Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Twenty years of the Critical Psychiatry Network

  • Duncan B. Double (a1)

Abstract

The Critical Psychiatry Network (CPN) was formed in 1999. This editorial attempts to define critical psychiatry and notes some key contributions from members of the CPN. The implications of critical psychiatry and some differences within the critical psychiatry movement are discussed.

Declaration of interest

D.B.D is founding member of the Critical Psychiatry Network.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Twenty years of the Critical Psychiatry Network
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Twenty years of the Critical Psychiatry Network
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Twenty years of the Critical Psychiatry Network
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Duncan B. Double, Victoria House, 28 Alexandra Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1PL, UK. Email: dbdouble@dbdouble.co.uk

References

Hide All
1British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology. Classification of Behaviour and Experience in Relation to Functional Psychiatric Diagnosis: Time for a Paradigm Shift. British Psychological Society, 2013.
2Double, DB (ed). Critical Psychiatry: The Limits of Madness. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
3Clare, A. Psychiatry in Dissent: Controversial Issues in Thought and Practice. Tavistock Publications, 1976.
4Manschrek, TC, Kleinman, A (eds). Renewal in Psychiatry: A Critical Rational Perspective. Wiley, 1977.
5Engel, G. The need for a new medical model: a challenge for biomedicine. Science 1977; 196: 129–36.
6Ludwig, A. The psychiatrist as physician. JAMA 1975; 234: 603–4.
7Timimi, S. Pathological Child Psychiatry and the Medicalization of Childhood. Brunner-Routledge, 2002.
8Bracken, P, Thomas, P. Postpsychiatry: Mental Health and Postmodernism. Oxford University Press, 2005.
9Fernando, S. Mental Health Worldwide: Culture, Globalisation and Development. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
10Moncrieff, J. The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Twenty years of the Critical Psychiatry Network

  • Duncan B. Double (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

The Myth of 'Critical Psychiatry'

Neil David MacFarlane, Independent Psychiatrist, MRCPsych
20 March 2019

Duncan Double tells us that the CPN is an embattled minority trying to push back against the 'mainstream' who hold that 'mental illness is brain disease', but the only evidence he cites for most ordinary UK psychiatrists holding such views is Sami Timimi's memoir.

But he does not mention that the CPN is officially approved and promoted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists leadership, through the CPD module written by its co-chairs Hugh Middleton and Joanna Moncrieff: http://www.psychiatrycpd.co.uk/learningmodules/criticalpsychiatry.aspx

The reality is that the CPN is very much part of the psychiatry establishment's failure to address the long-term decline in NHS spending on mental health and learning disability services, from around 25% of the total health budget decades ago, to 11% today. The latest 'Five Year Plan' trumpets 'a real increase', but closer examination shows the commitment to be a mere 0.1%, well within the margin of error: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-long-term-plan/

As with 'Critical Psychology', the common factor of the range of views within the CPN is a commitment to anti-diagnosis purism (http://www.criticalpsychiatry.co.uk/docs/LanguageOfDisorder.pdf), hence the repeated employment of the 'brain disease' strawman by its members.

Dr Double stresses 'minimising the use of coercion' and 'helping people improve their social situation', but his solution of a 'non-eclectic' biopsychosocial approach seems Utopian, without adequate funding of community-based services.
... More

Conflict of interest: None declared

Write a reply
Show replies

to The Myth of 'Critical Psychiatry'


Abolishing the brain

Saad Faheem Ghalib, RCPsych
13 February 2019



At a time were mainstream psychiatry continues to incessantly adhere to their ideal of having the mind faithfully and precisely reduced to the brain, which thus far led to no scientifically tangible results, a series of revolutionary papers published as back as the first half of the twentieth century, made it certain that the concept of the mind is here to stay and that the mind can after all be placed on sound scientific footing that can quantitatively be tested, with one caveat though, none of these theories require the existence of the brain! The result has been wide ranging applications in mathematics, psychology, genetics, biology, artificial intelligence and economics. In 1928, John von Neumann, was probably the first to come up with a mathematical representation of the logic of decision making when considering strategies for competition or cooperation (game theory). The theory essentially made two assumptions: in a game, a player would have to accept that other players have minds too; moreover, they are expected to act rationally. However, the theory made no assumptions whatever as to what the mind is or what is made of! Neumann’s work was followed in 1936 by another brilliant insight, this time by Alan Turing, who was able to mathematically prove that by feeding a machine a set of instructions it can be made to mimic human understanding and that with more advanced algorithms, the machine can potentially accomplish highly complicated tasks without having the understanding or be it a consciousness when doing so! Adding insult to injury, in 1948, Claude Shannon, another visionary, discovered the atom of information (christened the bit) and almost single handedly launched the digital age. The atom of information is mathematically represented as the degree of unexpectedness in a message. Furthermore, and building on Shannon’s monumental discovery, subsequent work showed that information is in fact, embedded in a variety of physical means (atoms, DNA, black holes, electric circuits, cosmic radiation) and therefore, not an exclusive property of the human brain!

Extensive work in harnessing quantum phenomena, the likes of entanglement (a particle being in two places at and the storing of information at a subatomic level, is likely to bare its fruits in probably just under a decade, and once achieved; we stand on the verge of having our brains rendered completely redundant! Worryingly, soon enough it is probably not the mind that needs saving but the brain! The mind is here to stay and attempts to have it reduced to the brain are just missing the point of the aforementioned discoveries. Behold, intelligent machines will soon be upon us!

... More

Conflict of interest: None declared

Write a reply

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *