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Books, Journals, New Media
June 23/30, 1999

Psychiatry: A Map of the Mind: Toward A Science of Psychotherapy

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by Richard Brockman, 297 pp, with illus, $37.95, ISBN 1-887841-14-8, Madison, Conn, Psychosocial Press, 1998.

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JAMA. 1999;281(24):2347. doi:10.1001/jama.281.24.2347

In the beginning, there was Freud, as a guide whose theories of mind and psychopathology drove scientific psychiatric thinking throughout much of the present century. In A Map of the Mind, Richard Brockman, a Columbia University Hospital psychiatrist and faculty member of the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, presents his thesis that John Bowlby, conceptualizer of attachment disorders, might better be hailed as a seminal thinker in light of current psychiatric knowledge. We are entering a time, Brockman explains, when imaging studies of the brain are greatly improving our functional-anatomic understanding of affective and cognitive abnormalities. Such studies also shed light on how the different psychotropic medications work, which receptors are preferentially affected, and, by extrapolation, which neural pathways govern various states of mind. Ideally, such information will prove helpful in refining drugs so that more potent "target effects" are accompanied by fewer side effects.