The field of academic psychiatry is in crisis, everywhere. It is not merely a health crisis of resource scarcity or distribution, competing claims and practice models, or level of development from one country to another, but a deeper, more fundamental crisis about the very definition and the theoretical basis of psychiatry. The kinds of questions that represent this crisis include whether psychiatry is a social science (like psychology or anthropology), whether it is better understood as part of the humanities (like philosophy, history, and literature), or if the future of psychiatry is best assured as a branch of medicine (based on genetics and neuroscience)? In fact, the question often debated since the beginning of modern psychiatry concerns the biomedical model so that part of psychiatry’s perpetual self-questioning is to what extent it is or is not a branch of medicine. This unique and bold volume offers a representative and critical survey of the history of modern psychiatry with deeply informed transdisciplinary readings of the literature and practices of the field by two professors of psychiatry who are active in practice and engaged in research and have dual training in scientific psychiatry and philosophy. In alternating chapters presenting contrasting arguments for the future of psychiatry, the two authors conclude with a dialogue between them to flesh out the theoretical, research, and practical implications of psychiatry’s current crisis, outlining areas of divergence, consensus, and fruitful collaborations to revision psychiatry today. The volume is scrupulously documented but written in accessible language with capsule summaries of key areas of theory, research, and practice for the student and practitioner alike in the social and human sciences and in medicine, psychiatry, and the neurosciences.
Vincenzo Di Nicola, MPhil, MD, PhD, FRCPC, DFAPA is Professor of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Montreal University Institute of Mental Health (Canada), and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at The George Washington University (USA). Di Nicola has advanced training in psychology, psychiatry and philosophy and co-directs a graduate course on psychiatry and the humanities. He was nominated Academician, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Di Nicola is Founder & President, Canadian Association of Social Psychiatry, and President-Elect, World Association of Social Psychiatry. He has won numerous awards for research and leadership in psychiatry and is the author of A Stranger in the Family: Culture, Families, & Therapy (Norton, 1997) and the award-winning Letters to a Young Therapist (Atropos, 2011).
Drozdstoy Stoyanov, MD, PhD, DSc, PgCert, IDFAPA is Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Leader of the Translational Neuroscience Division in the Research Institute at the Medical University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria. Stoyanov is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, USA and project partner of the Collaborating Centre for Values-Based Practice in Health & Social Care, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK. Significant activities include being Vice-President, European Society for Person-Centred Healthcare; Vice-Chair of Philosophy SIG, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, UK; Member, Section of Philosophy and Humanities of World Psychiatric Association; and Member, Standing Committee on Training, Section of Psychiatry, European Union of Medical Specialists. Professor Stoyanov is an International Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
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