In the 1960s and 1970s, the radical and visionary ideas of R. D. Laing revolutionized thinking about psychiatric practice and the meaning of madness. His work, from The Divided Self to Knots, and his therapeutic community at Kingsley Hall, made him a household name. But after little more than a decade he faded from prominence as quickly as he had attained it.
R.D.Laing and the Paths of Anti-Psychiatry re-examines Laing's work in the context of the anti-psychiatry movement. Concentrating on his most productive decade, the author provides a reasoned critique of Laing's theoretical writings, investigates the influences on his thinking such as phenomenology, existentialism and American family interaction research, and considers the experimental Kingsley Hall therapeutic community in comparison with anti-psychiatry experiments in Germany and Italy. The book provides a much needed reassessment and re-evaluation of Laing's work and its significance for psychotherapy and psychiatry today.
'Anyone with an interest in the history of mental health should read it, and health professionals certainly should.' - Nursing Times
This series of introductory, critical texts looks at the work and thought of key contributors to the development of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Each book includes examples of how the theories examined affect clinical practice, biographical material and a complete bibliography of the contributor's work.
The field of psychodynamic psychotherapy is today more fertile but also more diverse than ever before. Competing schools have been set up, rival theories and clinical ideas circulate. These different and sometimes competing strains are held together by a canon of fundamental concepts, guiding assumptions and principles of practice.
This canon has a history, and the way we now understand and use the ideas that frame our thinking and practice is palpably marked by how they came down to us, by the temperament and experiences of their authors, the particular puzzles they wanted to solve and the contexts in which they worked. These are the makers of modern psychotherapy. Yet despite their influence, the work and life some of these eminent figures is not well known. Others are more familiar, but their particular contribution is open to reassessment.
In studying these figures and their work, this series will articulate those ideas and ways of thinking that practitioners and thinkers within the psychodynamic tradition continue to find persuasive.