Anthropological Approaches to Psychological Medicine
304 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Aug 2000
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Anthropological Approaches to Psychological Medicine

Crossing Bridges

Edited by John Cox and Vieda Skultans
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
`There are many insights and nuggets of value in this collection. Maurice Lipsedge reminds us how badly psychiatry needs anthropology's insights.This book should contribute to the ongoing dialogue between the two fields.' - The Journal of the Royal Antropological Institute`The editors states in the introduction that they wish to encourage the reader `to meet halfway the other discipline'. This expresses the view which all the contributors clearly feel and which is correct, that psychology and psychiatry and anthropology have much to offer each other and indeed are similar in several respects'.- The International Journal of Social Psychiatry`As an introductory text the book is perhaps too difficult, but for students of medical anthropology and cross-cultural psychiatry it offers a useful up to date assessment of the field.'- The International Journal of Social Psychiatry'This text brings together some noted clinicians and researchers in psychiatry and mental health. The aim is to explore what we can learn from anthropology to achieve a contextual understanding of mental illness and health in contemporary society. The book contains a wide selection of ideas, and works well to bridge the gap between anthropolgy and psychiatry.This book is definitely not for the novice or anyone new to the field. It is, however, worth reading to explore ways in which mental health practitioners can make the shift from ideologies, theories and practices that are only interested in establishing the presence or absence of pathology or illness, towards theory and practice that take account of the meaning of those experiences for people in their everyday lives. One of the authors sums this up well by suggesting that "anthropologically informed methods of enquiry have potential to help establish clearer links between personal suffering and local politico-economic ideologies".`- Openmind. No110, July/Aug 2001The relevance of transcultural issues for medical practice, including psychiatry, is becoming more widely recognized and medical anthropology is now a major sub-discipline. Written for those working in the mental health services as well as for anthropologists, Anthropological Approaches to Psychological Medicine brings together psychiatry and anthropology and focuses on the implications of their interaction in theory and clinical practice. The book reaffirms the importance of anthropology for fully understanding psychiatric practice and psychological disorders in both socio-historical and individual contexts. The development and use of diagnostic categories, the nature of expressed emotion within cross-cultural contexts and the religious context of perceptions of pathological behaviour are all refracted through an anthropological perspective. The clinical applications of medical anthropology addressed include, in particular, the establishing of cultural competence and an examination of the new perspectives anthropological study can bring to psychosis and depression. The stigmatization of mental illness is also reviewed from an anthropological perspective.Encouraging practitioners to reflect on the position of medicine in a wider cultural context, this is an exciting and comprehensive text which explores the profound importance of an anthropological interpretation for key issues in psychological medicine.
Vieda Skultans is reader in Medical Anthropology at the University of Bristol. She has conducted fieldwork in South Wales, Maharashtra, Nepal and Latvia. Her most recent book The Testimony of Lives. Narrative and Memory in Post-Soviet Latvia was published by Routledge in 1998. John Cox is Professor of Psychiatry at Keele University and a consultant adult psychiatrist. He was a founder member of the Transcultural Psychiatry Society and published widely in the field of Perinatal Mental Health from a sociocultural perspective. He was elected President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1999 and continues his link with the Department of Psychiatry at Makerere University, Uganda where he held his first lecturer post in 1972.
Introduction, Vieda Skultans and John Cox. PART ONE: THEORETICAL APPROACHES. 1. The Cultural Origins of Western Depression, Sushrat Jadhav, University College, London. 2. Psychiatric Culture, Roland Littlewood, University College, London. 3. Remembering and Forgetting: The Changing Relationship, Vieda Skultans. 4. Narrative and Method in the Anthropology of Medicine, John Campbell, University College, Swansea. 5. Two of a Kind but Where is the Other?, Els van Dongen, Department of Psychiatry, Steenbergen. PART TWO: CLINICAL APPROACHES. 6. Social Anthropology and the Practice of Public Health Medicine, Jane Jackson, Newham Health Authority. 7. The Implications of an Anthropology of Religion for Psychiatric Practice, Simon Dein, Department of Social and Community Psychiatry, Harlow. 8. Establishing Cultural Competency for Mental Health Professionals, Maureen H. Fitzgerald, University of Sydney. 9. Cambodian Concepts of Perinatal Mental Disorder: Relevance to Understanding Western Approaches to Perinatal Mental Health, Maurice Eisenbruch, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris. 10. Social Anthropology and Stigma: The Importance for Psychiatry, Gerard Hutchinson and Dinesh Bhugra, Institute of Psychiatry. 11. Structures of Medical Thought: Professional Dispositions in Practice, Simon Sinclair, Oxford Heath Authority. 12. Lessons from Anthropology, Maurice Lipsedge, Guys Hospital.
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