Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All in the Mind - Thomas Szasz: Psychiatrists Respond

All in the Mind's two-part interview with anti-psychiatry psychologist Thomas Szasz generated a lot of responses. This week's episode offers two docs discussing Szasz's comments.

Here is the blog post from this week, followed by the All in the Mind episode.

Thomas Szasz: psychiatrists respond

Hope you had a terrific Easter break doing whatever wherever. The cool air is blowing in in these parts this week, heralding the end of daylight saving. Autumn is gorgeous, but I do miss those bright nights of Summer.

The comments are rolling in about the interview with Professor Thomas Szasz, author of The Myth of Mental Illness (1961). Take a look, and join the fray. I've been enthralled by the discussion you've generated here on the blog.

This weekend I'm airing a discussion with two psychiatrists in response. It's not a bun-fight as you might expect, they are in fact two people who have engaged thoughtfully with Szasz's thinking in their own research into the philosophy and ethics of psychiatry. After all, Professor Szasz continued to work as a psychiatrist whilst branding the profession as despicable - so those tensions and conflicts can exist within the lives of working clinicians, and do. Catch the audio, references and more here.

Meanwhile, many of you have been keen to tune into the full interview with Thomas Szasz recorded by the ABC in 1977. So, here is it is:

Download Thomas_Szasz_Broadband_ABC_2_August_77.mp3 (It's big! 20.7MB 45 mins. Keep in mind that all rights remain with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Thanks again for all your incredible, moving, infuriated, enthused, impassioned comments this past fortnight. Keep them coming here.

Be sure to check out the comments to this post, in addition to those following the radio show.

Thomas Szasz: psychiatrists respond

Controversial psychiatrist Professor Thomas Szasz wrote The Myth of Mental Illness in 1961. Nearly 50 years later, on the eve of his 89th birthday, he continues to both ignite and inspire -- as the huge number of comments on the All in the Mind blog indicates after our extended interview with him. This week, two psychiatrists respond to their profession's most vigilant critic.

Show Transcript | Hide Transcript


Professor John Sadler
Daniel W. Foster Professor of Medical Ethics
Professor of Psychiatry & Clinical Sciences
Chief, Division of Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Clinical Sciences.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Dr Michael Robertson
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine (VELIM)
University of Sydney

Further Information

Comment on Professor Szasz's interview and ideas - join Natasha Mitchell in the All in the Mind blog
Your email address is not made public, and you can use your first name or a pseudonym if you choose. Scroll down to the end of the list of comments underneath Natasha's blog post, to contribute your own. Blogs are moderated.

All in the Mind on twitter

Part 1 of 2 - Thomas Szasz speaks
First part of this 3 part series, broadcast on All in the Mind, ABC Radio National

Part 2 of 2 - Thomas Szasz speaks
The 2nd part of this 3 part series on All in the Mind, ABC Radio National

Professor Thomas Szasz's website

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
Wikipedia article on the DSM. The ABC can't vouch for the accuracy of any wikipedia content.

Ethics on the couch
Interview with Dr Michael Robertson on ABC Radio National's Philosopher's Zone.

Mind and Mood on the ABC's Health and Wellbeing's Online gateway


Title: Values and Psychiatric Diagnosis
Author: John Z. Sadler
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2004
ISBN13: 9780198526377 ISBN10: 0198526377

Title: The rhetorician's craft, distinctions in science, and political morality (Commentary)
Author: John Z Sadler
Publisher: Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 2006; 1: 7.
URL: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1488862

Title: Vice and the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Disorders: A Philosophical Case Conference
Author: John Z Sadler
Publisher: Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology - Volume 15, Number 1, March 2008, pp. 1-17
URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/philosophy_psychiatry_and_psychology/v015/15.1.sadler.html

Title: The Ethics of the Psychiatric Diagnosis
Author: Michael Robertson and Garry Walter
Publisher: Psychiatric Annals, 37:12, December 2007
URL: http://www.psychiatricannalsonline.com/view.asp?rid=25301
Other publications by Dr Robertson are listed here

Title: The social construction of values and the psychiatric profession. Part 1: conceptual issues and the case of Argentine psychiatry.
Author: Michael Robertson, Hans Pols, Gary Walter
Publisher: Journal of Ethics in Mental Health. 2008; 3:1-5.
URL: http://is.gd/sIvk

Title: The Myth of Mental Illness (original journal paper)
Author: Thomas S. Szasz
Publisher: American Psychologist, 15, 113-118. 1960
URL: http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Szasz/myth.htm
This became the basis of Thomas Szasz's book of the same title, published the year later.

Title: The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
Author: Thomas Szasz
Publisher: 1984 Harper Perennial (Revised edition), first published 1961.

Title: Coercion As Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry
Author: Thomas S. Szasz
Publisher: Transaction Publishers, 2007

Title: Psychiatry: The Science of Lies
Author: Thomas Szasz
Publisher: Syracuse University Press, 2008

Title: Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics
Author: Edited by Jeffrey A Schaler
Publisher: 2004
Contributors include Thomas Szasz, R.R Kendell, K.W.M Fulford, Ray Scott Percival, Ralph Slovenko, Stanton Peele, Rita J. Simon, E. James Lieberman, Margaret A. Hagen, Margaret P. Battin and Ryan Spellecy, Richard Bentall, Ronald Pies, H. Tristam Engelhardt, Jr.

Title: The Medicalization of Everyday Life - Selected Essays
Author: Thomas Szasz
Publisher: Syracuse University Press, 2007
ISBN-13 978-0-8156-0867-7

Title: The Myth of Psychotherapy
Author: Thomas Szasz
Publisher: Syracuse University Press, 1988.
ISBN-10: 0815602235


Natasha Mitchell

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