngelYou Must Be DreamingYour Drug May Be Your ProblemYour Miracle Brain

Related Topics
Models of MadnessReview - Models of Madness
Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia
by John Read, Loren R. Mosher and Richard P. Bentall (Editors)
Brunner-Routledge, 2004
Review by Tony O'Brien
Dec 22nd 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 51)

When an editor declares that a book does not attempt to be even handed or objective you know you're in for a bit of a ride. There's a disarming frankness about such an admission, but it leaves a reader wondering how far have the editors departed from objectivity in the interests of restoring 'balance' after 'a hundred years or more of [imbalance]'. The topic of this book is madness, or more correctly problems with the psychiatric model of madness, and some possible alternatives. Models of Madness is an ambitious title that raises expectations. The book delivers on its promise to provide an alternative to the medical model, although the content is of varying quality. The best chapters offer carefully thought out analysis; some of the others are irritatingly polemical. Still, you can't say you weren't warned. Models of Madness contains 24 chapters in three sections. The chapters are written by numerous authors, including the editors, John Read and Richard Bentnall, and the late Loren Mosher. There is something of a tradition of psychology literature critical of psychiatry and Models of Madness is consistent with that tradition, albeit that one of the authors, Mosher was a psychiatrist.

The three sections of the book explore, respectively, the illness model of schizophrenia, social and psychological approaches to madness, and evidence based psychosocial interventions. The range and number of authors means that the book is somewhat uneven, both in focus and quality. However the book is certainly thought-provoking. Clinicians working in mental health services, particularly those working within some sort of medical model, cannot read this book without facing some fundamental challenges to psychiatric orthodoxies.

As the title suggests, the main thrust of the book is directed at that standard psychiatric shibboleth, schizophrenia. There is no question that schizophrenia is a problematic concept, and Models of Madness wastes no time in declaring that 'schizophrenia is not an illness' before reviewing the substantial conceptual and empirical arguments against schizophrenia as a disease. This sort of criticism is made easier by those biological psychiatrists, and organizations such as the National Institute for Mental Health, who insist, against the weight of evidence, that schizophrenia is a brain disease of genetic origin. It is made even easier by those who acknowledge the problems with the biological model, but claim that that good old fallback 'further research' will inevitably identify the biological basis of schizophrenia. The second chapter sets out the threefold program of the book:

  1. Treatment for madness suppresses unacceptable behaviors thoughts and feelings in support of social norms;
  2. Treatments are frequently unhelpful and sometimes damaging and violent;
  3. Experts disguise their sociopolitical function and the damage caused by treatments by insisting that people with mental illness have personal defects.

The program is pursued inconsistently; although there are several returns to its central themes some contributors seem unaware of them. Having declared the above program, chapter two cites historical examples from East and West that support the idea of madness as a form of oppression. There is too little analysis to paint on such a wide canvas; a simply a stated position with some selectively interpreted historical references do not constitute an argument. The focus then shifts to the Inquisition and witchcraft which readers are invited to view as forerunners of modern psychiatry. This chapter is far from convincing. The scope is so broad that it is inevitably superficial, and it does not examine the historical emergence of psychiatry with any sophistication. Tuke, for example is presented as a medical apologist, and there is no discussion of his antagonism towards the medical management of madness. The critique of the Kraeplinian model however, presented in the following chapter, is more persuasive. It is a shame that the Foucaldian interpretations of the first chapter are not carried through to the second, as it is here that Foucalt's notion of discourse could have usefully been applied to the rising dominance of medicine. However John Read does a good enough job unassisted to show that psychiatric language involved an assertion of authority more than articulation of a theory or science of psychiatry. A brief chapter on psychiatry prior to and during the Nazi era argues that it is the biological theory of madness that legitimized eugenic treatment and mass murder. As the chapter shows, this period of German psychiatry has been little acknowledged by the psychiatric professions. But while there is a theme of oppression of the mentally ill, it is something of a stretch to cite this example in support of the authors' argument against the current biological model of schizophrenia.

The next chapter returns to the reliability and validity of 'schizophrenia', following the arguments of Boyle and others who have shown schizophrenia to be a problematic diagnostic category. The dimensional model Read argues for is better supported by evidence, and more sensitive to individuals' experiences of distress. The remaining chapters of this section cover various biological theories, heredity, and common treatments such as ECT and antipsychotic medication, ending with an analysis of the role of pharmaceutical companies in sponsoring research and promoting the role of drugs in psychiatric treatment. The latter chapter in particular makes compelling reading and raises serious ethical questions about the capacity of medicine to police itself.

The next section of the book explores psychosocial approaches; those models that consider developmental and psychological factors contributing to madness. A range of issues is discussed, including poverty, gender, trauma and stress. A standout chapter in this section is the contribution by Jim Geekie. Geekie's chapter uses grounded theory, linked to a Foucaldian analytical framework, to explore clients' interpretations of psychotic experiences. The chapter reports work in progress, but the findings are of interest because of the multiplicity of explanatory frameworks reported by participants. What Geekie's research shows is the ordinariness of many of the personal explanations for psychotic experiences. Geekie uses this evidence to argue for acknowledging people who experience psychosis as experts on that experience. This is not an abandonment of the professional responsibility to offer expertise; it is not even an abandonment of professional explanations. It can involve challenging individuals' explanations where these are proving unhelpful. But it is a recognition that clinicians need to work with people rather than impose views upon them. If it seems simple, that is because such straightforward arguments need increasingly to be articulated so that clinicians are reminded of the importance of listening to the person's story.

The final section of the book covers psychosocial interventions such as cognitive therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and family therapy. There is a final chapter from Loren Mosher on non-hospital non-drug intervention in first episode psychosis. This section reviews a range of research, as well as covering broader social issues and models of service delivery. The chapters are mixed, with some such as Johannssens' review of early intervention providing a descriptive overview of a range of programs across the world, and others such as Morrison's on cognitive interventions providing considerable detail on the use of cognitive interventions. There is also a range of views of the central concept of the book, schizophrenia. Morrison focuses on psychosis and discusses hallucinations and delusions separately, while Johannssen uses both 'psychosis' and 'schizophrenia' in discussing the various programs reviewed. Mosher returns to the program of the book, using his chapter on Soteria styled intervention to argue firmly against the medicalization of madness.

Although this is a somewhat uneven book there is enough material in it to offer a serious challenge to mental health clinicians to examine their conceptual models and to consider a range of alternative explanations for psychosis. If the book does not succeed in articulating a unified model of madness that is a small matter, as the more important task is to attend to the multiplicity of factors, social, personal and biological that need to be considered in any satisfactory framework. The strength of Models of Madness lies in the range of literature it brings together, in a generally accessible form, within a single volume. The book could have used a final chapter that drew its various strands together, and in particular returned to the program set out in chapter two. This is a book that is unlikely to win new adherents for its cause. That is a pity, because its less polemical chapters contain discussion and analysis that clinicians and others with an interest in madness would find both useful and informative.

 

2005 Tony O'Brien

 

Tony O'Brien is a lecturer in mental health nursing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand: a.obrien@auckland.ac.nz


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716