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Oakley, H. (1986). Oh Yes You Are! Oh No We're Not!. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(2):191-192.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(2):191-192


Oh Yes You Are! Oh No We're Not! Related Papers

Haya Oakley

I intend this to be my last letter in the David Will versus Oakley, Oakley & Gans series to try and halt its deterioration to a psychoanalytic Punch & Judy show with ‘fantasies’, ‘resistances’ etc. being used as ammunition.

Moved by the tragicomic element in Dr Will's ‘a reply to three antipsychiatrists’, (Will 1986), I would like to make three brief points:

1)   On being called an ‘anti -psychiatrist’:

In the hot summer of 1976 a very disturbed patient of mine was hospitalised. The consultant psychiatrist invited me to a staff meeting where I was meant to make ‘an invaluable contribution to the treatment plan (not entirely surprising given that I was the only person at that time apart from the patient's mother who seemed able to make any sense of his discourse). At the end of the meeting I was told by the consultant that I would be ‘allowed’ to visit the patient once a month for five minutes! When I arrived home I received a phone call from the psychiatric social worker on the ward who was very upset and apologised for the consultant's ‘unfair’ decision. ‘She believes’ he said ‘all mental illness to be of physical origin and does not think that relationships have anything to do with it’. He proceeded to say that he himself was in analysis and found it difficult to be away from his analyst at weekends. A month would be unthinkable. In short, would I like him to beg on my behalf?’ ‘No!’ I said, for when I heard the consultant's decision I was faced with a choice: I could take it either as an insult or a joke.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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