Book author on assisting veterans returning from war to speak at 25th diversity lecture


Why is it considered a mental illness to be devastated by war? Author Paula J. Caplan will address this question at Cal State San Bernardino when she discusses her latest book, “When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans.”

Paula J. Caplan

Paula J. Caplan

The research psychologist, author, playwright, actor and director will speak on Tuesday, May 7, from noon-1:30 at CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union.  The event marks the 25th event of “Conversations on Diversity” speaker series, presented by CSUSB’s University Diversity Committee.

The event is free and open to the public.  Parking at the university is $5 per vehicle.

The critically acclaimed book won the 2011 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in the psychology category and was named “Groundbreaking Book of the Month” by Independent Publishers that April.

Caplan notes in her book that traumatized veterans returning from war are diagnosed as having a psychological disorder and are thereby prescribed drugs and psychotherapy. She argues that the standard treatment of therapy and drugs is actually harmful, adding to veterans’ burdens by making them believe wrongly that they should have “gotten over it.”

She proposes that society welcome veterans back into our communities and listen to their stories one-on-one, and she provides guidelines for conducting these conversations.When Johnny and Jane book cover

The book will be available for purchase for $25 and there will be a book signing after the presentation.

Caplan is currently a research associate at Harvard University’s Dubois Institute, collaborating on the institute’s Voices of Diversity project. She is a former professor of psychology and director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, as well as assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

Other books she’s written or edited include “They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal;” “You’re Smarter Than They Make You Feel: How the Experts Intimidate Us and What We Can Do About It;” “The Myth of Women’s Masochism;” “The NEW Don’t Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship,” second edition; and “Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis.”

Caplan, who earned her master’s and Ph.D. from Duke University, has appeared on numerous television shows as an expert in psychology and women’s studies, including The Oprah Show, The Today Show, CBS This Morning and Sally Jesse.

CSUSB’s University Diversity Committee has presented the Conversations on Diversity speaker series since 2005 to encourage dialogue among students, staff, faculty and the community about a variety of diverse issues.

Co-sponsors include the university’s academic computing and media department; the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies; College of Natural Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, communication studies department, sociology department, Office of Human Resources, Pfau Library and the Veterans Success Center.

For more information on Caplan and her work, visit the website, “When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home.”

For more information about the lecture or to request special accommodations, contact Twillea Evans-Carthen at (909) 537-5138 or Mary Texeira at (909) 537-5547.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit