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Masters of the Mind: Exploring the Story of Mental Illness from Ancient Times to the New Millennium (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/8/6
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The compelling story of the quest to understand the human mind - and its diseases
This engaging presentation of our evolving understanding of the human mind and the meaning of mental illness asks the questions that have fascinated philosophers, researchers, clinicians, and ordinary persons for millennia: What causes human behavior? What processes underlie personal functioning and psychopathology, and what methods work best to alleviate disorders of the mind? Written by Theodore Millon, a leading researcher in personality theory and psychopathology, it features dozens of illuminating profiles of famous clinicians and philosophers.
Theodore Millon, PhD, DSc, Professor Emeritus of Harvard Medical School and the University of Miami, is currently Dean and Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Personology and Psychopathology in Coral Gables, Florida. Developer of several influential diagnostic instruments, he is author of numerous other Wiley books, including the forthcoming Personality Disorders in Modern Life, Second Edition.
Among the best features of the book is its honest and inspiring look at the multiple perspectives which abound in today's psychology and how they can be traced to ancient times. The ancient/sacred, neuroscience, psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, gestalt, humanistic and socio-cultural perspectives are all traced and detailed. Millon avoids disparaging each perspective. Instead, he shares the strengths and weaknesses in the words and actions of the scientists and philosophers whose works represent the critical thoughts in each area.
While it is difficult to read more than one chapter at a time (it is that comprehensive and detailed), a chapter a day will certainly make for an excellent review of psychology for a good two weeks. In fact, the last two weeks have been remarkably educational. (I decided to read this book during a two week break from graduate classes).
For each perspective, Millon follows a three stage process of detailing its hisory. First, he offers a summary and review of the major historical movements within the perspective. Then, a detailed history (person by person, country by country) is proffered. Finally, Millon offers his own unique and insightful commentary. Millon and his daughter's own artwork (portraits of key scientists and philosophers) provide helpful context. In addition, each scientist's contributions are shared in concert with a brief biography. Finally, in those cases where Millon actually met or worked with one of the psychologists, he shares his own observations. For example, Beck truly does appear to be a nice guy, while Ellis appears truly narcissistic and arrogant.
I'll admit that the average reader may find Millon's style, at times, difficult. He loves to use big words and assumes some level of prior understanding of psychological constructs. However, as a psychology instructor and student, I found his book enlightening, interesting, at times funny, and many times educational. The book offered incredible food for my college lectures and inspired me to continue to hold on to a multi-perspective, eclectic view of the cause of mental illness. It truly appears likely from history that a multi-perspective view is most consistent with a view of humans as complex with behaviors that could result from the interaction of numerous causes.
That's just my opinion...