Social psychiatry is a branch of psychiatry that focuses on the "interpersonal" and cultural context of mental disorder and mental wellbeing. It involves a sometimes disparate set of theories and approaches, with work stretching from epidemiological survey research on the one hand, to an indistinct boundary with individual or group psychotherapy on the other. Social psychiatry combines a medical training and perspective with fields such as social anthropology, social psychology, cultural psychiatry, sociology and other disciplines relating to mental distress and disorder. Social psychiatry has been particularly associated with the development of therapeutic communities, and to highlighting the effect of socioeconomic factors on mental illness. Social psychiatry can be contrasted with biopsychiatry, with the latter focused on genetics, brain neurochemistry and medication. Social psychiatry was the dominant form of psychiatry for periods of the 20th century but is currently less visible than biopsychiatry.
Famous quotes containing the word social:
“The type of fig leaf which each culture employs to cover its social taboos offers a twofold description of its morality. It reveals that certain unacknowledged behavior exists and it suggests the form that such behavior takes.”
—Freda Adler (b. 1934)