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on 29 July 2005
For anyone who has ever laughed out loud at some tortuous explanation for human behaviour offered by psychoanalysis, this book is a joy. Everyone who works in the field of mental health should really buy two copies - treasure the first, and send the other to a colleague who still believes the Emperor is fully clothed! Psychotherapists and psychologists who are determined to find the 'cause' of their clients disturbance in neglectful families may need reminding of Bruno Bettelheim and the 'refrigerator mothers' who 'caused' autism; or the pathological families who 'caused' schizopherenia. It's all here - the 'historical curiosities' (as Paris calls them) that should make professionals very wary of apportioning blame when they haven't got a clue; the wacko theories that are still 'taught', even though no evidence to support them has ever been sighted. What do we know about human development and psychopathology? Paris reviews the literature for us. Much of what we think we know will doubtless be tomorrow's 'historical curiosities', but the evidence is coming in... Wake up and smell the coffee.