In this article, a document presenting a planned psychiatric building in Sweden was analyzed using critical discourse analysis. Focus was on how biomedical perspectives, administration, logistics, and efficiency is materialized in the building. The building is planned without personal consulting rooms or office places. Text and images were understood with reference to Augé's concept of nonplaces; places that are void of meaning. Outpatient practice is portrayed as equal, neglecting power imbalances, diversity, and context. Clinicians and clients are expected to be in transit in an environment centered on transparency and technology, enabling surveillance and control. Encounters and dialogues are never mentioned, while electroconvulsive therapy has its own place both in the document and in the building. Technology is central and presented as necessary for future needs. The idea that current psychiatry represents a story of constant progress, providing precise diagnosis and effective treatment is materialized in the building.
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- Go to article: Brave New Psychiatry and the Idealization of Nonplaces: A Critical Discourse Analysis
- Go to article: How the Incorrect Belief That Eating Disorders Are Predominantly Genetic Is Maintained
The incorrect belief that anorexia nervosa is predominantly genetic is maintained in the psychiatric literature by a series of misquotations and misrepresentations of research data. An example of this type of scholarship is as an editorial in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Data from family and twin studies referenced in the editorial provide compelling evidence that the genetic contribution to the etiology of anorexia nervosa is small. The incorrect belief that anorexia nervosa is predominantly genetic is maintained, in addition, by statistical procedures such as heritability estimates. The incorrect belief that anorexia nervosa is predominantly genetic should not be endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association, in either its journals, in its published books, or in DSM–V.
Based on a 10-year systematic review of suicide prevention strategies, “29 suicide prevention experts from 17 European countries” recommend 4 allegedly evidence-based strategies to be included in national suicide prevention programs. One of the recommended strategies is pharmacological treatment of depression. This recommendation is problematic for several reasons. First, it is based on a biased selection and interpretation of available evidence. Second, the authors have failed to take into consideration the widespread corruption in the research on antidepressants. Third, the many and serious side effects of antidepressants are not considered. Thus, the recommendation may have deleterious consequences for countless numbers of people, and, in fact, contribute to an increase in the suicide rate rather than a decrease.
The APA's Code of Ethics is often seen as a guideline for the field of psychology. Over time, other countries have developed their own ethics codes, resulting in inevitable comparisons. Initially, comparisons were made to the APA's. Then, key words and broad principles were examined for commonalities. However, for non-English codes, English translations were used. The consensus is that ethics codes reflect a society/culture/country's beliefs and values and should be viewed within their cultural context. We argue that ethics codes must be examined qualitatively, interpreted by those within the culture, not by comparing translations of them. Recommendations for teaching ethics in North American Psychology graduate schools from a relativistic, cross-cultural perspective are discussed, proactively promoting cultural sensitivity of the profession.
In 1964, Fact magazine sent a survey to American psychiatrists asking them to comment on Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater's mental health status. Respondents described Goldwater in very negative terms using the common psychiatric jargon of the time. The American Psychiatric Association realized that this affair damaged the professional integrity of psychiatry and, as a result, in 1973 issued the so-called “Goldwater rule.” Under this rule, psychiatrists are not allowed to comment on the mental health of public figures without a direct interview and without their permission. In 2016, as a result of Donald Trump's rise to power, there has been some public pressure to overcome the Goldwater rule. This article acknowledges that times have changed and that debates about rescinding the Goldwater rule are welcome; however, it also defends the view that the Goldwater rule preserves considerable ethical soundness. This conclusion is reached by analyzing some of the main considerations in this debate: free speech, the “duty to warn,” the suitability of the direct interview, and the politicization of psychiatry.
Increased bullying victimization of students with disabilities has generated both public concern and increased litigation. To identify focus areas for both legal compliance and proactive prevention, this investigation analyzed 125 court decisions and 600 claim rulings for the 20-year period 1998–2017, tabulating the frequency and outcomes for each specific legal claim as well as the student plaintiff's disability classification. Findings demonstrate an increase in the frequency of relevant court decisions and claim rulings, an overrepresentation of student disability classifications characterized by behavioral traits, and a high proportion of inconclusive outcomes for the claim rulings. Results suggest that districts address both legal antibullying and civil rights compliance issues and proactively implement bullying prevention programs designed to meet disability-specific student needs.
- Go to article: A Review of a Psychology Intern's Insights Presented in Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist
A Review of a Psychology Intern's Insights Presented in Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist
Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist delves into the world of psychiatric care and clinical training within the walls of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The aim of this commentary is to discuss several ethical dilemmas which were repeatedly presented to the author, Darcy Lockman, throughout her year-long internship. Such dilemmas include psychiatrists' overreliance on medicine, the total disregard for patient comfort, the difference in standards of care for white patients and patients of color, as well as the supervisory neglect in the clinical training program.