January 17, 2008

Beyond Conflict

Beyond Conflict

From Self-Help and Psychotherapy to Peacemaking


by Peter Breggin, M.D.

paperback published by St. Martin’s Press


This book addresses the very core of what it means to be human.”

Emilio Viano, Ph.D, professor at the School of Public Affairs, The American University

while supplies last   

From the Preface of Beyond Conflict:

Surprisingly, the two books that most fully present the twin aspects of my work have been published within less than a year of each other. First came Toxic Psychiatry, and now this book, Beyond Conflict: From Self-Help and Psychotherapy to Peacemaking.

While Toxic Psychiatry does describe caring, human service alternatives to conventional psychiatry, it is mainly a sweeping criticism of modern biologically oriented psychiatry. It exposes the politics of psychiatry and the damaging effects of drugs and electroshock. Beyond Conflict has a more positive thrust. It presents my approach to life as a practicing psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and a professor of conflict analysis and resolution [and more recently, as an instructor in the field of counseling]. It is, in the words of one of my friends, a much more “uplifting” book.

Yet the themes of my life and work, as reflected in the separate books, are really inseparable. Toxic Psychiatry is an aggressive attack on the destructive principles, fraudulent claims, and dangerous technologies of modern psychiatry; but the spiritual energy behind it derives from the principles of liberty and love–my belief in human rights, the inviolability of every single human being, and the healing power of human caring. Beyond Conflict more fully articulates that spiritual energy. It proposes that love must become the guiding principle of human relationships in general, as well as the ultimate solution to the most severe personal, societal, and political conflicts.

The aim of both books has been to present scientific and philosophical ideas in a form available to any interested reader. They reflect my commitment to more holistic writing, accessible to any thoughtful person, and based on equal parts of thinking and feeling, scholarship and real-life experience. People need books that offer better principles through which to guide their lives. Toward that end, writing should be comprehensive and comprehensible. I have tried to meet that standard.