Tag Archives: Maudsley Hospital

Mediating Shell Shock: The 1918 Film ‘War Neuroses’ as Clinical Controversy

sgt-bissettBPS’ May volume of The Psychologist includes an insightful historical piece by Edgar Jones (out of the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London). His article, Filming Trauma, assesses the influence and controversy in Britain surrounding the clinical research of Arthur Hurst on treatment of shell shock as a medical emergency within their military forces.

Jones identifies Hurst’s provocative footage of disordered movement as having lasting historical impact on our comprehension of how shell shock presented itself and was understood by contemporaries of the first World War; he then asserts the film was a non-representative and highly mediated rendition of the condition as experienced by the soldiers in that context. Jones goes on to elucidate the skeptical response of other psychiatric professionals to Hurst’s methods and claims to unprecedented and outstanding therapeutic efficacy, for which Hurst provided little explanation or followup.

An engaging read! Find it as pdf, or post.

Summer Issue of JHBS is Now Out

The Summer 2012 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online (cover featured at left). Included in this issue are articles on psychologist Edward Tolman’s refusal to sign a loyalty oath in the 1950s, the aesthetics of musical research in Berlin and Vienna in the late-nineteenth century, and the use of hormonal treatments at Maudsley Hospital during the interwar years. Also in this issue is an article – by yours truly – on early questionnaire research in the United States. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below, along with a list of books reviewed in this issue.

“The biologist as psychologist: Henry Fairfield Osborn’s Early Mental Ability Investigations,” by Jacy L. Young. The abstract reads,

In the early 1880s, biologist Henry Fairfield Osborn conducted some of the first questionnaire research in American psychology. This article details how he came to distribute Francis Galton’s questionnaire on mental imagery in the United States, as well as how he altered it to suit his own burgeoning psychological research interests. The development and circulation of questionnaires at the very beginning of American scientific psychology, first by Osborn and later by G. Stanley Hall, is discussed in terms of the new psychology’s often-overlooked methodological plurality. Further, Osborn’s late nineteenth century interest in individual variation and group differences in mental imagery ability are discussed in relation to his pervasive educational and social concerns, as well as his eventual status as a prominent eugenicist in the twentieth century United States. This research into mental imagery ability foreshadows the eugenic-oriented intelligence testing that developed in the early twentieth century.

The regents versus the professors: Edward Tolman’s role in the California Loyalty Oath controversy,” by David W. Carroll. The abstract reads,

In 1950, the University of California Board of Regents approved a policy that all faculty members, as a condition for continued employment, were required to either sign an oath indicating that they were not members of the Communist Party or explain why they would not sign. A group of faculty members, led by psychologist Edward Tolman, refused to sign the oath and were fired. This article discusses how Tolman emerged as the leader of the faculty nonsigners and how his stature within psychology enabled him to recruit assistance from the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

“The bias of ‘music-infected consciousness’: The aesthetics of listening in the laboratory and on the city streets of fin-de-siecle Berlin and Vienna,” by Alexandra E. Hui. The abstract reads, Continue reading Summer Issue of JHBS is Now Out

June Issue of History of Psychiatry Now Online

The June 2012 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. Include in this issue are articles on R.D. Laing’s (right) theological influences, psychiatric diagnosis at Maudsley Hospital during the interwar years, addiction and criminal responsibility in Germany, phenomenological and community psychiatry, the psychology of Antarctic exploration, and Russian forensic psychiatry. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“R.D. Laing’s theological hinterland: The contrast between mysticism and communion,” by Gavin Miller. The abstract reads,

Contrasting elements in R.D. Laing’s psychiatry can be traced to two kinds of Christian theology: mystical theology and corporate theology. On one hand, Laing’s mystical theology combined with psychoanalytic theory, to provide a New Age psychotherapeutic account of the recovery of authentic selfhood via metanoia. On the other, his incarnational, corporate theology promoted social inclusion of the mentally ill, particularly via therapeutic communities. For Laing, as for other post-war British Christians, a turn inwards, to mysticism and the sacralization of the self, and a turn outwards, to social and political activism, were ways of negotiating with the decline of traditional Christianity.

“Psychiatric case notes: Symptoms of mental illness and their attribution at the Maudsley Hospital, 1924–35,” by Edgar Jones, Shahina Rahman, and Brian Everitt. The abstract reads,

Case notes of patients treated at the Maudsley Hospital during the interwar period provided data about diagnosis, symptoms and beliefs about mental illness. Continue reading June Issue of History of Psychiatry Now Online