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(1956). Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Some Aspects of the 'Moral Treatment' of the Insane Up to 1854. Alexander Walk. Pp. 807-837.. Psychoanal Q., 25:293-294.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Some Aspects of the 'Moral Treatment' of the Insane Up to 1854. Alexander Walk. Pp. 807-837.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:293-294

Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Some Aspects of the 'Moral Treatment' of the Insane Up to 1854. Alexander Walk. Pp. 807-837.

The Journal of Mental Science had its centennial in 1954. The author traces the development of the 'moral treatment' of the insane during the hundred years from 1754 to the publication of the first volume of that Journal in 1854. During that period the term 'moral' referred not to ethical principles but rather to psychological, in distinction to physical, methods of handling psychotic patients. The author offers a chronological survey of the attitudes and contributions of a large number of workers, most of whose names are relatively unknown: Battie, Monro, Wilks (who treated George III), Paul Slade Knight (who in 1827 warned of the bad effects of too rigid an adherence to classification of patients), Ellis, Connolly, and others. The author also reviews the work of the better known pioneers such as Tuke and Pinel (whose dramatic liberation of patients from the chains of the Salpêtrière was not necessarily an index of the consistency of his enlightened attitudes; he was a strong adherent of such repressive measures as the 'little velvet waistcoat', which applied pressure to the shoulders of patients until they begged for mercy, and the cold douche). The emphasis in this article is on the evolution of a more humanitarian attitude toward the psychotic patient rather than the development of any kind of scientific psychology which might be applied to the treatment of such patients. However, some interesting comments are recorded in regard to the importance of the personality of the physician in the management of the psychotic, the role of nurses and attendants in care of the patients, the need of 'seducing' the patient from his withdrawn state by making his environment as desirable as possible, and the relation between poor management and violent behavior. Of interest is the remark of Leuret, who in 1840 stated, 'Is it for your personal satisfaction that you look after the insane? Do you do it because you like being met with grateful or friendly smiles? If that is so, you had better leave mental medicine alone—you will get from it nothing but perpetual disappointment. But if you have in mind only your real aim, to cure

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the patient, then rouse his anger if anger can divert him from his delusions; give him if necessary real causes of complaint against yourself; for a really well-felt and well-founded passion may be the best ally you can call to your aid.'

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

(1956). Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:293-294

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