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Raicar, A.M. (2014). Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (2nd edn) (2013) edited by John Read and Jacqui Dillon, published by Routledge. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 8(1):85-95.

(2014). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 8(1):85-95

Book Reviews

Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (2nd edn) (2013) edited by John Read and Jacqui Dillon, published by Routledge

Review by:
Alexandra Maeja Raicar

In July 2013, shortly before I was asked to review this book, I happened to visit an exhibition on St Joseph's Hospital, which had been founded in 1827 as Limerick District Lunatic Asylum. The exhibition booklet is titled Darkness Gives Way to Light and explains the intention of the founders:

… “lunacy” was viewed as a temporary condition which could improve with understanding, in a nurturing environment. The “Moral Managers” in each asylum were expected to acquaint themselves with their patients and converse daily with them as the main instrument of recovery. … By the 1850s however the sheer numbers in the asylums meant this approach was unworkable and the medical approach in the form of the appointment of Resident Medical Superintendents prevailed. (Hayes & Higgins, 2013, my italics)

The publication in 2013 of the second edition of Models of Madness is a timely reminder of our intuitive knowing over the centuries that providing care, and support, and compassionate listening to the sufferer's story, rather than medical or “moral management,” are what alleviate severe emotional and mental distress. It is a universal human truth that tends to be submerged under recurring social, political, and economic pressures—especially now in Britain, with the continuing recession and increasing cuts in psychological and psychotherapeutic services provided under the NHS, and correspondingly in welfare benefits and social services to the most vulnerable groups in society.


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