Psychiatry is enormously complex. One of its main difficulties is to articulate the relationship between the wide assortment of factors that may cause or contribute to psychiatric disorders. Such factors range from traumatic experiences to dysfunctional neurotransmitters, existential worries, economic deprivation, social exclusion and genetic bad luck. The relevant factors and how they interact can differ not only between diagnoses but also between individuals with the same diagnosis. How should we understand and navigate such complexity? Enactive Psychiatry presents an integrative account of the many phenomena at play in the development and persistence of psychiatric disorders by drawing on insights from enactivism, a theory of embodied cognition. From the enactive perspective on the mind and its relation to both the body and the world, we can achieve a new understanding of the nature of psychiatric disorders and the causality involved in their development and treatment, thereby resolving psychiatry's integration problem.
About the Author:
Sanneke de Haan is a philosopher and postdoctoral researcher in the Philosophy of Psychiatry within the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University, the Netherlands.