Medicalized Psychiatry and the Talking Cure: A Hermeneutic Intervention [Book Review]

Human Studies 34 (3):293-308 (2011)
The dominance of the medical-model in American psychiatry over the last 30 years has resulted in the subsequent decline of the “talking cure”. In this paper, we identify a number of problems associated with medicalized psychiatry, focusing primarily on how it conceptualizes the self as a de-contextualized set of symptoms. Drawing on the tradition of hermeneutic phenomenology, we argue that medicalized psychiatry invariably overlooks the fact that our identities, and the meanings and values that matter to us, are created and constituted by our dialogical relations with others. While acknowledging the importance of medical and pharmaceutical interventions, we suggest that it is only by means of the dialogical interplay of the talking cure that the client can both recognize unhealthy and self-defeating ways of being and be opened up to the possibility of new meanings and self-interpretations
Keywords Medicalized psychiatry  Psychotherapy  Hermeneutic phenomenology  Talking cure  Charles Taylor  Martin Heidegger
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