Evolutionary Psychiatry : A new beginning book cover
1st Edition

Evolutionary Psychiatry
A new beginning

ISBN 9781138824638
Published December 8, 2015 by Routledge
344 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Evolutionary Psychiatry was first published in 1996, the second edition followed in 2000. This ground breaking book challenged the medical model which supplied few effective answers to long-standing conundrums. A comprehensive introduction to the science of Darwinian Psychiatry, the second edition included important fresh material on a number of disorders, along with a chapter on research.

Anthony Stevens and John Price argue that psychiatric symptoms are manifestations of ancient adaptive strategies which are no longer necessarily appropriate but which can best be understood and treated in an evolutionary and developmental context. Particularly important are the theories Stevens and Price propose to account for the worldwide existence of mood disorders and schizophrenia, as well as offering solutions for such puzzles as paedophilia, sado-masochism and the function of dreams.

Readily accessible to both the specialist and non-specialist reader, Evolutionary Psychiatry describes in detail the disorders and conditions commonly encountered in psychiatric practice and shows how evolutionary theory can account for their biological origins and functional nature. 

This Classic Edition of the book includes a new preface by Anthony Stevens and a foreword by Paul Gilbert.

Table of Contents

Stevens, Preface to the Classic Edition. Gilbert, Foreword. Stevens, Preface to the First Edition. Stevens, Preface to the Second Edition. Introduction. Part I: Evolutionary Psychiatry: An Introduction. Historical Background. Human Nature: Its Evolution and Development. Principles of Psychopathology. Attachment, Rank and Psychiatry. Part II: Disorders of Attachment and Rank. Mood Disorders. Personality Disorders. Obsessional Disorders. Anxiety and Phobic Disorders. Eating Disorders. Part III: Borderline States. The Borderline State. Borderline Personality Disorders. Part IV: Spacing Disorders. Spacing Personality Disorders. Schizophrenia. Part V: Reproductive Disorders. Reproductive Success and Failure. Homosexuality. Sadomasochism. Paedophilia. Part VI: Dreams, Treatment, Research and the Future. Sleep and Dreams. Classification. Treatment. Research. Towards a Science of Humanity.

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Anthony Stevens has spent his professional life working as a Jungian analyst, psychiatrist and writer. He is a graduate of Oxford University and in addition to a Doctorate in Medicine has two degrees in Psychology. He is a Senior Member of the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists and a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

John Price has worked for the Medical Research Council Psychiatric Genetics Unit, and as a Consultant Psychiatrist in the NHS. He is a former Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and was Chairman of the Section on Psychotherapy of the World Psychiatric Association.


"Anthony Stevens and John Price have got together in Evolutionary Psychiatry to propose a "revolutionary" new way of understanding mental illness by means of Darwinian theory. They argue persuasively that conditions like depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and schizophrenia are the result of environmental maladaptation of strategies embedded in the phylogenetic makeup of the human species.'"- British Medical Journal

"The authors modestly claim that their book is no more than a first effort to define the basic components of human behaviour and its disorders in terms of evolutionary biology … In my view, this attempt at a new paradigm is one of the most fruitful developments in psychiatry in recent years." - Anthony Storr, the Financial Times

'Warmly recommended.' - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

"The book serves as a thought-provoking introduction to a young and rapidly growing area of research. I suspect that the authors' claim that "psychiatry is entering the most exciting phase in its history" may prove correct." - Stuart Blackman, New Scientist

"This book will be of interest to psychiatrists working in many areas and should be available in medical libraries'"- British Journal of Psychiatry