Sanneke de Haan (2020). Enactive Psychiatry. Cambridge University Press.

“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.”1. The need for a model
2. Currently available models in psychiatry
3. Introduction to enactivism
4. Body and mind – and world
5. The existential dimension and its role in psychiatry
6. Enriched enactivism: existential sense-making, values, and socio-cultural worlds
7. Enactive psychiatry: psychiatric disorders are disorders of sense-making
8. An enactive approach to causes, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders

‘Sanneke de Haan weaves together the neurophysiological, sociocultural, and existential dimensions of psychiatry by skilfully putting enactive ideas to work. Attending to human experience and scientific rigour in equal measure, this profound book is as close as anyone has come to a truly integrative account of psychiatric disorders.’ Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Spain

‘This book addresses ‘the integration problem’ in psychiatry by developing an integrated account of brain-body-environment that cuts across experiential, physiological, and socio-cultural dimensions relevant to psychiatric practice and research. Although philosophically based, it is written for psychiatric practitioners and provides an innovative analysis of both enactivist philosophy and its place in psychiatry.’ Shaun Gallagher, Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor of Philosophy, University of Memphis

‘In this rigorous work, Sanneke de Haan provides a jargon-free overview of the enactive approach, extends it further into value theory and existentialism, and ultimately makes a highly compelling case for its relevance as a much-needed integrative framework for psychiatry. It is essential for anyone interested in non-reductionist approaches to mental disorders.’ Giovanna Colombetti, University of Exeter

‘The author’s precise thinking and compassionate investigation of the human condition perfectly embodies the enactive spirit.’ Hanne De Jaegher, University of the Basque Country, SpainFor the introduction, a chapter extract, and further details please see