Good physicians take a clinical history in the interest of arriving at a diagnosis. While the clinical history is a review of ‘facts’, there are in fact, few ‘facts’ about human experience. Different examiners will get different histories depending upon what they ask about. Different family members give different reports of the same set of events. In my view clinical histories are a form of fiction pretending to be ‘objective’.
For Amy and Dave, common psychiatric “disorders” are part of relational patterns, usually embedded in the dynamics of the family. You just have to know how to look.
Understanding and changing family relationship patterns can make a huge difference for kids diagnosed with ADHD.
Part of the appeal of the “chemical imbalance” metaphor is that it people don’t have to feel ‘guilty” about their depression, or problems with their kids. But it can keep both patients and therapists from getting to the all-important bottom of things.
Here’s a first session with a “misbehaving” boy that reflects the corrosive effect of “enforced unity” in families
Dave: In an earlier post, Defiance in the Family: A Rebellion in the Name of Health, I described our idea that Defiance occurs as a result of a collapse of […]
Dave: The birth of the baby represents a quantum jump in intimacy and the complexity of living. There is a deep mutuality in the relationship between a parent and an […]
In a New York Times Op-Ed entitled “Diagnosis: Human”, written a few years ago but still pertinent, author Ted Gup responds to an article about how large numbers of our […]
DK: In my recent note on extending the family I commented that often, in the weeks following the extended family interview, something happens, something that gives evidence of change. In […]
Here’s an interesting post, brought to our attention by Noel Keith. The author, psychotherapist Marilyn Wedge, highlights the differences in the psychiatric approach between U.S. and French culture when it […]
DK: I have mentioned before that, though a General Psychiatrist and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, I have worked with families during my whole career, spanning 1975 to the present. […]
DK: This article reflects on my experience of being a hard-core family therapist disguised as a child psychiatrist working with families and children in a cultural climate that sees very […]
Check out this fabulous conversation with MIT psychologist Sherry Turkel. She was interviewed yesterday on New York’s Public Radio Station WNYC. Turkel is one of the leading voices on the […]
Check out this hilarious piece from the satirical rag The Onion. They discuss the growing “problem” of Youthful Tendency Disorder (YTD) and what can be done about it. Here’s a […]
AB: One of my favorite critics of the current “over-treatment” phenomenon in psychiatry is Dr. Allen Frances , Professor Emeritus of Duke University. I happen to have a special connection with […]
(See post from March 14th: How to Fire A Five-Year Old Boss) Dave: I have to take a moment to applaud my good friend and muse, Amy Begel. I admire […]