The Mind Has Mountains
Reflections on Society and Psychiatry
From strenuous opposition to physician-assisted suicide to a conviction that sex-correction surgery for newborns is cruel and misguided, Dr. Paul R. McHugh's opinions are strong and often controversial. In this collection of essays, McHugh demonstrates why he is one of the most thought-provoking figures in the academic world.
These pieces argue for a realistic appraisal of just what psychiatrists know and how they know it, with the aim of indicating how such knowledge can best be used not only for better patient care but also to reflect on and influence public issues and social movements. His essays will stimulate professional and popular discussion about the goals and effectiveness of current psychiatric practice.
McHugh sorts through the layers of what he terms the "culturally driven misdirection of psychiatry and psychotherapy" to explain concepts often misunderstood by nonscholars and the intellectual community alike. America's leading psychiatrist may inspire you or offend you, but he will certainly make you think.
About the Author
Paul R. McHugh, M.D., is the Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, the former director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the coauthor of The Perspectives of Psychiatry, also available from Johns Hopkins. He was selected by President George W. Bush to sit on the Presidential Council on Bioethics and by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to be on their National Review Board for the elimination of the sexual abuse of children by clergy.
"Wise words from a wise man."
"McHugh writes clearly in a straightforward manner that laymen will find gratifying... thought provoking and entertaining."
"Paul McHugh... enjoys a little bit of controversy. He likes to poke and prod at some of the shibboleths... of psychiatry... You may not agree, but he should make you think."
"Elegantly clear, concise, jargon-free."
"This is a refreshing book... both in its moral stance and in the solid common sense of its philosophy."
"McHugh writes with a wit and elegance almost extinct in his professional neighborhood."
"It is impossible to read these essays and not feel challenged to position onself on the issue under discussion."
"Well-written, sometimes elegant."
"[McHugh] examines with wit, common sense, and humanity several trends in modern psychiatry."
"A well-written and thought-provoking volume of essays that gives mental health professionals and interested lay readers one view into topics that have been prominent at the interface between psychiatry and society for the past two decades."
"Paul McHugh is such a wonderful writer, and so brilliant a theorist, that reading him is at once an aesthetic delight and a gripping intellectual adventure. The pleasure provided by these essays—which are enriched and enlivened by fascinating stories drawn from decades of clinical experience—is heightened by the brilliant light they cast on the true nature of psychiatry and on those mountains of the mind that Dr. McHugh never stops struggling to fathom and to climb."
"Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins is the man who rescued modern psychiatry from a coven of flaming nut cases with medical degrees who actually believed in such lunatic notions as 'recovered memory,' 'sexual reassignment,' 'multiple personality disorder,' 'physician-assisted suicide,' 'Vietnam-specific post traumatic stress syndrome' and destroyed innumerable lives as long as they held sway. Dr. McHugh describes his battle against them and in the process gives us a realistic picture and philosophy of the human condition."
"Paul McHugh has one of the finest minds, and sharpest tongues, in American psychiatry. He has collected some of the most foolish and misguided claims of his colleagues and examined them with crisp logic, common sense, clinical expertise, and scientific sophistication. I have never had so much fun while being educated, or so much education while having fun."
"Paul McHugh is one of the best and most original writers in psychiatry or psychology. He is iconoclastic, idealistic, deeply informed, and is one of the most important influences on generations of psychiatric researchers and clinicians. The Mind Has Mountains is the essence of McHugh's ideas. No one will agree with everything he writes—I don't—but no one who reads this book will remain unaffected by the clarity and importance of his thinking. He is a teacher of the first rank."
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