p. 11. What is psychiatry?
- Tom Burns
Psychiatry deals with consciousness, choice, motivation, free will, relationships — indeed everything that makes us human. ‘What is psychiatry?’ emphasizes that psychiatry is a branch of medicine. The definition of psychiatry is not based on theory, as in psychology or psychoanalysis, but on practice. The current view of mental illnesses and the available treatments will determine what a psychiatrist is, and what he or she does. The hallmark of the psychiatrist's trade is the interview. Psychiatric diagnoses rely on making a judgement about why someone is doing something, not just the observation of what they are doing. Psychiatrists deal with a wide range of problems, both organic and functional.