Description/Abstract of your Event:
There has been a strong leftist thread in psychiatry driven by the conviction that psychiatry can be an emancipating endeavor. This perspective rests on the foundational point that psychiatry’s principal object, the mind (psychological sphere), is inherently biological and social. Viewed from this perspective, psychiatry has a necessary role in understanding how to further liberation at the individual and social levels. This session will begin by providing a survey of various trends in Left Psychiatry including its intermingling with psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanism, structuralism, post–structuralism, anti-psychiatry, and radical psychiatry. Some of the limitations of these approaches with respect to psychology of individuals in general as well as mental illness will be discussed, e.g., idealism, positivism, the disembodiment of the individual, and social reductionism. Next, we will discuss emerging models including “critical psychiatry,” “structural competency,” and consumer groups such as Mind Freedom or the Hearing Voices Network. We will discuss the tensions between these approaches and the enormous gaps in psychiatric services and the validity of demands for “evidence-based” practices.