Du fou au malade mental, une histoire de la psychiatrie en quatre épisodes radiophoniques

1898 Hospice de Sainte Anne à Paris en 1898 Le dortoir des agités par PThiriat Roger-Viollet AFP

Hospice de Sainte Anne à Paris en 1898. Le dortoir des agités, par P.Thiriat. [Roger-Viollet – AFP]


Emission CQFD – radio suisse RTS
Du 15 au 18 août 2016, Anne Baecher vous propose de découvrir l’histoire de la psychiatrie avec Aude Fauvel, Maître d’enseignement et de recherche à l’Institut universitaire d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé publique de Lausanne (CHUV-Université de Lausanne)


Episodes :

1. La médicalisation de la folie
Le premier rendez-vous de cette série vous emmène à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, une époque qui voit apparaître une véritable médicalisation de la folie.
2. Le quotidien des fous
Le deuxième épisode de cette série se penche sur les conditions et les lieux de vie des personnes souffrant de pathologies psychiatriques au tournant du XXe siècle.
3. Les traitements de la folie
Dans ce troisième épisode, zoom sur les traitements psychiatriques à travers l’histoire.
4. La fin de l’asile psychiatrique ?

Au fil de l’histoire, il y a eu des périodes durant lesquelles le malade psychique était considéré comme traitable ou, au contraire, qu’il fallait se contenter de l’enfermer. Va-t-on vers la fin de l’asile psychiatrique? C’est la question de l’ultime épisode de cette série.

Pour écouter l’émission : http://www.rts.ch/la-1ere/programmes/cqfd/7944333.html
Pour la podcaster (valable 30 jours) : http://www.rts.ch/la-1ere/programmes/cqfd/podcast/

Article – The Beautiful Yet Twisted History of Psychological Testing

Psychobook_1000_1024x1024Wired Magazine published an article on the history of psychological testing. The reason: Julian Rothenstein, founder of Redstone Press, edited a book on the subject which will be released in September by Princeton Architectural Press. The title: Psychbook. Games, Tests, Questionnaires. The blurb reads:

Who knew a trip to the therapist could be so much fun, even aesthetically rewarding? Beyond sharing feelings or complaining about your mother, Psychobook reveals the rich history of psychological testing in a fascinating sideways look at classic testing methods, from word-association games to inkblots to personality tests.

Psychobook includes never-before-seen content from long-hidden archives, as well as reimagined tests from contemporary artists and writers, to try out yourself, at home or at parties. A great gift for the therapist in your life and the therapist in you, for anyone interested in the history of psychology and psychological paraphernalia, or for anyone who enjoys games and quizzes. Psychobook will brighten your day and outlook.

To read the Wired article and view a couple of the images from the book, click here.

New Issue – Social History of Medicine

3.coverElizabeth Roberts-Pedersen, Western Sydney University, Australia, published an article in the latest issue of Social History of Medicine, which could be of interest for h-madness readers:

The Hard School: Physical Treatments for War Neurosis in Britain during the Second World War


While accounts of the practice of military psychiatry during the Second World War have tended to emphasise the development of psychodynamic innovations such as therapeutic communities and group therapy in treating patients with war neurosis, this article explores the parallel use of ‘physical treatments’ by British practitioners during the conflict. Focusing on the work of William Sargant and his collaborators at the Sutton Emergency Hospital, it argues for the importance of these treatments not only for understanding the tenor of wartime psychiatry, but for demonstrating the attractions of physical treatments for managing large patient cohorts during wartime and in the post-war decades.

Interview with Richard Noll on Carl Jung and His Legacy


The site CelebrityTypes has recently published an interview with historian of psychiatry Richard Noll, focusing on the work and legacy of Carl Jung.  In the 1990s, Noll published two books on Jung:  The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton University Press, 1994) and The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung (Random House, 1997). His critical assessments of Jung and his followers drew praise from some circles, but also the ire of some proponents of Jung’s ideas.

Noll, however, never really addressed his critics. Here in this interview, he explains why and shares his thoughts on Jung, the response his books received, and the status of Jungian scholarship today.


When your books on Jung came out, you were savaged by certain pro-Jungian authors, yet (joining Nozick and Hume) you never answered your critics. Indeed you simply moved on to other fields altogether. Why did you decide to let the critics have the last word?

Once a book or article appears, it follows its own fate and speaks for itself. I feel it no longer belongs to me but instead must undergo its own ordeal in the arena – that is, if anyone reads and comments on it at all (most publications are totally ignored, by the way). I place great faith in the mechanisms of scholarship as a multigenerational project in which we all interpret and correct each other’s texts. In other words, we wash each other’s diapers because that’s our job – indeed, perversely, it’s our passion. All scholarship, including mine, has a short shelf-life. So that’s one reason.


Thumiger on Film “Seishin” (Mental) by Kazuhiro Soda


Historian of medicine Chiara Thumiger has just posted an essay on director Kazuhiro Soda’s 2008 film Seishin (Mental). As she describes it:

That of Sugano is just one of the human stories narrated by the film “Seishin” (“Mental”), by Kazuhiro Soda, an unforgettable documentary (if often hard to watch) about mental health and mental suffering in the context of a small clinical community, with its efforts and hard work, its struggles with the bureaucracy and with budgeting, and its daily routine. It is also a documentary on what it means to offer care to patients who suffer mentally, and to be a doctor; most of all, it is a touching collection of scattered pieces of human life, seen through the lenses of a handful of particular individuals. Their stories and emotions, but also their bodies, faces, expressions and physical presence – talking, working, laughing, smoking – are the real centre of the account; their individual viewpoints represent more clearly than any theoretical discussion the infinite possible meanings of ‘mentally ill’ and ‘mentally sound’ across different situations and worlds, and from one individual to the other.

You can read more by Thumiger on her blog Stories and Histories of Mental Health: Ancient World to Contemporary.

CfP: Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures (Glasgow, April 2017)

Call for Papers

Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures
University of Glasgow
Mon 3 Apr 2017 – Tue 4 April 2017

The Wellcome Trust-funded Conference ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’ brings contemporary Western expertise into dialogue with psychotherapeutic approaches from ‘other’ spatially, historically or otherwise ‘distant’ cultures. The Conference Committee invites abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute presentations, to be submitted by no later than 31 August 2016.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Chiara Thumiger, Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick: ‘Therapies of the word in ancient medicine’
Dr Jennifer Lea, Geography, University of Exeter: ‘Building “A Mindful Nation”? The use of mindfulness meditation in educational, health and criminal justice settings’
Dr Claudia Lang, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich: ‘Theory and practice in Ayurvedic psychotherapy’
Dr Elizabeth Roxburgh, Psychology, University of Northampton: ‘Anomalous experiences and mental health’

University of Glasgow Organizing Committee:

Dr Gavin Miller (Chair), Medical Humanities Research Centre/English Literature
Dr Sofia Xenofontos, Classics
Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Geographical and Earth Sciences
Dr Ross White, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Papers should address one or more of the conference’s four themes: 

1. Ancient approaches to psychotherapy
This theme seeks to explore ancient and medieval approaches to psychotherapy from the Egyptian and Babylonian world, the Graeco-Roman antiquity, the Chinese and medieval Islamic and Jewish traditions. It aims to foreground various ancient practices used in ‘the cure of the soul’, investigating the extent to which modern psychiatric techniques draw upon such wisdom traditions. Other key goals will be to distinguish diverse conceptions of selfhood required or advanced in psychotherapeutic settings, and to consider the borders between religion, medicine, and philosophy.

2. Geographies of Psychotherapy
We invite papers that wish to examine the development of psychological ideas and practices and their transformative effect over a range of (global) spaces, sites and places. Although not limited to such themes, we encourage critical debates into the uneven development of psychological practices over time and space, the changing spatialities of caring practices, embodied practices of healing, and writing psychotherapeutic geographies.

3. Postcolonial/Indigenous Psychotherapies
The emergence of different, competing schools of Western psychotherapy has been accompanied by rapid development in the capacity to share knowledge globally. Western psychotherapies are juxtaposed with forms of healing based on markedly different epistemic and philosophical underpinnings. This theme considers whether indigenous forms of healing in LMICs can be viewed as de facto psychotherapies. Attention will focus on the dynamics of power in post-colonial contexts and how this has influenced the perceived credibility of western vs indigenous forms of therapeutic/healing interaction.

4. Subcultural Psychotherapies
We invite critical engagement with the propensity to see subcultural participation (bodybuilding, gaming, body modification, BDSM, Goth, Emo, etc.) as cause or predictor of psychopathology. While remaining open to subcultural pathogenesis, we encourage exploration of subculture’s therapeutic/salutogenic dimensions, including the recovery/survivor movement, popular/mass culture, new religious movements, and anomalous experiences such as mediumship and therianthropy.

Abstract submission
Abstracts (.doc, .docx, .rtf) should be emailed to arts-otherpsychs@glasgow.ac.uk by no later than 31 August 2016along with a short biography (100 words or less). Abstracts will be considered by the conference organizing committee, and notifications will be communicated by no later than 30 September 2016.

Journal Issue
There will be an opportunity for a selection of papers presented at the conference to be developed into a thematic issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Transcultural Psychiatry (http://tps.sagepub.com/) that will be entitled ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’.

Downloadable call
A .pdf of this call may be downloaded: OtherpsychsCFP

For more information: http://otherpsychs.academicblogs.co.uk

New issue: History of Psychiatry

home_coverThe September 2016 issue of History of Psychiatry is now out and includes a number of articles that may be of interest to H-Madness readers.

The issue also contains the classic text, “Joseph Maxwell on mediumistic personifications” presented by Carlos Alvarado, as well as a number of book reviews.

Full titles and abstract below.


Tsutomu Kumazaki
Theory of mind is a prominent, but highly controversial, field in psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy of mind. Simulation theory, theory-theory and other views have been presented in recent decades, none of which are monolithic. In this article, various views on theory of mind are reviewed, and methodological problems within each view are investigated. The relationship between simulation theory and Verstehen(understanding) methodology in traditional human sciences is an intriguing issue, although the latter is not a direct ancestor of the former. From that perspective, lessons for current clinical psychiatry are drawn.


Fatih Artvinli
The Ottoman Empire, which encompassed a vast territory, had several facilities for the protection and treatment of the mentally ill. By the late nineteenth century, some wealthy families had begun to send their patients to mental hospitals in Europe for better treatment. During the same period, the process of repatriation of mental patients who were Ottoman subjects also began. These processes, which resulted in complex bureaucratic measures, later found a place in regulations and laws. The Ottoman Empire had an additional incentive to protect mentally-ill patients during the Second Constitutional Era, when discussions about ‘citizenship’ reappeared. This article examines the practices of sending mentally-ill people to Europe and the repatriation of mentally-ill Ottoman subjects from European countries.


João M Vaz
Memory is both ubiquitous and persona non grata in the work of Eugène Minkowski. Despite the relevance of memory in the works of those who influenced him, in particular Bergson, Minkowski nonetheless repeatedly overlooked its importance in his writings. To the reader of his work this fact is as much evident as unaccounted for – both by prior research and by Minkowski himself. I shall try to prove that this disregard for memory was conditio sine qua non of Minkowski’s first synthesis of Bleuler and Bergson in a 1921 article, which resulted in his famous concept of loss of vital contact with reality and which he equated with schizophrenia. Moreover, this historical approach will, on the one hand, explain the fragmentary use made by Minkowski of the philosophy of Bergson and, on the other, shed light on central aspects of his Le temps vécu of 1933 that an exclusively philosophical analysis cannot reveal.


Matthew Oram
Over the 1950s and early 1960s, the use of the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to facilitate psychotherapy was a promising field of psychiatric research in the USA. However, during the 1960s, research began to decline, before coming to a complete halt in the mid-1970s. This has commonly been explained through the increase in prohibitive federal regulations during the 1960s that aimed to curb the growing recreational use of the drug. However, closely examining the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of LSD research in the 1960s will reveal that not only was LSD research never prohibited, but that the administration supported research to a greater degree than has been recognized. Instead, the decline in research reflected more complex changes in the regulation of pharmaceutical research and development.


Armin Schäfer
This article discusses both the use of graphology in German psychiatry (1870–1930) and the use of handwriting in psychiatric experiments. The examination of handwriting was part of an ensemble of diagnostic tools. Although disorders of handwriting seemed to indicate psychic diseases, graphology did not seem the right method to produce valid observations. Nevertheless, psychiatrists began to incorporate the process of writing into research and diagnosis and to make the process of handwriting an experimental field. Emil Kraepelin invented an apparatus – the so-called Writing-Scale – with which he could measure the dynamics of writing in various dimensions and, in particular, the pressure of movements. The experiments produced a huge amount of data, but the psychiatrists were unable to interpret them in a comprehensible way. Although psychiatrists failed to grasp the psychopathology in handwriting, they discovered a systemic behaviour of the organism controlled by feedback.


Jacinthe Flore
This article examines the problematization of sexual appetite and its imbalances in the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The dominant strands of historiographies of sexuality have focused on historicizing sexual object choice and understanding the emergence of sexual identities. This article emphasizes the need to contextualize these histories within a broader frame of historical interest in the problematization of sexual appetite. The first part highlights how sexual object choice, as a paradigm of sexual dysfunctions, progressively receded from medical interest in the twentieth century as the clinical gaze turned to the problem of sexual appetite and its imbalances. The second part uses the example of the newly introduced Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in the DSM-5 to explore how the Manual functions as a technique for taking care of the self. I argue that the design of the Manual and associated inventories and questionnaires paved the way for their interpretation and application as techniques for self-examination.


John Cutting, Maria Mouratidou, Thomas Fuchs, and Gareth Owen
Kurt Schneider (1887–1967) met Max Scheler (1874–1928) in 1919 when he enrolled in the latter’s philosophy seminars at the University of Cologne. Kurt Schneider was then a junior psychiatrist and Max Scheler a renowned philosophy professor and co-founder of the phenomenological movement in philosophy. We uncover the facts about their intellectual and personal relationship, summarize the main articles and books that they wrote and consider whether Max Scheler did influence the young Kurt Schneider. We conclude that Scheler’s philosophy of emotion impressed Schneider, and that the latter’s notion of ‘vital depression’ as the core element in melancholia was essentially applied Schelerian philosophy. Schneider’s more celebrated contributions to psychiatry – his notion of first rank symptoms of schizophrenia – owed nothing to Scheler or any other philosopher.


Marco Cascella
In 1891 the Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli (1852–1929) described taphophobia, defining it as an extreme condition of claustrophobia due to the fear of being buried alive. This rare psychopathological phenomenon reflects an ancient fear, and its origin is not known. Taphophobia is closely linked to the problem of apparent death and premature burial. In the nineteenth century, scientists and authors paid particular attention to the issue of apparent death, and special devices (safety coffins) were invented to ensure that premature burial was avoided. Nowadays taphophobia is quite a rare psychiatric disorder; different forms of social anxiety disorders are much more widespread. Its modern equivalent could be the fear of organs harvested from a patient who is still alive.

To access the full issue, click here.

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