The March 2016 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Articles in this issue explore psychogeriatrics in mid-twentieth century England, phenomenological explanations of delusions, the founding of the German Research Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, and more. Full titles, authors and abstract follow below.
“Psychogeriatrics in England in the 1950s: greater knowledge with little impact on provision of services,” by Claire Hilton. The abstract reads,
In the 1950s, the population aged over 65 years continued to increase, and older people occupied mental hospital beds disproportionately. A few psychiatrists and geriatricians demonstrated what could be done to improve the wellbeing of mentally unwell older people, who were usually labelled as having irreversible ‘senile dementia’. Martin Roth demonstrated that ‘senile dementia’ comprised five different disorders, some of which were reversible. These findings challenged established teaching and were doubted by colleagues. Despite diagnostic improvements and therapeutic successes, clinical practice changed little. Official reports highlighted the needs, but government commitment to increase and improve services did not materialize.
“The nature of delusion: psychologically explicable? psychologically inexplicable? philosophically explicable? Part 2,” by J Cutting and M Musalek. The abstract reads, Continue reading New History of Psychiatry: Psychogeriatrics, Delusions, & More!
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The December 2015 issue of The Psychologist, the British Psychological Society‘s flagship magazine, is now online. This month’s “Looking Back” column, written by Gail Hornstein, explores artistic depictions of madness, among them Agnes’ jacket (pictured above). As Hornstein notes,
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Since at least the 13th century, artists have been fascinated by insanity. There are literally hundreds of images, most stylised and stereotypic, of ‘madness’ and ‘the madman’ (or woman). When asylums spread across 19th-century Europe, providing a captive population of mad people, artists began to use actual patients as models for their drawings and paintings. These images are often less extreme than earlier portraits, but their typically grotesque emotionality is just as dehumanising.
Patients are treated as specimens, devoid of any context, like tumour cells in a pathology manual. Even in the works of progressive physicians like Pinel or Esquirol, madness is depicted as brutality or as generalised deterioration. Esquirol’s particular interest in pathological types influenced the thinking of generations of psychiatrists and reduced the patient’s whole life to one main symptom (e.g. mania). Of course, today we take this idea far more literally than Esquirol did in the 1830s – current images of madness don’t even show the person, just their hypothesised brain defect.
The British Psychological Society‘s History of Psychology Centre is hosting its third annual history of psychology symposium October 15, 2013. This year’s event, “Stories of Psychology,” looks at the history of psychology and the arts and how each field has influenced the other. The day’s events are hosted by Alan Collins of Lancaster University. Full program details follow below.
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‘Stories of Psychology’ Symposium
Psychology and the Arts
The third annual history of psychology symposium
Tuesday 15 October 2013 at the Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
10.30am-4pm (including buffet lunch)
Convened by Dr Alan Collins (Lancaster University)
This year’s theme will reflect some of the many ways that the arts (music, literature, visual arts) have influenced the development of psychological understanding and vice versa.
Dr Alexandra Lewis (University of Aberdeen)
‘Psychology and the novel: Trauma and memory in the 19th century’
Professor Nicholas Wade (University of Dundee)
‘Toying with perception: Philosophical toys and the simulation of motion in early 19th-century London’
Dr James Kennaway (University of Newcastle)
‘Musical mind control: The history of an idea’
Dr Greg Tate (University of Surrey)
‘John Keats’s principled feeling: Knowledge and emotion in Romantic poetry, medicine and psychology’
Dr Nick Lambert (Birkbeck, University of London)
‘The computer in the cave’
This is a public event and all are welcome. The programme has been designed to have general appeal as well as academic validity for historians of psychology.
Cost (including lunch): £12 (£10 BPS members)
To register click here
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or call Peter Dillon Hooper on 0116 252 9528.
This event is supported by Senate House Library, home of the British Psychological Society’s library collection.