Behavioral HealthCOMMENTARY

Toward an Osteopathic Psychiatry: The Biocognitive Model of Mind

Niall McLaren, MBBS, FRANZCP
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: February 9, 2010

Accepted: July 20, 2010

Published: December 1, 2010

J Osteopath Med; 110(12): 725-732

Osteopathic medicine represents a valid tradition in Western medicine, but there are concerns about whether it is a viable tradition: will it end up a “poorer cousin” of the allopathic tradition or will it eventually simply be absorbed by the dominant model? This is particularly the case in psychiatry, where osteopathic medicine has never established a firm presence. Currently, the dominant ethos in psychiatry is reductive biologism, which tries to eliminate the notion of mind as a causative factor in behavior. The author’s case is that this has failed to give rise to a human-centered psychiatry. His own model of mental disorder, the biocognitive model, is based on a molecular resolution of the mind-body problem (ie, the ancient question of how the immaterial mind and the material body interact). It is manifestly dualist (ie, it accords causative primacy to mind). This is firmly in the osteopathic medical tradition and is offered as a means of developing a distinctive model of psychiatry and hence a holistic general medicine.

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