R.D. Laing and the Paths of Anti-psychiatry

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Psychology Press, 1997 - Medical - 132 pages
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In the 1960s and 1970s, the radical and visionary ideas of R.D. Laing and others associated with the anti-psychiatry movement challenged the psychiatric establishment, claiming that diagnosis was scientifically meaningless - that it was simply a way of labelling socially undesireable behaviour. These ideas revolutionized thinking about psychiatric practice and the meaning of madness. R.D. Laing's work, from The Divided Self to Knots, and his therapeutic community at Kingsley Hall, made him a household name. After little more than a decade he faded from prominence as quickly as he had attained it. This text provides a thorough re-examination of Laing's work from a contemporary perspective. Concentrating on his most productive decade, the author provides a reasoned critique of Laing's theoretical writings and investigates the influences on his thinking including phenomenology and existentialism in his earlier work, and American family interaction research and Sartre in his work on interpersonal communication. The book also considers the experimental Kingsley Hall therapeutic community in parallel with other anti-psychiatry experiments.

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About the author (1997)

Zbigniew Kotowicz trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with The Philadelphia Association and has worked as a community therapist and in private practice. He is now a freelance writer.

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