Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 53–61 | Cite as

Chasing the Latest Fad: Confronting Recent and Historical Innovations in Mental Illness

  • James C. Overholser
Original Paper


In recent years, there have been many innovative changes in the field of mental illness. The field has generated numerous creative ideas that help to expand our understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Unfortunately, some ideas are best viewed as passing fads that display a characteristic sudden rise in popularity, only to disappear after a brief period of fame and acclaim. The present manuscript confronts several recent and historical fads in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Instead of seeking novel approaches, mental health professionals are best guided by common sense and modest skepticism.


Psychiatry Medications Historical factors Novelty Innovation Fad 



The author thanks Julia DiFilippo, Jenny Lehmann, and Patti Watson for valuable feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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