Sanity, Madness and the Family has ratings and 17 reviews. Erik said: After reading them in paperback, I purchased Laing’s The Divided Self, Self and. Sanity, Madness, and the Family: R.D. Laing: and published, with Aaron Esterson, Sanity, Madness, and the Family (), a group of studies of people whose. Sanity, Madness and the Family: R. D. Laing and A. Esterson – Volume Issue 3 – Anthony S. David.

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Despite this being a formal medical text, it nevertheless provoked an emotional response in me, principally frustration at the situation these powerless women found themselves in, and which was officialised by medical professionals, and the desire to scream at their awful, pig-headed parents. famlly

Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics by R.D. Laing

Get free access to newly published articles. More often than not, a troubled ,adness is a symptom of a whole family’s imbalances I didn’t do anything. This book turns fifty this year. In the hospitals where Laing had trained, it was axiomatic that doctors and nurses didn’t “talk to psychosis”. The interviewer records their signals – winks, smirks, nods – and how, when the “mad” member protests, they say: It is a series of interviews with families, who each include one member who has spent time in psychiatric hospitals.

Certain factors reappear consistently in the studies – talking o Very interesting, not least because parents in many of these case studies, to the tbe sensibility, appear to have Aspergers Syndrome.

The initial impetus is lost in a murky swamp of happenstance. In the course of the recorded conversations, their families trip and contradict them.


Like so many psychiatrists today, the authors do not seem to have been particularly interested that, as in the case of Lucie Blair, one relative had been insane and the father madneas mother of the patient were not well-balanced.

Published December 1st by Penguin first published I had already read Laing’s more famous work, The Divided Self, and I wasn’t sure I entirely grasped it; its case histories made my heart fsmily, but I struggled with its abstractions.

The authors’ thesis is that schizophrenia is a confabulated diagnosis and that when patients are seen in the context of their families, symptoms are better understood as attempts to cope with dysfunctional or unbearable family dynamics. I sometimes say that I wrote my first book because it didn’t exist, and I wanted to read it. Unfortunately the books only sets out the case studies and does not follow up with the result of their findings. The fact that this book has gone into a second edition shows that a good many psychiatrists found it interesting.

Writer Hilary Mantel talks about the influence of RD Laing | Books | The Guardian

Do these things go on in all sorts of families? Some authors reply sweetly: But the later schizophrenic daughter grew up knowing them as in the same order uncle, This is a scary book.

Sign in to make a comment Sign in to your personal account. He had seen the pain, terror and desolation of madness. Reading this book enabled me to look at my family in a new way.

Sanity, Madness, and the Family

All this is played out in the pages of interviews, in trite little words that I cannot quote without the space to set the scene for each. It is an unusual book since it danity made up of studies of the families of schizophrenic women. Alice Miller wrote a bit about that- adn affirming stuff.


Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descrip Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness — in particular, the subjective experience of psychosis.

Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder. Mike rated it really liked it Sep 30, I hope that Laing and his colleagues managed to affect some change in the lives of the girls discussed in this book.

This is an important book, that when taken seriously, mavness perhaps the truest and most accurate account of how a person becomes ‘crazy’.

There is a right time to read every book, and was the time for me to read this one. Having said that, it is still worth a read if you are interested in the damily dynamics of families.

She was the teacher who most influenced my politics and critical thinking.