Psychiatry faces a number of external and internal challenges. At the heart of its difficulties is an identity crisis and attempts to resolve this have so far split the specialty. British psychiatry has in recent years taken an increasingly ‘neurophobic’ stance. This article argues that, despite the current situation, opportunities remain for a medicine of the mind to thrive. Neuroscientific advances in our understanding of psychiatric disorders need to be made more explicit in training and in the structure of mental health services.