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Books, Journals, New Media
July 9, 2003

Psychology, Pseudoscience

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(2):268-269. doi:10.1001/jama.290.2.268

The mental health professions have been slower than most to reject scientifically questionable methods of diagnosis, treatment, and explanation. This trend has had unfortunate consequences. There is a widespread public misperception—shared by many nonpsychiatric physicians—that most mental health treatment is "flaky" and unscientific.

Organizations of mental health professionals have been reluctant to respond by publicly differentiating scientifically supported treatments from quackery. Individuals with readily treatable psychiatric disorders continue to be diverted into treatments of dubious value. Finally, the civil and criminal justice systems are often misguided by "experts" purveying questionable theories of the etiology of mental disorders.

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