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The name R. D. Laing continues to be widely recognized by those in the psychotherapy community in the United States and Europe. Laing’s books are a testament to his breadth of interests, including the understanding of madness, alternatives to conventional psychiatric treatment, existential philosophy and therapy, family systems, cybernetics, mysticism, and poetry. He is most remembered for his devastating critique of psychiatric practices, his controversial rejection of the concept of ‘mental illness,’ and his groundbreaking center for people in acute mental distress at Kingsley Hall, London. Most of the books that have been published about Laing have been written by people who did not know him personally and were unfamiliar with Laing the man and teacher. The Legacy of R. D. Laing: An appraisal of his contemporary relevance is composed by thinkers and practitioners who knew Laing intimately, some of whom worked with Laing. This collection of papers brings a perspective and balance to Laing’s controversial ideas, some of which were never addressed in his books. There has never been a collection of papers that address so thoroughly the question of who Laing was and why he became the most famous psychiatrist in the world. As M. Guy Thompson’s collection illustrates, there are now a number of alternatives to psychiatry throughout the world, and much of this can be credited to Laing’s influence. The Legacy of R. D. Laing will ensure the reader has a keen grasp of who Laing was, what it was like to be his patient or his friend, and why his thinking was far ahead of its time, even in the radical era of the 1970s. It is timely to appraise the nature of his contribution and bring Laing back into contemporary conversations about the nature of sanity and madness, and more humane approaches to helping those in profound mental distress. This book offers an in-depth insight into the work of R.D. Laing. It will be a must read for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, family therapists, psychiatrists and academics alike. M. Guy Thompson, PhD is a Personal and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California and Chairman of Free Association, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to the dissemination of Laing’s ideas, in San Francisco. Dr. Thompson received his psychoanalytic training from R. D. Laing and associates at the Philadelphia Association and is the author of numerous books and journal articles on psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and schizophrenia. He currently lives in San Rafael, California.
What does it mean to practice therapy in an existential way? What are the different existential approaches? What are their strengths and limitations? Focusing on practical, face-to-face work with clients, the book introduces students to six existential therapies, highlighting areas of commonality and difference, and discusses key figures and their contributions, including Yalom, van Deurzen, Spinelli, Frankl and Laing. It outlines the critical perspectives and key debates, and presents implications for practice, reflection and further reading. Fully updated to reflect current issues, this book now includes: · Sections presenting research evidence for each approach · An extended case study running through the book, demonstrating how different therapies might approach the same case · Chapter overviews, questions for reflection, and additional case studies of actual existential practice.
Psychology, the study of mind and behaviour, has developed as a unique discipline in its brief history. Whether as it currently takes place, or how it has been conducted over the past 140 years or so since it became recognized as a separate field of study, there has been constant debate on its identity as a science. Psychology in Historical Context: Theories and Debates examines this debate by tracing the emergence of Psychology from parent disciplines, such as philosophy and physiology, and analyzes key topics such as: the nature of science, itself a much misunderstood human activity often equated with natural science; the nature of the scientific method, and the relationship between data gathering and generalization; the nature of certainty and objectivity, and their relevance to understanding the kind of scientific discipline Psychology is today. This engaging overview, written by renowned author Richard Gross, is an accessible account of the main conceptual themes and historical developments. Covering the core fields of individual differences, cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, as well as evolutionary and biopsychology, it will enable readers to understand how key ideas and theories have had impacts across a range of topics. This is the only concise textbook to give students a thorough grounding in the major conceptual ideas within the field, as well as the key figures whose ideas have helped to shape it.
Ego, Ethics and Evolution is an intellectual biography which explores Erikson's contributions to the study of infancy, childhood and ethical development in light of ego psychology, object-relations theory, Lacanian theory and other major trends in psychoanalysis.

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