Archive for March, 2016

Psychosis and Psychoanalysis Conference (Freud Museum London, 20 March 2016)

History – Politics – Theory – Technique

20 March 2016
9.30am – 5.00pm

Organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis, as a joint fundraiser.

In partnership with South Hampstead High School.

The relation between psychosis and psychoanalysis is a paradoxical one. Psychosis is a core term in the theory of psychoanalysis, a site of clinical challenges and radical questioning. Yet it has no place in classic psychoanalytic technique.
Is there a place for psychosis in psychoanalysis? Is there a place for psychoanalysis in psychosis?

This one-day conference brings together eminent practitioners of psychoanalysis from a variety of theoretical perspectives to discuss these complex and topical questions. Drawing on their important contributions to the area of psychosis, the speakers will reflect on the political, theoretical and technical implications of their work.


08.45 – 09.30: Registration and Coffee

09.30: HISTORY
Haya Oakley: Life in the “Anti-Psychiatry” Fast Lane
Brian Martindale: Family and Psychosis (Past & Present)
Chair: Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz

11.00: Coffee break

Jay Watts: Navigating Language Games around Psychosis
Barry Watt: The Politics of Kleinian Technique in Post-war UK
Chair: Anne Cooke

13.00: Lunch break

14.00: THEORY
Kate Brown: Attachment Theory and Psychosis
Stijn VanheuleConceptualising and Treating Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective
Chair: Peter Nevins

15.45: Coffee break

Clinical Rountable:
Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz (Presenter)
Christos Tombras and Tomasz Fortuna(Respondents)
Moderator: Gwion Jones

17.30: End


For more information, click here.

Cfp – Normale ou ordinaire, accomplie ou autonome ? La vie et ses formes pour les personnes souffrant d’un trouble mental chronique dans et après la psychiatrie


A l’Université Saint-Louis (Bruxelles), les 8, 9 et 10 septembre 2016
Appel à communications

Date limite : 2 mai 2016
La psychiatrie contemporaine est traversée par d’importantes lignes de tension qui opposent différentes conceptions de ce que sont un trouble et un malade psychiatriques, de ce qu’il faudrait entreprendre pour permettre aux personnes concernées d’accéder à une vie meilleure, et enfin de la façon de définir cette vie.
L’objectif de ce colloque est de cerner les façons par lesquelles une perspective de sciences humaines et sociales peut aider à mieux décrire et comprendre les pratiques quotidiennes, les discours théoriques, les espaces, les acteurs (avec une attention particulière portée aux personnes malades), afin d’en dégager les conceptions de la vie et du vivant humain qui y évoluent et s’y entrechoquent parfois, formant ainsi le paysage normatif complexe des mondes de la psychiatrie contemporaine. Continue reading

Dissertations – Soldiers of the Great War in French mental hospitals

Marie Derrien: “La tête en capilotade”. Soldiers of the Great War in French mental hospitals (1914-1980)

The primary objective of this thesis is to observe the functioning of a society plunged into war and faced with one of its consequences: the internment of soldiers suffering from mental illness. The aim is to show that we can contribute to the global history of the war by analyzing the experiences of a small group of people within a mental asylum, though their experiences may seem isolated and unrepresentative of the majority. Contrary to the implications of the purely medical literature, it was not in fact the psychiatrists alone who had an interest in the situation of these men: investigation of various kinds of archive shows that their families, fellow soldiers, senior officers, the representatives of the armed forces and the government at national, regional and local level, as well as asylum directors and their staff, reacted, intervened and took decisions concerning them.

1608 Clinique des Hommes Carte postale

 Asylum of Bron (Lyon, France), psychiatric clinic for men (Postcard, ca. 1900, Archives from La Ferme du Vinatier)


Between 1914 and 1918, and subsequently until the passing of the last interned ‘poilus’, the case of soldiers victims of mental illness raises issues of psychological, military, political, economic and cultural nature which transcend their individual particularities. Furthermore, these men’s histories and their voices reveal a long-overlooked dimension of the violence of war and the suffering endured by the soldiers both before and after the armistice. By examining the way in which their conditions were regarded, not only by doctors but by society as a whole, we come to ask ourselves to what extent conflict affects the way in which those who were categorized as mentally ill were perceived. Therefore the second objective of this thesis is to reflect on the role of war in transforming social intervention measures, thereby evaluating the effect of the 1914-1918 period on the evolution of psychiatric assistance during the 20th century.

This thesis was defended on 21th November 2015 at the University of Lyon 2 (France).

Marie Derrien is currently an associate member of the Rhône-Alpes Laboratory of Historical Research in Lyon and a teaching assistant at the University of Savoie Mont Blanc (France).


2016 Cheiron Book Prize


Susan D. Lamb from the University of Ottawa has been awarded the 2016 Cheiron Book Prize for Pathologist of the Mind: Adolf Meyer and the Origins of American Psychiatry, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014. The blurb reads:

During the first half of the twentieth century, Adolf Meyer was the most authoritative and influential psychiatrist in the United States. In 1908, when the Johns Hopkins Hospital established the first American university clinic devoted to psychiatry—still a nascent medical specialty at the time—Meyer was selected to oversee the enterprise. The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic opened in 1913, and Meyer served as psychiatrist-in-chief at the hospital until 1941.

In Pathologist of the Mind, S. D. Lamb explores how Meyer used his powerful position to establish psychiatry as a clinical science that operated like the other academic disciplines at the country’s foremost medical school. In addition to successfully arguing for a scientific and biological approach to mental illness, Meyer held extraordinary sway over state policies regarding the certification of psychiatrists. He also trained hundreds of specialists who ultimately occupied leadership positions and made significant contributions in psychiatry, neurology, experimental psychology, social work, and public health.

Although historians have long recognized Meyer’s authority, his concepts and methods have never before received a systematic historical analysis. His convoluted theory of “psychobiology,” along with his notoriously ineffective attempts to explain it in print, continue to baffle many clinicians. Pathologist of the Mind aims to rediscover Meyerian psychiatry by eavesdropping on Meyer’s informal and private conversations with his patients and colleagues. Weaving together private correspondence and uniquely detailed case histories, Lamb examines Meyer’s efforts to institute a clinical science of psychiatry in the United States—one that harmonized the expectations of scientific medicine with his concept of the person as a biological organism and mental illness as an adaptive failure. The first historian ever granted access to these exceptional medical records, Lamb offers a compelling new perspective on the integral but misunderstood legacy of Adolf Meyer.

Found on Advances in the History of Psychology.

“Psy-ences” colloquium (Montréal, April 2016)



Perspectives historiques et philosophiques sur la classification dans les disciplines « psy »

Historical and philosophical perspectives on classification in the “psy” disciplines

Quelle place occupent les dispositifs de classification dans le champ des sciences psy? En réunissant des chercheurs de disciplines diverses, cette journée d’étude bilingue visera à apporter des analyses novatrices afin de cerner le rôle controversé qu’occupent ces procédés nosologiques dans les pratiques scientifiques ainsi que dans les représentations et discours contemporains.

Colloque organisé par Alexandra BACOPOULOS-VIAU et Vincent GUILLIN

Conférencier invité (Keynote) : Edward SHORTER (University of Toronto)


KEYNOTE – Edward Shorter (Toronto): “The History of the Classification of Affective Disorders”

Scott Phelps (McGill) – “Seeing Ourselves, Darkly: The Awareness of Illness and Illness of Awareness”

Vincent Guillin (UQAM) – “Ethology ‘à la française’: the Intriguing Reception of J. S. Mill’s Science of Character among French fin de siècle psychologists”

Kathryn Tabb (Columbia) – “From ‘Personalized’ to ‘Precision’ Psychiatry: What’s in a Name?”

Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau (McGill) – “The Re-Discovery of the Unconscious: Pierre Janet, Self and Trauma from 1900 to the Present”

Luc Faucher (UQAM) – “A ROAMER with a View”

Stephanie Lloyd (Laval) – Commentaires de clôture et discussion générale

QUAND : 22 avril 2016

OÙ : Université du Québec à Montréal
Pavillon Thérèse-Casgrain
455, boul. René-Lévesque Est, H2L 4Y2
Salle W-5215



Français :



New issue: History of Psychiatry

HIst of Psych coverThe March 2016 issue of History of Psychiatry is now online. It contains a number of articles and a classic text, all outlined below, as well as an Obituary for Professor John Forrester.

“Psychogeriatrics in England in the 1950s: greater knowledge with little impact on provision of services” (Claire Hilton)

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” (J Cutting and M Musalek)

The first part of this article dealt with the extant formulations of delusion, psychiatric and psychological, suggestions which, respectively, regard delusion as psychologically inexplicable or explicable. All this was subjected to critique. This second part puts forward informed philosophical thesis whereby delusion can be explained within the philosophical movement known as phenomenology and, in particular, Max Scheler’s version of this.

Psychiatric governance, völkisch corporatism, and the German Research Institute of Psychiatry in Munich (1912–26). Part 1 (Eric J EngstromWolfgang Burgmairand Matthias M Weber)

This is the first of two articles exploring in depth some of the early organizational strategies that were marshalled in efforts to found and develop the German Research Institute of Psychiatry (Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie) in 1917. After briefly discussing plans for a German research institute before World War I, the article examines the political strategies and networks that Emil Kraepelin used to recruit support for the institute. It argues that his efforts at psychiatric governance can best be understood as a form of völkisch corporatism which sought to mobilize and coordinate a group of players in the service of higher biopolitical and hygienic ends. The article examines the wartime arguments used to justify the institute, the list of protagonists actively engaged in recruiting financial and political support, the various social, scientific and political networks that they exploited, and the local contingencies that had to be negotiated in order to found the research institute.

Psychiatric care at a national mental institution during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39): Santa Isabel de Leganés (Paloma Vázquez de la Torre and Olga Villasante)

The scanty research available regarding the health of the mentally ill during the Spanish Civil War is largely due to the loss of most documents, and to the difficulty in accessing the existing archives for decades. Up to the present time, historiography has described overcrowded facilities for the mentally disturbed and the fact that old buildings such as convents and spas were turned into establishments for treating patients with mental problems during the Civil War. However, research reviewing the institutional life and conditions of psychiatric patients during this war is still rather scarce.

The aim of our article is to discuss the characteristics of the patients at Santa Isabel National Mental Asylum between 1936 and 1939, as well as the functioning of this institution located in Leganés, a city to the south of Madrid (Spain). The method for this study includes a review of the medical records, statistical registers and other documents kept in the institution’s Historical Archive. In addition, using documents from other Spanish archives, as well as information obtained from contemporary and secondary sources, we attempt to describe similarities to and differences from other mental institutions.

Pavel Ivanovich Karpov (1873–1932?) – the Russian Prinzhorn: art of the insane in Russia (Vladimir LernerGrigory Podolskyand Eliezer Witztum)

The complicated relationship between the discipline of mental health and the arts has barely been studied systematically. Mental hospitals, shelters and prisons – institutions that accommodate the mentally ill – sometimes promote but often discourage and disrupt the patients’ artistic creativity and the images created. In psychiatric circles, the recognition of patient art was a long, slow and frustrating process. Among the Western psychiatrists who studied the creative activity of the mentally ill, researchers usually mention such names as C. Lombroso, M. Shearing, V. Morgentaller, H. Prinzhorn and others, but rarely refer to their Russian colleagues and contemporaries. Pavel Ivanovich Karpov (1873–1932?), a Russian psychiatrist, was one of the most extensive researchers in the field of the art of the insane, but unfortunately his name is little known among modern psychiatrists. For his clinical and scientific contributions, he deserves to be remembered in the history of psychiatry.

Bipolar disorder and its outcomes: two cohorts, 1875–1924 and 1994–2007, compared (Onome V AtigariMargaret HarrisJoanna Le Nouryand David Healy)

We compared admission rates and outcomes for bipolar disorder patients using the medical records of patients with a first hospital admission in 1875–1924 retrospectively diagnosed based on International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, and patients with a first admission in 1994–2007. The incidences of first admissions in the historical and contemporary periods are comparable: 1.2 and 1.3 per hundred thousand per year, respectively. Manic episodes constituted a greater proportion of admissions historically, while depressive episodes made up more in the contemporary sample. There is no evidence for a reduction in the mean inter-admission intervals with duration of illness. This study suggests that modern treatments may have decreased lengths of stay in hospital, but at a cost of contributing to more admissions. It also points to a shift in the threshold for admissions.

CLASSIC TEXT: ‘Report of the Committee on Mediumistic Phenomena’, by William James (1886)With an introduction by Carlos Alvarado

Mediumship was a topic of great interest to some nineteenth-century students of mental phenomena. Together with the phenomena of hypnosis and other manifestations, mediumship was seen by many as a dissociative phenomenon. The purpose of this Classic Text is to present an excerpt of an article about the topic that William James (1842–1910) published in 1886 in the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research about American medium Leonora E. Piper (1857–1950). The article, an indication of late nineteenth-century interactions between dissociation studies and psychical research, was the first report of research with Mrs Piper, a widely investigated medium of great importance for the development of mediumship studies. In addition to studying the case as a dissociative experience, James explored the possibility that Piper’s mentation contained verifiable information suggestive of ‘supernormal’ knowledge. Consequently, James provides an example of a topic neglected in historical studies, the ideas of those who combined conventional dissociation studies with psychical research.

The issue also contains a number of book reviews and the John Forrester obituary.

To access it, click here.

CfP – Images mentales. L’hallucination dans les arts du XIXe et du XXe siècles

Screenshot from 2016-03-02 10-52-35

Date et lieu: 26 mai 2016, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Galerie Colbert, Paris


Apparu avec l’émergence de la psychiatrie, le terme d’« hallucination » trouve une définition fondatrice sous la plume de Jean-Etienne Esquirol, en 1817 dans le Dictionnaire des sciences médicales, avant de s’émanciper du cercle scientifique à partir des années 1830 pour toucher les milieux littéraires. Les années 1850-1860 voient l’intensification des débats autour de cette notion, ainsi que son association avec l’idée de représentation mentale. Que ce soit Brierre de Boismont, Alfred Maury ou Hippolyte Taine, tous vont chercher dans la puissance imaginative des artistes des arguments contre la réduction pathologique de l’hallucination. Sans prendre parti pour une définition particulière, nous souhaitons retenir l’idée d’un continuum entre les images mentales, les rêves et l’hallucination.

Si l’imagination artistique peut faire naître l’hallucination, tel le goût de l’arsenic dans la bouche de Gustave Flaubert lorsqu’il écrivait l’empoisonnement de Madame Bovary, c’est à la problématique inverse que nous voulons nous intéresser : comment l’hallucination imprègne-t-elle l’imaginaire des artistes de l’époque contemporaine ? Comment se matérialise-t-elle dans leurs pratiques ? Jouant de la double signification de ce verbe, il s’agit tout autant d’étudier l’objectivation des hallucinations sur un support artistique que les procédés visant à les communiquer au spectateur. Entre retranscription et transmission, le panel des pratiques peut s’étendre des arts conventionnels comme la peinture, la sculpture, la gravure, la photographie, etc., à des formes artistiques moins traditionnelles telles que les environnements, les installations, les spectacles lumineux et sonores, les discothèques, etc. Le corpus pourra comprendre aussi bien des œuvres produites simultanément à l’hallucination, possiblement de manière automatique, que celles réalisées postérieurement à l’expérience hallucinatoire. Qu’elle soit de nature pathologique, hypnagogique ou déclenchée par une substance psychotrope, l’hallucination met en jeu deux niveaux de réalité, le monde extérieur et l’univers mental.

Les communications pourront ainsi interroger :

  • l’hallucination dans sa relation au réel ;
  • le rôle de la faculté imaginative dans la création ;
  • la matérialisation de l’hallucination dans les pratiques artistiques ;
  • le spectateur face à l’œuvre hallucinante ;
  • l’hallucination et la représentation des images mentales.

D’autres axes de recherche sont tout à fait susceptibles de s’insérer dans cette journée d’études.

Modalités de soumission

Organisée par l’association 19-20, cette journée d’études est ouverte à toutes les doctorantes et à tous les doctorants. Les personnes intéressées pourront envoyer leur bio-bibliographie et leur proposition de communication (500 caractères maximum) à

Pour plus d’information, cliquez ici.

%d bloggers like this: