“Positive Psychiatry: Its Time Has Come”


A commentary in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry argues that psychiatrists should no longer focus only on diagnosing and treating mental illness, but should become more proactively involved in defining and supporting the development of mental health and well-being.

“Traditionally, psychiatry has been defined and practiced as a branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses,” write the authors. “Based on growing empirical evidence, we believe that this definition warrants expansion to include the concept of positive psychiatry… Positive psychiatry may be defined as the science and practice of psychiatry that seeks to understand and promote well-being through assessment and interventions involving positive psychosocial characteristics in people who suffer from or are at high risk of developing mental or physical illnesses. It can also benefit nonclinical populations.”

Positive Psychiatry: Its Time Has Come (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print, May 12, 2015)


  1. “should become more proactively involved in defining and supporting the development of mental health and well-being”

    Sure, because if something’s not working you need more of it… I especially like the element of “defining” – I’d actually love to see how psychiatry defines normal, that will be a good laugh.

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  2. Wait for it … “Under the umbrella of positive psychiatry, clinicians and educators would have rather different roles from today. Clinicians will evaluate not just the symptoms and diagnoses but also the levels of well-being and PPCs among their patients and employ psychotherapeutic/behavioral (AND IN THE FUTURE, BIOLOGICAL) interventions to enhance those traits, focusing on positive outcomes such as improved well-being and recovery.”

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  3. Psychiatrists diagnosing “mental health”, that is a good one, but I don’t see it taking place on any wide-scale basis as, in fact, couldn’t it prove detrimental to business? If it’s a psychiatrist sitting in his (or her) office shooting rubber-bands at the wall for lack of anything better to be doing, I don’t see it happening any time soon. They’ve diagnosed enough “mental disorder” to keep themselves occupied for eons to come. Perhaps though, if they were to diagnose “mental health” with the abandon they reserved for “mental disorder”, the “mental illness” rate could go down, a little anyway. Who knows? I don’t see them actively researching a cure for “mental health” though any time soon.

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  4. Many, or most (but not all) people working with clients, or patients in the field of mental health disorders will likely follow the Wille Sutton rule-go where the money is.Freud, for all his short comings and overreaching was one of the few researchers in the field who actually just tried to understand what people were suffering with.
    To quote Claude Bernard–no model of illness, no logical treatment.It seems one fad rolls into the next.

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  5. Positive psychiatry makes about as much sense as Positive nazism.
    Defang the bastards , abolish the cult , push it into the dust bin of history. Why don’t all these so called good psychiatrists demonstrate along side of us on the street against psychiatric coercion if they are so good. Why don’t they lay down for even one electro shock treatment without anesthetic so they really know what it is . Or even a month on thorazine so they can feel what they’ve done to people.They’ve tortured me to much and followed up with not wanting to hear or believe what pain they were causing me.They will get no respect from me only a lifetime dedicated to pushing them and their coercive pseudo science cult and other components of the pschoelectropharmfirstdoharmeugenicgulogarchepelego into the bottom of the dustbin of history. There are better ways for people to relate with their life issues and with each other .

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