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January 1956

Clinical Psychiatry

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(1):113. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330190129017

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There has long been a need in the field of clinical psychiatry for a textbook that is critical, constructive, and complete, and that utilizes all that is new and valuable in psychiatric theory and practice. Unfortunately, this book, by three British psychiatrists, does not fill that need.

This volume is, to say the least, very spotty. There are many shrewd criticisms of some current ideas, but they are often followed by statements that are little more than nonsense. The authors feel that psychiatry belongs to medicine and that there is need for more self-criticism. They then state that the type of expansion of the scope of psychiatry as produced by the study of sociology and anthropology is bad. They feel that in the major psychiatric disorders the specific factors in causation are of a constitutional and physiopathological kind. "An experience which is shared by all human beings cannot be the

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