e-book Mad, Bad And Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present

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Lisa Appignanesi

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Clinical Psychology. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies. Culture and Psychoanalysis.

Mad, Bad And Sad by Lisa Appignanesi | Waterstones

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Mad, Bad And Sad Reviews

Each is just a shadow of the whole that, paradoxically, has no single identity. As she notes in her book, heavyweights like Julia Kristeva and Juliet Mitchell were literature PhDs before training as analysts, and although Appignanesi maintains a critical distance, the same vein runs through her work. This is most apparent in her explorations of the lives of famous women who have shaped our ideas about the feminine and mental illness. It is also the case, however, that this period of history is the most gripping of the book, not least because it features the players for which Appignanesi has the most passion, but also because of her careful historical work, weaving the developments in the understanding of the mind to the social, to the personal, and back again.

Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present

But it is not the focus on the poetic psychologies that gives the book its romantic tone, so much the coldness for science which most clearly shows itself as the book rolls on to the present. The fact that these could be the effective tools of humane and sensitive clinicians seems almost impossible in this light. The rise of science in psychological treatment is portrayed as antagonistic to empathy and the true work of understanding the soul, when, in fact, they are complementary to it.

But despite the slant, I found Mad, Bad and Sad both powerful and enlightening, gripping in places, and compelling in many of its arguments. It is perhaps, the best romantic history of psychiatry available, although, it is not as purely historical as it claims. Link to book details. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.


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