Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office: Ward 216
Telephone: (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Office hours: (by appointment)
"Although we may not know it, we have, in our day, witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control," (Szasz, 1963).
We tend to take for granted the benevolence of psychiatry and its scientific explanations for deviant behavior. Yet psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other members of the "mental health" profession assert that people can be "treated" against their consent for "mental illness," as if "mentally ill" persons have real diseases, (this despite the fact that people with "real" diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, have the right to refuse medical treatment). Moreover, individuals are absolved of responsibility for their criminal actions based on psychiatric/psychological explanations for their behavior. Guilty persons are treated by the state and members of the mental health profession as if they are innocent. Other people are treated as if they are guilty of a crime, when in fact the only "crime" they have committed is to deviate in their behavior from the established norm.
Controversy regarding the scientific and constitutional legitimacy of such practices has evolved for years. Those supporting psychiatric paternalism argue that "mentally ill" people need to be protected from themselves. Critics contend such practices are anathema to a free society¬and have more to do with law, ethics, and politics than medicine and science.
In this course we investigate the arguments of writers most critical of the "therapeutic state." We do so to further our understanding of the unholy matrimony that has developed between the mental health and legal professions. Topics include the insanity defense, competency to stand trial, involuntary treatment and commitment procedures. Lecture and discussion format.
Required Texts and Readings
Cohen, D. (1990). Challenging the therapeutic state: Critical perspectives on psychiatry and the mental health system. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11 (Nos. 3 & 4).
Edwards, R.E. (1982). Psychiatry and ethics. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.
Szasz, T.S. (1989). Law, liberty, and psychiatry. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press.
Szasz, T.S. (1988). The myth of psychotherapy. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press.
Course Requirements and Grades Test 1 20% Mid-term examination 30% Test 2 20% Final examination 30% Total = 100%
* Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades, as well as participation in class discussions. Material discussed in class, or in films, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. One grade reduction for over five class absences. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings may be assigned during the course.
Academic Integrity Code
"Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the University's Academic Integrity Code. It is expected that all examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments will be completed according to the standards set forth in this code. By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary action will be taken should such violations occur. Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course."
Class Schedule Date Topic Reading January 11 The Problem of Psychotherapy Szasz MOP January 14 Rhetoric & Religion as Remedy MOP vii - 42 January 18 Precursors of Psychotherapy MOP 43-81 January 21 Mesmer to Freud MOP 82-100 January 25 Paradigm of Psychotherapy MOP 101-137 January 28 Freud and Jung MOP 138 178 February 1 Politics of Psychotherapy MOP 179-208 February 4 Test 1 February 8 Psychiatry as Science LLP 1-38 February 11 Psychiatry as a Social Institution LLP 39-90 February 15 Psychiatry and the Criminal Law LLP 91-148 February 18 Film February 22 Review February 25 Mid-term examination March 1 Psychiatry and Constitutional Rights LLP 149-192 March 4 Psychiatry and Public Policy LLP 193-237 March 8 No class March 11 No class March 15 Therapeutic State/Obsolescence of the CTS Leifer Schizophrenia Hypothesis CTS Sarbin Therapeutic Professions CTS Gergen Name Game CTS Brown March 18 Subjective Boundaries CTS Mirowsky March 22 Brain Damage and Neuroleptics CTS Breggin Political Economy of Tardive CTS Cohen & Dyskinesia McCubbin March 25 Electroshock CTS Frank False Accusations of Sexual Abuse CTS Coleman March 29 Test 2 April 1 Behavior in a Vacuum CTS Peele April 5 Some Myths About "Mental Illness" PE Moore April 8 Refusal of Psychiatric Treatment PE Macklin April 12 Psychotropic Drugs as Therapeutic Agents PE Klerman April 15 The Problems that Will Not Go Away CTS Szasz April 19 Film April 22 Review May 3 Final examination 11:20 am to 1:50 pm
© Copyright Jeffrey A. Schaler, 1997-2002 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.