R.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography



RD Laing Was Britain S Most Famous Psychoanlayst And A Hugely Contentious Figure His Ambition To Make Madness Intelligible Was Reached Through Unorthodox Means And Despite Being A Gifted Professional, He Was Sneered At By The Establishment In This Biography, John Clay Traces Laing S Colourful Life From His Childhood In Glasgow To The Heights Of Fame In The S And Assesses The Influence His Ideas Had On The Future Of PsychiatryR.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the R.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography book, this is one of the most wanted John Clay author readers around the world.

✽ R.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography kindle Epub ❁ Author John Clay – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 308 pages
  • R.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography
  • John Clay
  • 23 July 2019
  • 0340684518

10 thoughts on “R.D. Laing: A Divided Self : A Biography

  1. says:

    It was incredibly noisy most of the time, windows were frequently smashed and patients acted impulsively Most had been given ECT and insulin shock therapy but to little avail, while several had lobotomies Tranquilizers, it has to be remembered, were only introduced in the mid 1950s This was the scene that greeted Laing when he first visited Gartnavel Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow back in the 1950s It was here, as well as his experience of other mental hospitals in England he witnessed du It was incredibly noisy most of the time, windows were frequently smashed and patients acted impulsively Most had been given ECT and insulin shock therapy but to little avail, while several had lobotomies Tranquilizers, it has to be remembered, were only introduced in the mid 1950s This was the scene that greeted Laing when he first visited Gartnavel Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow back in the 1950s It was here, as well as his experience of other mental hospitals in England he witnessed during his national service, that made him realise that things had to change And change things Laing would do He was shocked, disgusted and disillusioned by how the system was treating the mentally ill and so he tried a different approach.Laing and his theories and practices are always going to be a hot button topic in psychiatry circles But of course Laing was one of those select few who broke out of the narrow confines of the then emerging field, and became part of the wider counter culture, attracting many people from celebrities to the most marginalised and desperate of society into his orbit As this book is written by a Jungian analyst there are moments where the author is prone to over analysis, reading too much into tiny, inconsequential things, which can be a slippery slope, but thankfully Clay doesn t get too analytical for too long.We get a fairly penetrative and insightful overview of his humble upbringing in Govanhill in Glasgow s Southside His incredibly difficult mother, who almost certainly was mentally ill, clearly had a lasting effect on him, as did his lifetime battle with asthma We see how he developed through a strong secondary and tertiary education system and began to forge his career in medicine.In many ways The Divided Self came at the right time, seeming to strike a chord with a generation of disaffected youth and students, particularly in the US and the UK It really tapped into the emerging counter culture, which of course would eventually evolve into the dominant culture, down the line At one point Clay nicely sums up Laing s appeal, Laing lived in an era that sought out, and needed, charismatic leaders, a need which he played on Many found in him a force that changed their lives, for ever, and are deeply grateful to him For them, he was a unique and gifted healer, with unusual insight into their inner world, able to understand their hurt and inner fear in a way no one else did Laing always insisted that he was not anti psychiatry but in favour of true psychiatry Clay insists that, the burden of insight weighed heavily on him His controversial views on schizophrenia have been largely discredited today But his influence and importance in the field cannot be dismissed altogether Inspiring the likes of the Rosenhan experiment as well as forcing others to try and approach mental patients in asensitive, caring and experimental way He went to great lengths to show his empathy to patients and sufferers, humanising them rather than medicalising them, he helped bring in sweeping changes on how to approach and care for patients His controversial experiment at Kingsley Hall from 1965 1970 and his experiments with LSD, often in his own consulting office, create the impression that he was running some sort of bacchanalian cult, like something between Kesey s Merry Pranksters and Jim Jones s church, especially when he got into wrestling grapples, and other violent and unpredictable outbursts, but of course there was a lotto it than the outward appearance suggested His methods weren t always successful and his ethics were often questionable, but he did get lots of wonderful results too and he transformed many people s lives for the better Laing was a father figure to everyone apart from his own children, and he had enough of those, no less than ten by three different women, proving the rule of most gurus, in that you never have to practice what you preach, but of course it wascomplex than that, everything about Laing was complicated and never quite straight forward as it seemed Laing was only too happy to shun all adult responsibility in order to indulge in the adulation of the limelight and throwing himself into LSD sessions with patients and hangers on under the guise of treatment.So this was a thoroughly enjoyable biography, that covered Laing s life and work in a clear and accessible way, an ideal primer before getting into his work properly It really gives us a feel for his outlook and what he tried to do and we also get to see how others benefited or suffered or both from his behaviour A highly enjoyable read about a hugely compelling man

  2. says:

    It s a complex book and I have mixed feelings but give it 5 stars because it is a precious resource and we can t judge R.D Laing by today s standards

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