Reviews Book

Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 30 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1055
  1. Nigel Lester, consultant psychiatrist (
  1. London

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    Richard P Bentall

    Allen Lane, £25, pp 640 ISBN 0 713 99249 2


    My first close contact with a clinical psychologist was when I was a new consultant, intent on fostering a multidisciplinary approach, during my first ward round. Nervously I pumped up the team spirit in the assembled crowd. In truth, I hadn't a clue what I was going to do. The psychologist looked stern and impenetrable. He took to contradicting everything I said. Desperately I would agree with him, only he would then change his point, saying that I had not understood. We went round like this for a while. I nodded and smiled and adopted what I hoped was not threatening body posture. Eventually I entreated him to spend some time with the patient. Anything to help move things on. I received a barrage of reasons as to why this was …

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