The Foundations of Psychiatry

The Foundations of Psychiatry

The Foundations of Psychiatry

The Foundations of Psychiatry

Excerpt

Among the disciplines which are growing at the most accelerated pace is psychiatry, and understandably so. Intimately involved with general biology, neurology, psychology, sociology, cultural changes of any kind, it is constantly enriched by these fields and many others, which all converge toward a greater knowledge of man in health and mental illness.

When one looks at the first edition of this Handbook several thoughts emerge: how much of its content has preserved its validity; how little is no longer acceptable; but, most of all, how much is missing from it which we are now in a position to include. And yet the initial two volumes of the first edition appeared in 1959; the third in 1966. The time elapsed is short, but the work done in the field in these intervening years is enormous. A new and larger edition has thus become necessary. The success of the first edition, not only in the United States but throughout the world, gave the inspiration and provided the energy necessary for the preparation of this second edition.

When this new edition was planned it soon became evident that I could no longer be the only editor, as I had been for the 1959-1966 edition. It is increasingly difficult for one person to have the necessary competence in the many areas of rapidly expanding psychiatry. The need for section editors became a necessity. I am responsible for the planning, general organization, and division of the work; but competent colleagues have joined me in editing the various volumes. Only Volume One, "The Foundations of Psychiatry," is edited by me exclusively. Dr. Gerald Caplan is the editor of Volume Two, which deals with "Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sociocultural and Community Psychiatry." Volume Three, devoted to "Adult Clinical Psychiatry," is edited by Dr. Eugene B. Brody and myself. Volume Four, dealing with "Organic Disorders and Psychosomatic Medicine," is edited by Dr. Morton F. Reiser. Drs. Daniel X. Freedman and Jarl E. Dyrud have edited Volume Five, dealing with "Treatment," and Drs. David A. Hamburg and H. Keith Brodie have edited Volume Six, "New Psychiatric Frontiers."

The basic philosophy and guidelines of the first edition will be recognized in the second. All orientations, all schools, all respectable methods of treatment are represented in these volumes. Some of these approaches converge and integrate, others diverge. They actually represent in the field of psychiatry the spirit of innovation and the state of flux of modern man. At the present stage of our knowledge any attempt to integrate some approaches and to exclude others would not lead to higher syntheses or to a consistent view of psychiatry or of man, but to one or another brand of reductionism.

Completeness was preferred to simplification, representation of contrasting views and reliability were preferred to uniformity and attempts toward consistency. Each author was requested to cover his special field; he was free to express his personal point of view, but he was asked in almost all instances to present alternative conceptions and to reduce his private terminology to a minimum or to define it immediately. The chapters of these volumes differ from those of usual textbooks in being more complete, more analytical, and more . . .

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