Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


On Being Sane in Insane Places

Updated: 19 January 2018 David Rosenhan’s classic 1973 study remains one of the most important in the field of mental health. For all its faults – and there are a number of serious ones – it almost encapsulates the difficulties in trying to determine if someone is mentally ill. The last half of the 20th Century and the first decades of the 21st have witnessed virtual ‘epidemics’ of ‘mental illness’ inflicting themselves upon the Western world. These ‘epidemics’ have, in turn, spawned huge industries in mental health care and pharmacology – and there is increasing concern about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in influencing what is classified as mental illness and how such illnesses are treated. Lisa Cosgrove &  Sheldon Krimsky’s 2012 expose is just one of many focusing on just how many of the authors of the Diagnostical & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – latest version DSM-5 (2015) – more and more have financial interests in the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, to some, it looks like the ORANGE vMEME’s desire for profit is driving changes in DSM – the medicalisation of mental illness that can be cured, or at least managed, by chemotherapy. Opponents to this direction tend to favour GREEN’s motif… Read More

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A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Sachs, Jeffrey (2005): ‘Why Aid does work’ (BBC News) (Accessed: 01/01/17) Sachs, Jeffrey (2011): ‘Stop this Race to the Bottom on Corporation Tax’ in Financial Times (28 March) Sachs, Wolfgang, Reinhard Loske & Manfred Linz (1998): ‘Greening the North: a Post-Industrial Blueprint for Ecology and Equity’ (Zed Books, London) Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van Ijzendoorn, Ora Aviezer, Frank Donnell & Ofra Mayseless (1994): ‘Sleeping out of home in a Kibbutz Communal Arrangement: It makes a Difference for Infant-Mother Attachment’ in Child Development 65/4 Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van IJzendoorn & Nina Koren-Karie (1991): ‘Primary Appraisal of the Strange Situation: a Cross-Cultural Analysis of Preseparation Episodes’ in  Developmental Psychology 27/4 Sahlins, Marshall (1997): ‘The Original Affluent Society’ in Majid Rahnema, Victoria Bawtree (eds): ‘The Post Development Reader’ (Zed Books, London) Sainsbury, Brendan & Luke Waterson (2015): ‘Cuba’ (8th edition, Lonely Planet Publications, London) Samuel, William (1981): ‘Personality: searching for the Sources of Human Behaviour’ (International Student Edition, McGraw-Hill, London) Sánchez-Villegas, Almudena, Javier Schlatter, Felipe Ortuño, Francisca Lahortiga, Jorge Pla, Silvia Benito, Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez (2008): ‘Validity of a Self-Reported Diagnosis of… Read More

The ‘Gay Cure’: was Spitzer right to recant?

Robert L Spitzer is one of the giants of modern Psychiatry, a scientific philosopher as much as a hands-on medical man. He’s been a fearless opponent of too-easily-accepted givens, notably challenging some of David Rosenhan’s conclusions in his 1973 study, On Being Sane in Insane Places. However, Spitzer really made his mark by leading the campaign to have homosexuality removed from the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) as a psychiatric disorder – which it was in 1973. So the news last week that Spitzer had ‘recanted’ a study he had carried out in 2000-2001 and had published in 2003 caught my eye – especially as I had referenced that same study in a lengthy letter I had published in Therapy Today, the journal of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, in 2009. My letter, titled ‘An Imposed Etic’, was published as ‘An Imposed Ethic’ – presumably the editor thought ‘etic’ was a spelling mistake and didn’t get the sense I was trying to convey through the use of the term ‘imposed etic’. My point was that particular, localised values and norms were being applied as though they were universals, without empirical justification. I had been somewhat concerned by John Daniels’ article,… Read More