Meet the Author of "Diagnosing from a Distance" with John Martin-Joy, MD

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED - VIDEO RECORDING WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON. YOU CAN USE THIS PAGE TO PURCHASE "Diagnosing from a Distance: Debates over Libel Law, Media, and Psychiatric Ethics Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump" (Cambridge University Press, 2020), autographed by John Martin-Joy, MD. Shipping cost is included in the price.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

7:30 - 9:00 pm Virtual Meet the Author with John Martin-Joy, MD, presenting his new book Diagnosing from a Distance: Debates over Libel Law, Media, and Psychiatric Ethics from Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump (Cambridge University Press, 2020). The discussion will be co-moderated by the Library Committee Members, James Barron, PhD, and Shari Thurer, ScD. The online audience will have a chance to ask questions via a Q&A chat or "on camera". 


About the Book:

Ever since the rise of Adolf Hitler, mental health professionals have sought to use their knowledge of human psychology to understand – and intervene in – political developments. From Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump, psychiatrists have commented, sometimes brashly, on public figures’ mental health. But is the practice ethical? While the American Psychiatric Association prohibits psychiatric comment on public figures under its ‘Goldwater Rule’, others disagree. Diagnosing from a Distance is the first in-depth exploration of this controversy. Making extensive use of archival sources and original interviews, John Martin-Joy reconstructs the historical debates between psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians in an era when libel law and professional standards have undergone dramatic change. Charting the Goldwater Rule’s crucial role in the current furor over Trump’s fitness for office, Martin-Joy assesses the Rule’s impact and offers a more liberal alternative. This remarkable book will change the way we think about psychiatric ethics and public life.

About the Author:

John Martin-Joy, MD is a psychiatrist in Cambridge, MA, and a part-time instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is a BPSI Candidate in psychoanalytic training and the author of many articles on the history and ethics of the Goldwater Rule. His recent blog Politics, Psychiatry, and Psychoanalysis explored the history and ethics of psychiatric comment on public figures. Dr. Martin-Joy is scheduled to present a paper on Erik Erikson and the 1960s at the 2021 APsaA meetings.

Book Sale
We have several copies of AUTOGRAPHED books on sale. You can pre-order a signed copy with your registration for $25 while the supply lasts:  Select "Register and Purchase a Signed Book" option from the drop-down menu. Pay online with any credit card and provide your shipping address. The book will be shipped to you before the event, shipping cost is included in the price.
You can also order a paperback, hardcover or ebook directly from the Cambrige University Press website (enter a special promotion code MARTIN30 at the check-out to get 30% off by Dec 31, 2020).
This program is made possible by the generous support of BPSI Members and friends. Your gift to BPSI supports education in the fields of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  To make a gift, please visit,
The target audience for this program is the general public and mental health clinicians at all levels of training. 
Continuing Education 
Continuing education is not offered for this program.
Event Cancellation Policies & Procedures
Any program participant requesting their individual program registration be canceled, must submit their request in writing via email to Drew Brydon at For fee-based events, a request for cancellation (and refund using the original form of payment) must be received no later than 48 hours in advance of the event. Requests received later than 48 hours prior to the event will not be processed or accepted. All approved refunds are subject to a $10.00 administrative fee. If BPSI cancels an event, all registrants will receive a full refund of fees paid (no administration charge) no later than two business days following the scheduled date of the event, using the original form of payment.


Grievance Policy
Please address any questions or concerns about your experience at this or any program or event you have attended at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute to the Program Chair, via the Senior Administrator/Continuing Education Administrator, BPSI, 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459;; 617.266.0953.

The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Inc., 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459, does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin or handicap in the admissions, administration of its educational programs, scholarship programs or employment.


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