By David H Brendel
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Additional info for Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science Humanism Divide
In that way, practitioners at both Science and Humanism in Psychiatry 9 ends of the biomedical/psychodynamic spectrum had developed a common but potentially problematic response to the mystery of human life and psychiatric illness. ” By imposing order on chaos in this way, the biomedical psychiatrist and psychodynamic psychotherapist developed much-needed treatments, but also ran the risk of excluding important human phenomena from their clinical formulations. Here Luhrmann pointed to the critical dimension of the current disorder in American psychiatry.
Intriguingly, one approach always seems to give way to the other approach in psychiatric practice—and this peculiarity is what makes psychiatric reasoning truly dialectical. As the psychiatrist describes clinical symptoms and locates the patient in a general diagnostic category, the patient as an individual begins to slip away—and the psychiatrist who recognizes the oversimplification will find a way to notice and take account of the patient’s uniqueness. Conversely, the more a clinical psychiatrist tunes into a patient’s unique human characteristics, the more he or she will experience an urge to compare and contrast the patient’s experience with that of other people in similar circumstances or with similar disorders.
But even in outpatient settings, the forces of managed care were intensifying and placing limitations on the nature and length of treatment. Psychodynamic psychiatrists preserved a robust sense of the fundamental complexity of the human mind and unconscious motivation, but they were becoming isolated from the mainstream trends toward biomedical diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Luhrmann pointed out that, like biomedical psychiatrists, psychodynamic psychiatrists looked at impossibly complex human phenomena and attempted to organize, simplify, and reduce them so that they could treat their patients.
Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science Humanism Divide by David H Brendel