Papers of Paula J. Caplan, 1973-2006
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3.55 linear feet ((8 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 43 audiotapes, 33 videotapes, 4 CDs, 1 DVD, electronic records)
Series I, PROFESSIONAL, 1973-2006 (#1.1-9.2, E.1) includes articles and speeches by Caplan; work files related to the publishing and promotion of her books; and documentation of Caplan's activism through petitions, support letters, and background material related to excluding gender biased-related disorders in the DSM. Arranged in two subseries.
Subseries A, Writings, 1973-2006 (#1.1-3.12) includes Caplan's speeches, articles, book reviews for others' works, letters to the editor, and work files related to her books. Folders have been arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within. Folders related to Caplan's books are arranged by publication date, found after the title in parentheses, although dates of items within folders may vary by several months or years.
Subseries B, General, 1975-2006 (#3.13-9.2, E.1) includes clippings re: Caplan; files on conferences in which Caplan participated; files related to Caplan's pursuit to have DDPD recognized and listed as a legitimate disorder in the DSM. Caplan also was the driving force behind the removal of three proposed diagnoses for the DSM: PMS, which she believed stigmatized women for their biology; SDPD, which blamed women for the victimization which is part of their sex role socialization, and paraphalic coercive disorder, which encouraged therapy rather than imprisonment for rapists. This pursuit is documented in her work files, which include petitions, letters from professionals and the general public, and supporting research. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within. Original folder titles are in quotes.
Series II, AUDIOVISUAL, 1973-2006 (#T-404.1 - T-404.43, CD-82.1 - CD-82.4, Vt-207.1 - Vt-207.33, DVD-106.1) includes audio and video recordings of Caplan's event and conference talks; book promotion radio and television interviews; and participation as an expert on television and radio talk shows. Recordings are arranged by format and chronologically within and, unless otherwise specified in the description, Caplan is presenting, participating, speaking at the events. Arranged in two subseries by formats.
Subseries A, Audio, 1973-2006 (#T-404.1 - T-404.43, CD-82.1 - CD-82.4) includes audiocassette tapes and CDs of Caplan's radio show interviews promoting books; speeches at conferences; "The Winning Woman" series of educational speeches by Caplan and others on mother and daughter relationships, career, assertiveness, financial independence, etc.; and class lectures on sex differences.
Subseries B, Video, 1981-2005 (#Vt-207.1 - Vt-207.33, DVD-106.1) includes videotapes and a DVD of Caplan's acceptance speech and related raw footage of interview for 1986 "Woman of Distinction" award from Toronto YWCA; television talk show appearances promoting books and serving as an expert in discussions on Canadian and American talk shows; and an episode from the television show Murphy Brown which mentions Don't Blame Mother.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
Over many years of experience as a clinical and research psychologist, Caplan has come to believe that labeling someone with a psychiatric diagnosis does not reduce patient's suffering and could actually be damaging. This belief has led to her public criticism of the mental health system and its practices, especially toward sexism and other forms of bias in research and psychiatric diagnosis related to women. Caplan served on two professional committees that wrote the 1993 edition of a reference book produced by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to assist professionals in the diagnosis of mental disorders called the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Before joining, she believed the manual was scientific and helped patients and therapists, but soon concluded that the editors ignored or distorted high-quality research to support categories they themselves wanted to include. This discovery led to her resignation from the committees. Throughout Caplan's career, the desire to inform and educate the public about unfair mental health practices has taken form through her teaching, writings, and interviews, as well as her petition campaigns in 1986 and again in 1993 against the APA, requesting the removal of three proposed diagnoses for the DSM: PMS (Premenstrual syndrome), which she believed stigmatized women for their biology; SDPD (Self-defeating personality disorder), which blamed women for the victimization which is part of their sex role socialization; and paraphalic coercive disorder, which encouraged therapy rather than imprisonment for rapists.
Caplan is the author of a number of books, including Children's Learning and Attention Problems (1979); Between Women: Lowering the Barriers (1981, earlier version published as Barriers between Women); The Myth of Women's Masochism (1985); Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship (1989); Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Women's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World (1993); Thinking Critically about Research on Sex and Gender (1994); You're Smarter than They Make You Feel: How the Experts Intimidate Us and What We Can Do about It (1994); They Say You're Crazy: How the World's Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who's Normal (1995); Gender Differences in Human Cognition (1997); and Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis (editor, 2004).
Caplan is also the author of a number of plays, including Shades, which won the Pen & Brush New Plays Contest; Call Me Crazy, which took second place in the 1997 Arlene and William Lewis Playwriting Contest for Women and other awards; and The Test, which was published by Samuel French in its collection of winners of its 2001 Off-Off-Broadway New, Short Plays Competition. Caplan's screenplay for The Test was made into a video that won the Alliance for Community Media-New England Film Festival and has been screened in numerous festivals and venues.
- Series I. Professional, 1973-2006 (#1.1-9.2, E.1)
- ___Subseries A. Writings, 1973-2006 (#1.1-3.12)
- ___Subseries B. General, 1975-2006 (#3.13-9.2, E.1)
- Series II. Audiovisual, 1973-2006 (#T-404.1 - T-404.43, CD-82.1 - CD-82.4, Vt-207.1 - Vt-207.33, DVD-106.1)
- ___Subseries A. Audio, 1973-2006 (#T-404.1 - T-404.43, CD-82.1 - CD-82.4)
- ___Subseries B. Video, 1981-2005 (#Vt-207.1 - Vt-207.33, DVD-106.1)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Paula J. Caplan were given to the Schlesinger Library by Paula J. Caplan between July 2006 and January 2007.
Accession number: 2006-M120
Processed by: Stacey Flatt
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
- Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis edited by Paula J. Caplan and Lisa Cosgrove, 2004
- News for Women in Psychiatry. July 1986. Vol. 4, No. 4. Association of Women Psychiatrists. New York, New York.
- They Say You're Crazy by Paula J. Caplan, 1995
- Thinking Critically about Research on Sex and Gender by Paula J. Caplan and Jeremy B. Caplan, 1999
LIST OF ACRONYMS
- APA: American Psychiatric Association
- DDPD: Delusional dominating personality disorder
- DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- L2PD2: Late luteal phase dysphoric disorder
- PMDD: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- PMS: Premenstrual syndrome
- SDPD: Self-defeating personality disorder
By: Stacey Flatt, with assistance from Caitlin Jones.
- DVD-Video discs
- Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
- Donahue (Television program)
- Electronic records
- Feminist therapy--United States
- Feminists--United States
- Interpersonal relations
- Letters to the editor
- Mental illness--Classification
- Mental illness--Classification--Social aspects
- Mental illness--Diagnosis--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Mental illness--Diagnosis--Social aspects
- Motherhood--Psychological aspects
- Mothers and daughters
- Mothers--United States--Psychology
- Murphy Brown (Television program)
- Oprah Winfrey show (Television program)
- Psychiatry--Moral and ethical aspects
- Psychologists--United States
- Radio programs
- Sex differences (Psychology)--Research
- Sex discrimination against women--Canada
- Sex discrimination against women--United States
- Stereotypes (Social psychology)
- Television programs
- Web sites
- Women college teachers--Canada
- Women college teachers--United States
- Women psychologists
- Women--United States--Psychology
- Caplan, Paula J.. Papers of Paula J. Caplan, 1973-2006: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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