Dr. Robert Gallon playing for better mental health. Gallon will speak about redefining mental health at the Jesup Memorial Library on Jan. 19. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF KIRLIN

Author redefines mental illness at the Jesup

BAR HARBOR — Dr. Robert Gallon, who was the chief psychologist at Eastern Maine Medical Center, was scheduled to speak at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., but that speech has been postponed till March 10 because of work being done on the library.

When he gives his speech in March, Gallon will discuss his book, “Nine Dimensions of Madness: Redefining Mental Health,” in which he challenges the widely-held belief that mental disorders are medical diseases.

Gallon has proposed an alternative to the current psychiatric diagnostic system in which mental problems are viewed as varying dimensions of dysfunction. He argues that the origin of these problems is a complex interaction of biological, psychological and social factors. Gallon wrote that people range from exceptionally functional through adequate and then increasing dysfunctional. There are no breaks between normal and abnormal, and his disorder labels merely mark the level of dysfunction along the nine dimensions he has identified.

“Readers of this eye-opening book will find their beliefs and assumptions about ‘mental disorders’ forever changed,” wrote Howard Ehrlichman, emeritus professor of psychology, Queens College of the City University of New York. “Combining scholarly research with his personal experiences as a clinical psychologist, with fascinating examples and anecdotes, the book is an eminently readable exploration of ‘madness’ in our time.”

Gallon has taught in the Department of Psychiatry and was a psychologist at the Psychosomatic Medicine Clinic at the Jefferson Medical School. He was the chief psychologist at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he helped found the chronic pain program. He was a psychological examiner for the court for involuntarily committed psychiatric patients and a consulting psychologist for the State Forensic Service. Over the course of his career, he has evaluated more than 5,000 individuals in a wide variety of circumstances.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected]

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 11:15.


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