© 2015

Psychiatry Reconsidered

From Medical Treatment to Supportive Understanding


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 1-10
  3. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 29-48
  4. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 76-92
  5. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 93-126
  6. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 127-155
  7. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 156-181
  8. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 182-203
  9. Hugh Middleton
    Pages 204-209
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 211-249

About this book


Psychiatry suffers a lot of criticism, not least from within its own scientifically founded medical world. This book provides an account of mental health difficulties and how they are generally addressed in conventional medical circles, alongside critical reviews of the assumptions underpinning them to encourage more humanitarian perspectives.


Psychiatry Antipsychiatry Critical Psychiatry Medical Model Psychiatric Diagnosis ICD DSM Psychopharmacology Placebo Effect Psychotherapy Psychological therapy Psychoanalysis Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Counselling Personal Growth Non-specific factors Therapeutic Relationship Mind/body dualism Social Order Deviance behavior counseling diagnosis pharmacology psychiatry psychoanalysis psychopharmacology psychotherapy Therapeut therapy treatment

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology and Social PolicyUniversity of NottinghamUK
  2. 2.Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS TrustUK

About the authors

Hugh Middleton has been an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist for more than twenty 20 years. He is also an academic who teaches social science undergraduates and PhD candidates, medical students and doctors.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals


“This remarkably concise and erudite text will have value for experienced practitioners as well as those new to the field. It provides a broad and compelling critical analysis of psychiatry and related professions.” (Sandra Steingard, metapsychology, Vol. 19 (51), December, 2015)

'This long-needed book explodes the myth that mental disorders are just 'diseases like any other.' It highlights the misunderstandings and disappointments this view has caused and carefully explores the nature of modern-day treatments from drugs to psychotherapy in order to identify the elements that truly help people. It deserves to be widely read by all those interested in making mental health care more effective, more transparent and more humane.' Joanna Moncrieff, University College London, UK

'This book is a very important and accessible report from the "front line" by an experienced psychiatrist with many years of general psychiatry under his belt. He has the very unusual advantage of simultaneously occupying an academic position in the sociology department of a Russell Group university, and hence bringing a fresh perspective to bear on the perennially troubled practice of doing psychiatry in the UK. This book provides a long hard look at psychiatry as medical practice diagnosis, medication, and psychotherapy. It confronts directly the fact that psychiatry is unpopular with many practitioners and clients, and examines the historical and contextual reasons for this, and what the alternatives might be. I recommend this book unreservedly to both professionals and the wider public.' Professor Nick Manning, King's College London, UK

'Psychiatry Reconsidered provides an insightful, evidence-based, analysis of the current crisis in psychiatry. Dr Middleton, an experienced psychiatrist himself, locates the problem in psychiatry's futile efforts to force complex human issues into a narrow medical framework. Not only does this illuminating book offer an honest assessment of psychiatry's failings but points to ways that the profession can rehabilitate itself and play a valuable role in future mental health research and practice.' Dr John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; Editor of Models of Madness and the scientific journal Psychosis

'A serious scholarly examination of the profession of psychiatry, its challenges and role in the modern world. Written by a practising psychiatrist and academic this book offers a new vision for a socially oriented psychiatry fit for the twenty first century.' Stephen Joseph, Professor in Psychology, Health and Social Care, University of Nottingham, UK