Criticism Run Amok!: Myths and Counter-Myths

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 168–169. Reviews the book, The Myth of Psychotherapy: Mental Healing as Religion, Rhetoric, and Repression by Thomas Szasz (1978). Szasz is probably the best known antipsychiatry psychiatrist in the United States. The major points of the Szasz doctrine have been spelled out in previous books, and the present one is not one of his major efforts. It concentrates on a historical review of mental healing, starting with Plato and Aristotle, and continuing through such as Mesmer and Erb to the leading demons of the psychoanalytic religion. Szasz is scholarly in documenting carefully all he has to say. However; he leaves out much that is important, and furthermore, he disregards questions that are potentially lethal to his argument. Another point that Szasz has always disregarded is the importance of genetic factors in mental disease. For aficionados of slogans, this book is a must, for those more interested in dealing practically with the problems of the living, it is merely a curiosity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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