The ten most important changes in psychiatry since World War II

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Writing the recent history of a subject is notoriously difficult because of the lack of perspective and impartiality. One way to gain insight and understanding into the recent past of a discipline of knowledge is to consult directly the living practitioners who actually experienced first-hand the major changing circumstances in the discipline during the period under study. This article seeks to explore the most significant changes occurring in Western, and especially American, psychiatry from the end of World War II up to the present by interrogating a representative selection of psychiatrists and psychologists about the subject. Over a three-year period, the author surveyed approximately 200 mental health experts on their perceptions of change in the world of psychiatric theory and practice during this enormously eventful 70-year period. After presenting the survey results, the article then attempts to analyse the answers that the author did (and did not) obtain from his poll-taking subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 26 2014


  • Biological psychiatry
  • DSM
  • deinstitutionalization
  • paradigm-shift
  • psychoanalysis
  • psychopharmacology revolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The ten most important changes in psychiatry since World War II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this