Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

Paul R McHugh

Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

In the 1990s, a disturbing trend emerged in psychotherapy: patients began accusing their parents and other close relatives of sexual abuse, as a result of false 'recovered memories' urged onto them by therapists practicing new methods of treatment. The subsequent loss of public confidence in psychotherapy was devastating to psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh, and with "Try to Remember", he looks at what went wrong and describes what must be done to restore psychotherapy to a more honored and useful place in therapeutic treatment.In this thought-provoking account, McHugh explains why trendy diagnoses and misguided treatments have repeatedly taken over psychotherapy. He recounts his participation in court battles that erupted over diagnoses of recovered memories and the frequent companion diagnoses of multiple-personality disorders. He also warns that diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder today may be perpetuating a similar misdirection, thus exacerbating patient suffering. He argues that both the public and psychiatric professionals must raise their standards for psychotherapy in order to ensure that the incorrect designation of memory as the root cause of disorders does not occur again. Psychotherapy, McHugh ultimately shows, is a valuable healing method - and at the very least an important adjunct treatment to the numerous psychopharmaceuticals that flood the drug market today. An urgent call to arms for patients and therapists alike, "Try to Remember" delineates the difference between good and bad psychiatry and challenges us to reconsider psychotherapy as the most effective way to heal troubled minds. 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Psychology & Psychiatry
Format Hardback
Pages 300
RRP £14.50
Date of Publication December 2008
ISBN 978-1932594393
Publisher Chicago University Press
 

In the 1990s, a disturbing trend emerged in psychotherapy: patients began accusing their parents and other close relatives of sexual abuse, as a result of false 'recovered memories' urged onto them by therapists practicing new methods of treatment. The subsequent loss of public confidence in psychotherapy was devastating to psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh, and with "Try to Remember", he looks at what went wrong and describes what must be done to restore psychotherapy to a more honored and useful place in therapeutic treatment.In this thought-provoking account, McHugh explains why trendy diagnoses and misguided treatments have repeatedly taken over psychotherapy. He recounts his participation in court battles that erupted over diagnoses of recovered memories and the frequent companion diagnoses of multiple-personality disorders. He also warns that diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder today may be perpetuating a similar misdirection, thus exacerbating patient suffering. He argues that both the public and psychiatric professionals must raise their standards for psychotherapy in order to ensure that the incorrect designation of memory as the root cause of disorders does not occur again. Psychotherapy, McHugh ultimately shows, is a valuable healing method - and at the very least an important adjunct treatment to the numerous psychopharmaceuticals that flood the drug market today. An urgent call to arms for patients and therapists alike, "Try to Remember" delineates the difference between good and bad psychiatry and challenges us to reconsider psychotherapy as the most effective way to heal troubled minds.

Reviews

The Guardian

Steven Poole

[A] riveting analysis... As well as admirably empathetic accounts of troubling case studies and enjoyably subtle demolitions of rival "colleagues", the book offers a polemical primer on competing schools of thought in psychiatry over the last half-century. Lest the abuses he documents irreparably damage the reputation of psychotherapy, McHugh concludes, his profession ought to take a rigorously empirical approach to mental health, and cast out "therapies built on suspicion".

03/01/2009

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