Books by AJA Members

Critical Voices in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

by: Begum Maitra, Sami Timimi (2006)

“Part of these institutionalized biases, we think, results from the institutionalized racism that lies at the heart of the conceptual systems we use in psychiatry”. There is a crisis of credibility within child and adolescent psychiatry. Child and adolescent mental health theory and practice have come to be dominated by a narrow biomedical frame. Rising numbers of children are being diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses and given psychotropic medication to ‘treat’ these ‘illnesses’. This text brings together knowledgeable specialists across the spectrum of child and adolescent psychiatry, which are deeply critical about current mainstream theory and practice. These ‘critical voices’ drawing upon research and writing from related disciplines, radically question many of psychiatry’s most cherished assumptions and offer new ways of thinking about theory and practice. This courageous book aims to bring marginal voices into the mainstream. Exploring the influence of drug companies, the impact of trauma, the crisis in academic medicine, systemic perspectives, adolescent in-patient units, ADHD, childhood depression and the role of diet and nutrition, the contributors offer hope to those looking for alternatives to diagnosis and medication for children and families with emotional and behavioral problems.


Begum Maitra is a Child Psychiatrist and an adult psychotherapist in private practice, having worked for many years as a Consultant child psychiatrist in the British National Health Service and as an independent expert. She specialises in the role of culture as it relates to the assessment of children and families, particularly of risk, and to psychotherapy.

Sami Timimi

Sami Timimi is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist and author of ‘Pathological Child Psychiatry and the Medicalization of Childhood’, and ‘Naughty Boys: Anti-social behaviour, ADHD and the Role of Culture’.

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