Torrey joins the ranks of Laing, Szasz, and Goffman in remonstrating against the methods of modern psychiatry. He rails...

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THE DEATH OF PSYCHIATRY

Torrey joins the ranks of Laing, Szasz, and Goffman in remonstrating against the methods of modern psychiatry. He rails against the medical model (disease and cure), Kraepelinian classification, the concept of normality, mental hospitals (""prisons""), and the deprivation of patients' civil rights. He proposes a ""nco-educational model"" of ""tutors"" accredited ""primarily on the basis of their personality characteristics"" helping ""clients"" -- with whom they are matched by computer selection -- with their ""problems of living"" at ""retreats."" This seems to create more problems than it solves: accreditation on the basis of personality would be extremely subjective, and surely a tutor-tutee relationship would be too authoritarian. Torrey does not come to grips with conventional therapy; he fulminates, often sarcastically, sidestepping the issue. (How can existential therapy be dismissed as ""philosophy or self-education?"") although Torrey objects to the medical model, he does not suggest an alternative phenomenology of mental ""illness."" In short, Torrey's intemperate attack on psychiatry is unsound.

Pub Date: May 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Chilton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974