Review of Burstow (Ed.), Psychiatry Interrogated: An Institutional Ethnography Anthology (2016).

  • Matthew S. Johnston Carleton University


This volume interrogates the psychiatric apparatus with an evidentiary scorn and authority that demands accountability and an apologetic response. This scathing indictment of psy-professionals who mobilized psychiatric knowledge and practices to degrade, torture, and gravely harm others will serve to (1) educate skeptics; (2) bolster activism and solidarity in the Mad Movement; (3) vindicate survivors of psychiatric violence and coercion who often experience their suffering and struggle in a void of isolation; (4) provide hope to the many disgruntled professionals working in the mental health field who question their assumed role in helping people; and (5) draw ferocious critique from countless agents who wholeheartedly defend the idea that psychiatry can/will/does help/treat/cure sickly people, whether with complete, partial, or entirely without our consent.