Try to Remember

Try to Remember

Psychiatry's Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind

Book - 2008
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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 the patients’ 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.
 


Book News
As one spectacularly appalling example of cliffs over which his professional colleagues swarm much too frequently, McHugh (psychiatry, Johns Hopkins U.) describes the fad of suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse that gripped psychiatry and grew to infect the public and the legal system during the 1980s. From his chair in the academy, he says, he had a front row seat to the damage the movement caused both to therapists and to patients and their loved ones. Among the stages of the saga are appraising the problem, the scope of suspicion, getting to know patients, the move to post-traumatic stress disorder, and the conflict and the deficit psychotherapies. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : Dana Press, c2008
ISBN: 9781932594393
1932594396
Characteristics: ix, 276 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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