This week on MIA Radio, we interview Dr. George Atwood.
Dr. Atwood has devoted a substantial part of his life to the study and treatment of what he refers to as ‘so-called psychosis’. He has authored or coauthored several books, including The Abyss of Madness published in 2011 and more than one hundred articles.
In the episode we discuss:
- The story of how Dr. Atwood came to be interested in “so-called psychosis,” including what piqued his interest as a high school student, and his work under mentors Austin DesLauriers and Silvan Tomkins.
- An overview of his more recent work on intersubjective theory with collaborator and friend, Robert Stolorow.
- After studying what he refers to as “madness” for over 50 years, Dr. Atwood offers his perspective that madness is not a disease or illness existing within a person, but a subjective experience of self-dissolution or catastrophe.
- How diagnostic classification systems can result in the false reification of mental diseases in a way that obscures individual realities.
- The phenomenological approach, or the study of individual human subjective experiences, as offering a hopeful future in a shifting away from “illness” or “disorder” frameworks.
- How psychotherapy, as a healing process, includes the relational context between clinician and patient, meriting a dedication to personal histories and contexts rather than overt symptoms.
- The history of the term “schizophrenia,” and how terms such as these are embedded in a Cartesian medical model.
- A few of Dr. Atwood’s clinical cases and particularly his perspectives on “so-called psychosis” and “so-called bipolar disorder.”
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