Medical Psychology: A Basis for Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Medical Psychology: A Basis for Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Medical Psychology: A Basis for Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Medical Psychology: A Basis for Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to present an integrated approach to the understanding of human behavior as a foundation for the study of psychiatry and clinical psychology. Students of medicine require a fundamental background of this kind for their later study of diagnostic methods, psychosomatic medicine, neuroses and psychoses, and finally therapy. Similarly, students majoring in clinical psychology stand in need of an integrated approach oriented primarily toward an understanding of abnormal behavior, without the bias of any particular school.

The method of presentation followed is to state only those theoretical constructs that have the widest acceptance and to give the experimental and clinical evidence from which they are derived. In teaching a beginning course in psychiatry for the past twelve years the author has faced the necessity of selecting and organizing the essential topics and the best of the evidence available, rigorously excluding whatever proved to be redundant or confusing. This is the plan used in the present book.

Three criteria were adopted for the material to be included. In the first place, the importance of the topic had to be consonant with inclusion in a brief treatment for a single course in a crowded curriculum. Second, even with some sacrifice of brevity, a rounded treatment of each topic was attempted, Finally, the author has endeavored to integrate the theoretical concepts of the behaviorist, Gestalt, and Freudian schools. Teaching experience indicates that unrelated facts or concepts merely baffle students, without aiding their understanding. On the other hand, presenting the course from the standpoint of only one school introduces a bias into the whole subject. Ideas from the various schools have been included if they throw additional light on human behavior and if they are supported by the best experimental and clinical evidence available at present.

The book is intended primarily for use in a first-year course in psychiatry, serving somewhat the same purpose as a text in chemistry for the future internist or one in anatomy for the future surgeon. The student preparing himself to be a clinical psychologist, because of the training he will undergo during his internship and the likelihood that he will pursue his specialty in a medical situation, requires the same . . .

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