A Critical Analysis of the Validity, Utility & Effects of the Biomedical Model

Kermit Cole

MIA reader/commenter Brett Deacon's article in the prominent Clinical Psychology Review says that despite "widespread faith in the potential of neuroscience", the biomedical era has produced poor mental health outcomes. He calls for an open and critical dialogue of the model, asking whether it is ethical to propound the "chemical imbalance story" in order to increase the credibility of antidepressant medication, when there isn't "even one instance in which neurobiology alone can explain a psychological experience," and when the model has failed to produce two of its prime objectives; the reduction of stigma, and good long-term outcomes. He calls for critical examination of the biomedical model's effects, and mentions the vigorous dialogue taking place on madinamerica.com, among other venues.

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Deacon, B; The biomedical model of mental disorder: A critical analysis of its validity, utility, and effects on psychotherapy research. Clinical Psychology Review. Online April 8, 2013

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, is foundling editor of Mad in America. He worked in residential treatment with a focus on trauma & psychosis for many years before attending the first Open Dialogue trainings offered in the US. There he experienced the beauty and power of a network rather than an individual focus, and as a result came to love working with couples. He works at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, with an interest in couples and families that have "identified patients," but doesn't discriminate against people who are thought of as "normal."

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