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January 2000

Science and the Future of Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

From the Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000;57(1):86-87. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.57.1.86

If humanity is lucky, the evolution of our knowledge of the living world will result in the elaboration of more perfect scientific eyes to probe the nature of the human brain and to understand the complexities of the human mind. This seems to be the best path to truly helping individuals who are battling psychiatric illnesses and to actually preventing many brain-related disorders. For such accomplishments to take place, the trajectory of our science has to change, to move from its unrelenting reductionism to a serious attempt at integrating knowledge that spans from the structure of the gene to the expression of complex cognition. The tension between the biomedical and the psychotherapeutic approaches in psychiatry needs to be eliminated and transformed into a fully integrated approach that is mindful of the biological, emotional, cognitive, and social complexity of each individual.

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