The Fall of An Icon: Psychoanalysis and Academic Psychiatry

By Joel Paris

© 2005

Over the last few decades, academic psychiatry has undergone a revolution. After the Second World War, most department chairs were psychoanalysts who belonged to separate institutes, not subject to the checks and balances of academia, and who did not subscribe to the tenets of scientific medicine. The revolution against psychoanalytic dominance began when a group of psychiatrists developed an evidence-based model that brought psychiatry back into the medical mainstream.

In The Fall of an Icon, Joel Paris narrates the history of this transition, placing it in the context of current trends in science and medicine. He illustrates the story using interviews with prominent academic psychiatrists in Canada and the United States, and describes his own experiences as a psychiatrist: how he was caught up in the excitement of the psychoanalytic model, how he became disillusioned with it, and how he came to a new and more scientific view of his discipline. This is an essential work for understanding the recent history of psychiatry.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 225 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.9in x 9.3in
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  • PUBLISHED FEB 2005

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Quick Overview

In The Fall of an Icon, Joel Paris narrates the history of this transition, placing it in the context of current trends in science and medicine.

The Fall of An Icon: Psychoanalysis and Academic Psychiatry

By Joel Paris

© 2005

Over the last few decades, academic psychiatry has undergone a revolution. After the Second World War, most department chairs were psychoanalysts who belonged to separate institutes, not subject to the checks and balances of academia, and who did not subscribe to the tenets of scientific medicine. The revolution against psychoanalytic dominance began when a group of psychiatrists developed an evidence-based model that brought psychiatry back into the medical mainstream.

In The Fall of an Icon, Joel Paris narrates the history of this transition, placing it in the context of current trends in science and medicine. He illustrates the story using interviews with prominent academic psychiatrists in Canada and the United States, and describes his own experiences as a psychiatrist: how he was caught up in the excitement of the psychoanalytic model, how he became disillusioned with it, and how he came to a new and more scientific view of his discipline. This is an essential work for understanding the recent history of psychiatry.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 225 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.9in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘The Fall of an Icon is an important addition to the world literature on psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Joel Paris’s career has coincided with the decline of psychoanalysis in academe, and his heavily autobiographical style, along with his candour, self-disclosure, humour, and reflection, make this book very engaging. It is, among other things, a short history of twentieth century psychiatry.’


    David Goldbloom, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Author Information

    Joel Paris is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.

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