Social Psychiatry

Taken from Wikipedia

Social psychiatry is a branch of psychiatry that focuses on the “interpersonal” and cultural context of mental disorder and mental wellbeing. It involves a sometimes disparate set of theories and approaches, with work stretching from epidemiological survey research on the one hand, to an indistinct boundary with individual or group psychotherapy on the other. Social psychiatry combines a medical training and perspective with fields such as social anthropologysocial psychologycultural psychiatrysociology and other disciplines relating to mental distress and disorder. Social psychiatry has been particularly associated with the development of therapeutic communities, and to highlighting the effect of socioeconomic factors on mental illness. Social psychiatry can be contrasted with biopsychiatry, with the latter focused on genetics, brain neurochemistry and medication. Social psychiatry was the dominant form of psychiatry for periods of the 20th century but is currently less visible than biopsychiatry.

Names like Harry Stack Sullivan, Erik Erikson, Caren Horney come up and they all developed this line of psychiatric approach that dealt not only with the individual as a whole but how they interacted with others even family and community. Wikipedia lists more. This led to new diagnoses or new names for old diagnoses and new ways of looking at mental illness and treating it. One main thing stands out… ” Social psychiatrists often focus on rehabilitation in a social context, rather than “treatment” per se. A related approach is community psychiatry.” (Wikipedia)

There is a point at which this type of cure becomes to bogged down and fails.

Instead of truly looking at sin or the person themselves as the problem and treating the illness this approach tends to lock the person into a long cycle of “rehabilitation”, something not so bad for the counselor’s wallet. ” Facilitating the social inclusion of people with mental health problems is a major focus of modern social psychiatry.” (Wikipedia)

However this shift in psychiatric treatment reflects well on the inclusive facilitative and global dynamic shift of thought in the intellectual community. While I agree with the thought that individuals with mental illness challenges do need to be able to live in community and understand how their condition can impact it and moreover how it can impact thier condition. Nevertheless one also has to deal with the person and with the sin issue. Social psychiatry has no place for the “sin issue” here.

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One thought on “Social Psychiatry

  1. […] Social Psychiatry […]

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