The history of mental health policy in Turkey: Tradition, transition and transformation

AHP readers may be interested in a recent piece available from History of Psychiatry, “The history of mental health policy in Turkey: Tradition, transition and transformation,” Merve Kardelen Bilir, Fatih Artvinli. Abstract:

This article offers a brief history and the evolution of mental health policy in Turkey. It aims to analyse how mental health policies were transformed and why certain policies were introduced at specific times. The modern history of mental health policy is divided into three periods: the institutionalization of psychiatry and hospital-based mental health services; the introduction of community-based mental healthcare services; and lastly, the policy of deinstitutionalization after the 1980s. These periods have been categorized in a way that basically coincides with Turkey’s modern political history.

Fall 2020 JHBS: Biofeedback, Kokyo’s Study of Double Personality, Revisiting Guthrie’s Even the Rat was White, and More

The Fall 2020 issue of the Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences is now online. Full details below.

“Seeking double personality: Nakamura Kokyo’s work in abnormal psychology in early 20th century Japan,” Yu?chuan Wu. Abstract:

This paper examines Nakamura Kokyo’s study of a woman with a split personality who lived in his home as a maid from 1917 until her death in 1940. She was his indispensable muse and assistant in his efforts to promote abnormal psychology and psychotherapy. This paper first explores the central position of multiple personality in Nakamura’s theory of the subconscious, which was largely based on the model of dissociation. It then examines how it became a central issue in Nakamura’s disputes with religions including the element of spirit possession, which invoked Western psychical research to modernize their doctrines. While both were concerned with the subconscious and alterations in personality, Nakamura’s psychological view was distinguished from those spiritual understandings by his emphasis on individual memories, particularly those that were traumatic, and hysteria. The remaining sections of the paper will examine Nakamura’s views on memory and hysteria, which conflicted with both the academic mainstream and the established cultural beliefs. This conflict may partly explain the limited success of Nakamura’s academic and social campaigns.

“Learning to stand tall: Idiopathic scoliosis, behavioral electronics, and technologically?assisted patient participation in treatment, c. 1969–1992,” Lucie Gerber. Abstract:

Drawing on the archives of American learning psychologist Neal E. Miller, this article investigates the role of instrumentation in the expansion and diversification of the behavior therapy domain from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Through the case of Miller’s research on the use of biofeedback to treat idiopathic scoliosis, it argues that the post?World War II adoption of electronic technology by behavioral psychologists contributed to extending their subject matter to include physiological processes and somatic conditions. It also enabled a technologically?instrumented move outside the laboratory through the development of portable ambulatory treatment devices. Using the example of the Posture?Training Device that Miller and his collaborators invented for the behavioral treatment of idiopathic scoliosis, this paper considers how electromechanical psychological instrumentation illustrated a larger and ambiguous strategic shift in behavior therapy from an orientation toward external control to one of self?control.

“Social sciences, modernization, and late colonialism: The Centro de Estudos da Guiné Portuguesa,” Frederico Ágoas. Abstract:

In Portugal, studies of transformations since the mid?1950s in colonial social research have focused on the colonial school in Lisbon or other bodies directly under the supervision of the metropolitan administration. Nonmetropolitan initiatives have been neglected and the social?scientific undertakings of the Centro de Estudos da Guiné Portuguesa (CEGP), in particular, have been only marginally dealt with. This article maps CEGP’s creation in Bissau, in 1945, and its social?scientific activity not only to establish its precedence but also to highlight local colonial enterprise and to specify its imprint upon developments in the metropole. It addresses CEGP’s immediate context and main actors, institutional setting, research activities, publications, and other scientific outlets, to then put forward some concluding remarks regarding the epistemic reach of overseas governmental measures and the practical effects, in metropolitan colonial policies and scientific research, of peripheral imperial bureaucratic knowledge.

Reappraisal Review
“Reappraising Robert Val Guthrie’s Even the rat was White (1976, 2003)”

“Writing history is an act of justice: A reappraisal of Robert V. Guthrie’s Even the rat was White: A historical view of psychology,” Layli Maparyan.

““Set the Record Straight:” Creating social change through storytelling,” Shari E. Miles?Cohen.

“Acknowledging a Legacy of Anti?Black Pseudoscience: A review of Even the Rat Was White,” Bedford E. F. Palmer II.

“The Whiteness of psychology: Thinking about Robert V. Guthrie’s Even the rat was White four decades later,” Martin Summers.

“Robert V. Guthrie and Even the Rat was White: A Retrospective Appreciation of the First Edition,” Andrew S. Winston.

Other Reviews
“The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories. Kelty, Christopher M.,” Eric Gable.

“The last archive. A podcast series. Lepore, Jill,” Christopher D. Green.

“The Republic of Color. Rossi, Michael,” Jane Kromm.

Reading the Archive after #metoo

The next session of the Virtual History of Psychology Workshop will take place on November 18th at 1pm EST. This month’s event explores “Reading the Archive after #metoo.” Those interested in attending can register for the event here.

Reading the Archive after #metoo
Virtual History of Psychology Workshop
November 18, 2020 1-2pm EST

In the fall of 2017 sexual harassment came to the forefront of public conversation. Accounts of harassment and its consequences soon proliferated under the banner of the #metoo movement, first organized by Tarana Burke more than a decade earlier. While ‘sexual harassment’ as a distinct term only emerged in the 1970s, unwanted sexual attention has long had a presence in, and impact on, people’s lives. As historians of the human sciences operating in the post-#metoo era, how might we read the archive for traces of sexual harassment in the lives of our historical actors? What challenges and opportunities present themselves by attending to sexual harassment’s presence in the archive? How can we productively engage with sexual harassment as both an experience and exercise of power? What kinds of sources lend themselves to revealing these kinds of stories? How might an awareness of sexual harassment and its dynamics inform understandings of who our historical actors were and the knowledge they produced? In this session, we will explore these questions and consider how sexual harassment may inform histories beyond those explicitly centred around gender.

Young, J. L., & Hegarty, P. (2019). Reasonable men: Sexual harassment and norms of conduct in social psychology. Feminism & Psychology, 29(4), 453–474.

Stanley, A. (2018, September 24). Writing the History of Sexual Assault in the Age of #MeToo. Perspectives on History, November 2018. /perspectives-on-history/november-2018/writing-the-history-of-sexual-assault-in-the-age-of-metoo

Kristof, N. (2019, May 27). It’s Taken 5 Decades to Get the Ph.D. Her Abusive Professor Denied Her. The New York Times.

Sexual abuse by superintending staff in the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum: Medical practice, complaint and risk

AHP readers may be interested in an open-access piece now in press at History of Psychiatry, “Sexual abuse by superintending staff in the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum: medical practice, complaint and risk” by Cara Dobbing and Alannah Tomkins. Abstract:

The nineteenth century witnessed a great shift in how insanity was regarded and treated. Well documented is the emergence of psychiatry as a medical specialization and the role of lunatic asylums in the West. Unclear are the relationships between the heads of institutions and the individuals treated within them. This article uses two cases at either end of the nineteenth century to demonstrate sexual misdemeanours in sites of mental health care, and particularly how they were dealt with, both legally and in the press. They illustrate issues around cultures of complaint and the consequences of these for medical careers. Far from being representative, they highlight the need for further research into the doctor–patient relationship within asylums, and what happened when the boundaries were blurred.

Call for Papers: Psychology From the Margins “A Look Back: What Historical Research Can Tell Us About Contemporary Problems.”

AHP readers may be interested in a call for papers issued by Psychology From the Margins, “a peer-reviewed, student-led, student-edited journal that provides an outlet for articles addressing the history of research, practice, and advocacy in psychology. The journal highlights stories that have been unrepresented or underrepresented by other historical narratives.  It features scholarly work addressing the history of psychology especially in areas related to social justice, social issues, and social change.” Full details below.

“A Look Back: What Historical Research Can Tell Us About Contemporary Problems.”

People around the world believe that history can tell us about who we are and how we got to where we are today. Many others believe that history can also give us some guidelines for the present. As we understand history and the lessons within it psychologists are well equipped to highlight stories that are unrepresented in the larger narrative and draw meaning from these stories to inform our modern problems.

We encourage contributions that draw attention to the impact of traditionally marginalized groups on the development of psychological research, practice, and advocacy. This includes narratives, biographies, commentary, and reviews related to traditionally marginalized groups and social justice issues throughout the history of psychology. Manuscripts should be between 20 to 40 pages in length (not including references). Additionally, issue three is welcoming articles that address the broad question Additionally, issue three is welcoming articles that address the broad question “A look back, lessons learned, what can historical research tell us

Possible Topics:

  • biographies of psychologists from underrepresented groups
  • historical contributions of marginalized psychologists
  • social justice and advocacy endeavors in the history of psychology
  • analyses of the impact of historical and contextual oppression on the development of psychology
  • explorations of the work of underrepresented groups in shaping psychology

Submission Guidelines: Interested authors are welcome to submit an abstract for feedback from the editorial board regarding the topic’s fit and focus for this issue. Completed manuscripts should be submitted through the Psychology from the Margins portal found at

Submissions Deadline Extended: November 22, 2020

The editorial team welcomes questions and correspondence, which may be directed to Nuha

Alshabani, M.A., ( and Samsara Soto M.A., (

An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America

A forthcoming book on the history of phrenology may interest AHP readers. An Organ of Murder:
Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America
by Courtney E. Thompson is described as follows:

An Organ of Murder explores the origins of both popular and elite theories of criminality in the nineteenth-century United States, focusing in particular on the influence of phrenology. In the United States, phrenology shaped the production of medico-legal knowledge around crime, the treatment of the criminal within prisons and in public discourse, and sociocultural expectations about the causes of crime. The criminal was phrenology’s ideal research and demonstration subject, and the courtroom and the prison were essential spaces for the staging of scientific expertise. In particular, phrenology constructed ways of looking as well as a language for identifying, understanding, and analyzing criminals and their actions. This work traces the long-lasting influence of phrenological visual culture and language in American culture, law, and medicine, as well as the practical uses of phrenology in courts, prisons, and daily life.

Table of Contents
Introduction    Through a Mirror, Darkly
1                      Origins and Organs     
2                      Transatlantic Societies and Skulls
3                      Phrenology on Trial
4                      The Prison as Laboratory
5                      Policing the Self and the Stranger 
6                      A Victory for Phrenology?     
Epilogue          Phrenological Futures        

Measuring difference, numbering normal: Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period

AHP readers may be interested in a recently published open access book, Measuring difference, numbering normal: Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period by Coreen McGuire. The book is described as follows:

Measurements, and their manipulation, have been underestimated as crucial historical forces motivating and guiding the way we think about disability.

Using measurement technology as a lens, and examining in particular the measurement of hearing and breathing, this book draws together several existing discussions on disability, phenomenology, healthcare, medical practice, big data, embodiment, and emerging medical and scientific technologies around the turn of the twentieth century. These are popular topics of scholarly attention but have not, until now, been considered as interconnected topics within a single book. As such, this work connects several important, and usually separate academic subject areas and historical specialisms. The standards embedded in instrumentation created strict, but, ultimately arbitrary thresholds of what is categorised as normal and abnormal. Considering these standards from a long historical perspective reveals how these dividing lines shifted when pushed.

Table of Contents
1 Numbering normal
2 Measuring disability
3 The artificial ear and the disability data gap
4 The audiometer and the medicalization of hearing loss
5 The spirometer and the normal subjects
6 The respirator and the mechanization of normal breathing
7 Measuring ourselves

Psychoanalysis and the transformations of childhood in the articles and columns written by Clarice Lispector, 1952-1973

AHP readers may be interested in a recent piece published in História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos: “Psychoanalysis and the transformations of childhood in the articles and columns written by Clarice Lispector, 1952-1973” by Alejandra Josiowiczi. The piece is free to access here. Abstract:

The article examines the role of psychology in how childhood was understood during the period spanning 1950 to 1970, focusing on articles and columns Clarice Lispector published in broadly circulating magazines and newspapers from 1952 to 1973. From these writings emerges a new paradigm considering children as psychological mysteries within the domestic sphere, in which childhood is understood as the core of the adult psyche, as well as object of maternal exploration and care. This biopsychological model combines hygienic concerns related to physical health with psychological attention to childhood subjectivity. This way, the middle-class child reveals a transformation of family models and the new centrality of the individual.

Forthcoming in JHBS: Public Opinion Research in West Germany, Psychoanalytic Influences in Argentinian Psychology

Two articles forthcoming in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers. Full details below.

Intersecting aims, divergent paths: The Allensbach Institute, the Institute for Social Research, and the making of public opinion research in 1950s West Germany,” Sonja G. Ostrow. Abstract:

After 1945, both the Western Allies in Germany and some German social scientists embraced empirical public opinion research. This article examines the rhetoric, practices, and collaborative professional efforts of two of the most significant institutions conducting opinion research in West Germany in the 1950s: the Allensbach Institute and the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Although the political stances of these institutions differed, they were motivated to apply empirical research methods associated with Anglo?American social research to the West German population by shared concerns about the fragility of democracy, faith in the empirical sciences as an antidote to Nazi?era thought patterns, and the need to form a united front against doubters within West Germany. Even while declaring their desire to incorporate the latest empirical advances from the United States, however, they sought to articulate the meaning of their methods and findings in terms of the specific challenges faced by West Germany.

Psychology qua psychoanalysis in Argentina: Some historical origins of a philosophical problem (1942–1964),” Catriel Fierro and Saulo de Freitas Araujo. Abstract:

Contemporary Argentinian psychology has a unique characteristic: it is identified with psychoanalysis. Nonpsychoanalytic theories and therapies are difficult to find. In addition, there is an overt antiscientific attitude within many psychology programs. How should this be explained? In this paper, we claim that a philosophical history of psychology can shed new light on the development of Argentinian psychology by showing that early Argentinian psychoanalysts held positions in the newborn psychology programs and a distinctive stance toward scientific research in general and psychology in particular. In the absence of an explicit and articulate philosophical position, psychoanalysts developed an implicit meta?theory that helped shape the context that led to the institutionalization and professionalization of psychology in Argentina. Although we do not establish or even suggest a monocausal link between their ideas and the current state of Argentinian psychology, we do claim that their impact should be explored. Finally, we discuss some limitations of our study and suggest future complementary investigations.

The Mechanics of Passions: Brain, Behaviour, and Society

AHP readers may be interested in a newly translated book, The Mechanics of Passions: Brain, Behaviour, and Society by Alain Ehrenberg (translated by Craig Lund). The book is described as follows:

Cognitive neuroscience, once a specialized area of psychology and biology, has enjoyed increased worldwide legitimacy in the last thirty years not only in psychiatry and mental health, but also in fields as diverse as education, economics, marketing, and law. How can this surge in popularity be explained? Has the new science of human behaviour now become the barometer of our conduct and our lives, taking the place previously occupied by psychoanalysis?

Rather than asking if neuronal man will replace social man or how to surmount the opposition between the biological and the social, The Mechanics of Passions uncovers hidden relationships between global social ideals and specialized concepts of neuroscience and cognitive science. Proposing a historical sociology situated in the dual contexts of the history of sciences and the history of self-representation, Alain Ehrenberg describes the conditions through which cognitive neuroscience has developed and acquired a strong moral authority in our individualistic society permeated by ideas, values, and norms of autonomy.

Cognitive neuroscience offers the promise of turning personal limitations into assets by exploring an individual’s “hidden potential.” The Mechanics of Passions identifies this as the echo of social ideals of autonomy, affirming that the moral authority of cognitive neuroscience stems as much from cultural norms as from any results of scientific or medical experimentation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Science of Human Behaviour | 3

1 Exemplary Brains: From the Misfortunes of the Practical Subject to the Heroism of Hidden Potential | 14
2 Scientific Method and Individualist Ideals: Converting Passions, from the Scottish Enlightenment to New Individualism | 50
3 The Brain-as-Individual, a Physiology of Autonomy | 93
4 Social Neuroscience, or How the Individual Acts with Others | 129
5 Exercises in Autonomy: Individualist Rituals to Reconstruct One’s Moral Being? | 161
6 Is It My Ideas or My Brain That Is Making Me Sick? Neuroscience and Self-Knowledge | 198

Conclusion: The Brain’s Place
From the Neuronal Being to the Total Being | 232