National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy


Evidence-Based Malpractice in Psychiatric Diagnosis

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. & David Walker, Ph.D.


So-called "evidence-based practice" in psychiatric diagnosis is in fact not based on solid evidence, and evidence for that fact will be presented. Using excerpts from the comedy-drama CALL ME CRAZY, as well as role play, the presenters will address -- among other topics -- the unscientific nature, uselessness, and harm from diagnosis; suicide; symptom checklists and screening instruments; practice guidelines; the inappropriateness of the biomedical model (including brainscan technologies, chemical imbalance theories, and behavioral genetics); and claims about stigma. Specific actions aimed to reduce these problems will be addressed, and participants will be invited to participate in such advocacy.

Objectives:

Attendees will learn:

(1) That psychiatric diagnosis is not scientific.

(2) That giving a psychiatric diagnosis does not help reduce the recipient's suffering.

(3) That a wide array of kinds of harm can result from receiving a psychiatric label, including deprivation of human rights.

(4) That the mistaken premise that these diagnoses are scientific, helpful, and not harmful gives rise to a huge variety of problematic enterprises and in many cases to vast financial gain.


Link to brief presenter bios:

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.

David Walker, Ph.D.


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