The Psychiatric Body

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter refers the term "psychiatric body" to mean materialist mental medicine. It uses the term in two senses: to denote the behavioral aspects of the human brain as a bodily organ and to discuss the body of knowledge generated by physicians about that subject. During the second quarter of the twentieth century, a great cleavage developed within the Western psychiatric community. In thrall to psychoanalysis, academic physicians and psychiatrists in private practice focused on intensive psychotherapy for neurotic patients over long periods of time. Psychodynamic psychiatry, which dominated academic Euro-American psychological medicine during the middle of the twentieth century, produced an impressive constellation of ideas and observations about human mental life in health and sickness. History suggests further that forms of psychiatric mentalism tend to be more accessible popularly, to have greater cultural applicability, and to be more successful at satisfying those human needs known as spiritual and metaphysical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine in the Twentieth Century
EditorsRoger Cooter, John Pickstone
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781003078456
ISBN (Print)9789057024795, 9781138002289
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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