Dr. Paula Caplan Ph. D. is an American clinical and research psychologist and social justice and human rights activist. I first came across Paula and her work about 20 years ago. At that time, I was rapidly losing faith in my medical training in mental health. I was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the medical approach to human distress, including the whole medical approach to psychiatric diagnosis, which made progressively less sense to me the more I critiqued it. Back then, I was grateful to find principled mental health professionals like Paula Caplan and Peter Breggin.
Paula Caplan’s CV is impressive. She was previously professor of psychology, assistant professor of psychiatry and head of the Center for Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. She has received much recognition for her work including an Eminent Woman Psychologist award in 1996 from the American Psychological Association, a 1995-96 Presidential Citation for Contributions as Chair of Sexism in Diagnosis Task Force, and a Distinguished Career Award in 2008 from the Association for Women in Psychology.
Paula Caplan was a consultant to two committees appointed by the DSM-4 Task Force’s lead psychiatrist Allen Frances to adjudicate on what should be included in the DSM-4 which was published in 1994. As she subsequently explained, Paula Caplan resigned from these committees on principle:
“I resigned from those committees after two years because I was appalled by the way I saw that good scientific research was often being ignored, distorted, or lied about and the way that junk science was being used as though it were of high quality . . . if that suited the aims of those in charge. I also resigned because I was increasingly learning that giving someone a psychiatric label was extremely unlikely to reduce their suffering but carried serious risks of harm, and when I had reported these concerns and examples of harm to those at the top, they had ignored or even publicly misrepresented the facts. I wrote about what I learned from my insider’s position in my book, They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal (Caplan, 1995).” http://freakoutcrazy.com/category/paula-caplan/
I have not yet have the pleasure of meeting Paula, though I’m sure that our paths will cross, given our shared passion for truth in mental health. We have been in regular contact over the years.
I am delighted that Paula felt it appropriate to write the following about my new book Depression Delusion Volume One: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance on the Stop Psychiatric Diagnosis Harm Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/PLAN.T.Alliance/ (posted 24th October 2015):
“I just finished reading Dr. Terry Lynch’s phenomenal, compelling, scrupulously argued book, Depression Delusion. It is clearly written and hard to put down. It is encyclopedic in that he seems to have read every claim ever made about depression being due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and he does all the work for us — citing each of these appalling quotations and then walking us step by step through their failures of logic and the stunning lack of evidence behind them. This book is not to be missed! If your library doesn’t have it, urge them to order it right away, and make sure you are first on the list to get it.”
For more information on my books, visit my website http://doctorterrylynch.com/ , where you can download two free chapters, one from each of my most recent books, Depression Delusion and Selfhood.