Charny Presents a New Approach to Psychological Diagnosis and Therapy in Latest Book

A new book titled A Democratic Mind: Psychology and Psychiatry with Fewer Meds and More Soul by Israel W. Charny focuses on how one is living out one’s life, and it combines the question emphasized in traditional psychiatry, how one is doing harm to oneself, with the question whether one is doing harm to others.

The book, published by Lexington Press, provides a new lens for understanding whole people in their real lives rather than treatments that focus on alleviating symptoms. It also creates a bridge between traditional concepts of psychopathology and the politics of fascism, terrorism, and genocide and makes the profession of mental health more relevant to our ongoing lives in this world.

The cover of Charny’s A Democratic Mind (Photo: Lexington Press)

Students of religious studies, human rights, or Holocaust and genocide studies will also find that the book’s call for human beings to do no harm to other people’s lives is a welcome bridge between psychology and their subjects (see the author’s Introduction, “Coming Back Home from the Study of Genocide to Everyday Psychopathology and Psychotherapy”).

The book calls for more soulful psychotherapy rather than more medications. It is consistent with the report recently released by the UN critiquing psychiatric services around the world for overprescribing medications—many of them questionable—and underproviding psychological therapy.

Professionals and other people knowledgeable in mental health will appreciate that the Foreword to this book is written by Allen Frances, M.D., who was the editor of DSM-IV!  The book is highly critical of DSM, yet his Foreword expresses deep appreciation along with a respectful debate that is genuinely interesting.

Appreciations of the book include the following: “Groundbreaking: The argument for freedom of thought in our work and in our lives is emblazoned in this groundbreaking book for our times,” by David Scharff, M.D.; “Compelling: This compelling book held my interest throughout. It is written by a man who loves life and speaks with candor, clarity, and courage,” by Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D.; “Empowering: Charny offers readers an approach to assessment and psychotherapy that is firmly grounded in democratic, life-affirming values, and that emphasizes the choice between good and evil,” by  Susan McDaniel, Ph.D.

The author is pleased to offer a 30% author’s discount to those who email a request for an order form to or send a request by regular mail to the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, POB 10311, 91102, Jerusalem, Israel.

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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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