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Psychology, Life, and Overcoming Negative Emotions

   At the age of eighteen as a Harvard college student, Dr. Breggin began working as a volunteer in a state mental hospital and was soon directing the Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital Volunteer Program. This experience set the direction of the two thrusts of his ongoing work as a psychiatrist: critiquing the prevailing biological psychiatry and encouraging more positive person-centered and relationship-based therapies. From the beginning, he saw caring, thoughtful approaches as the best hope for helping people with emotional problems, including the most distressed and disturbed individuals.
   For several decades, Dr. Breggin has been developing a new approach to understanding and overcoming guilt, shame and anxiety, which he sees as the root of most of what becomes labeled “emotional problems” and “mental illness.” His most recent book, Guilt, Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions, represents the culmination of this work in psychology. It presents a new biological evolutionary approach to understanding the origins of our most demoralizing emotions and how to overcome them. His earlier book, The Heart of Being Helpful, more specifically addresses how to help people as a therapist, friend or family member. These two books together present his most important experiences, studies and conclusions in regard to self-help and therapy.
   As a supplement to Dr. Breggin’s books, this section of Dr. Breggin’s papers provides an assortment of his scientific articles and book chapters. The next section is especially focused on his many papers examining psychiatric drugs, electroshock, psychosurgery, involuntary treatment and other problems in psychiatry.

Spearheading a Transformation (1996)

Introduction to Psychosocial Approaches to Deeply Disturbed Persons (1996) Spearheading a Transformation Peter R. Breggin In recent years, pharmacology and psychiatric hospitalization have become the standard for most professionals when “treating schizophrenia.” Meanwhile, a body of research and practical experience has been evolving that supports innovative psychosocial interventions as less hazardous and more effective. As […]

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The three dynamics of human progress (1988)

Breggin, PR. (1988-89). Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry 21:(Nos. 1-3)97-123, 1988-89. Dr. Breggin’s Three Dynamics Theory presents a value system for understanding human progress. The system can be applied to assessing the progress or development of individual persons or small groups, larger organizations, and society. It attempts to unify various fields of human study–including […]

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