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Madness on the Couch
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Table of Contents

PROLOGUE In Search of El Dorado PART ONE: FREUD CHAPTER ONE The Gospel According to Freud CHAPTER TWO The Power of Conviction PART TWO: THE HEYDAY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS CHAPTER THREE The High Ground CHAPTER FOUR Hope and Glory PART THREE: SCHIZOPHRENIA CHAPTER FIVE The Mother of the "Schizophrenogenic Mother" CHAPTER SIX Dr. Yin and Dr. Yang CHAPTER SEVEN From Bad Mothers to Bad Families CHAPTER EIGHT Ice Picks and Electroshocks CHAPTER NINE The Tide Turns PART FOUR: AUTISM CHAPTER TEN A Mystery Proclaimed CHAPTER ELEVEN The Buchenwald Connection CHAPTER TWELVE The Scientists CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Parents CHAPTER FOURTEEN Parent-Blaming Put to the Test EPILOGUE Current Theories of Autism PART FIVE: OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER CHAPTER FIFTEEN Enslaved by Demons CHAPTER SIXTEEN Freud Speaks CHAPTER SEVENTEEN The Biological Evidence PART SIX: CONCLUSION CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Placing the Blame NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INDEX

About the Author

Edward Dolnick, a contributing editor of Health magazine, is the former chief science writer for The Boston Globe. His articles have also appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Reviews

A contributing editor to Health magazine, Dolnick slams psychiatry's efforts to cure mental illness in the Fifties and Sixties. The publisher flagged this as a hot title.

Kay Redfield Jamison

"author of "An Unquiet Mind""Madness on the Coach" vividly portrays the chilling misuses of unproven psychiatric theory and the costs of such misuses to the seriously mentally ill and their families. It is riveting, horrifying, and deeply disturbing.


E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.

"author of "Surviving Schizophrenia""Madness on the Couch" is an entertaining and enlightening account of the most disgraceful period in American psychiatry. It is blaming the victim, writ large. All psychoanalysts should be required to read this book three times as penance.


Temple Grandin

"author of "Thinking in Pictures"Edward Dolnick has got it just right: In their efforts to cure those suffering from autism, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychoanalysts did more harm than good. By blaming the victims and their families for what we now know are biological conditions, psychoanalysts caused great anxiety and guilt. "Madness on the Couch" is a wonderful book.


Martin Gardner

"editor of "Great Essays in Science"My fervent hope is that every person still clinging to the belief that Freud was one of the greatest scientists of recent times will buy and ponder Dolnick's brilliant, explosive book -- a splendid, scrupulously documented survey of the revolution that has taken place, since Freud, in the understanding of schizophrenia, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Frederick Crews

"author of "The Memory Wars"A harrowing, engrossing, bluntly honest book about psychiatry's Late Middle Ages -- the decades after World War II, when the demonizing of families was mistaken for therapeutic wisdom. As Edward Dolnick reveals, immeasurable suffering had to occur before mental healing could make its peace with experimental science. Everyone can learn something from this trenchant study, and for many it ought to be required reading.

Extensively researched but depressingly mean-spirited, journalist Dolnick's debut chronicles the American midcentury's full-out embrace of psychoanalysis and willingness to apply it with impunity. Theorists such as Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, R.D. Laing and Bruno Bettelheim broadened Freudian theory to treat not only anxiety and neurosis, Dolnick explains, but also more severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As Dolnick shows, these neo-Freudians quickly came to dominate the psychiatric industry. They shared with ur-Freudianism an emphasis on talk therapy for even the most disturbed patients and, most damningly in Dolnick's eyes, a vision of the home as nest of pathology; it was in this era that the term "refrigerator mother" was coined to designate the mother of a schizophrenic. Today, these theories have receded into the background of psychiatry because of their apparent clinical inefficacy and the emergence of powerful (but hardly problem-free) drug therapies. In an ill-focused j'accuse, Dolnick, a contributing editor of Health magazine, charges the neo-Freudians with sloppy science, moral laxness and intellectual infirmity. Above all, he faults them for "hubris," because they failed to conduct double-blind experiments in testing theories (although in the epilogue he admits that such trials were not even invented until 1948, nor widely in use until long after). He also pins the blame for an entire generation's demonization of domestic life squarely on the shoulders of this small band of therapists. In sentence after sentence brimming with accusatory hauteur, Dolnick shifts his moral critique from anecdote to anecdote, now sympathizing with the patients, whose symptoms he details with distasteful breathiness, now with the hard-working but sadly befuddled psychoanalysts in the trenches, and now with the unfairly blamed parents. While this book can be seen as yet another case of hindsight Freud bashing, it lacks the intellectual subtlety that would make it a genuine contribution to such historical revisionism. (Oct.)

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