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Week 1 - b.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Richard Walsh- Bowers

Class 2: September 12, 2012 The History of Western Ideas and Practices of Mental Health The History of Mental Health Practices in Canada Alleged Origins of Clinical Psychology -larger historical context -unfounded claim – Clinical Psych is at the peek of a triangle that starts at Greek Medicine and Roman Science PROBLEM Clinical Psychology is a 20 century invention, there was no clinical psychology before that time, Western civilization, primarily but not exclusively Capitalist Nations Historical “Tree of Knowledge” The metaphor of a “Tree of Knowledge,” – unbroken line from Ancient Greeks till now, false Ancient Greeks never had a term for psychology, doesn’t mean they never thought psychological thoughts but they didn’t use the concepts or language that we’re familiar with. Origins of Ideas and Practices re: Mental Health Antigone is accused of being crazy because she dared to defy People have been talking about crazy behaviour for millennia Aristole and Hippocrates (ca. 400 BCE) -both provided Naturalistic explanations on how people behaved based on observation -they talked about mental health, not in our language and the way we understand it, but their ideas were very influential on Western culture -Hippocratic Oath: Ethical Norm – physicians take this oath -ABOVE ALL DO NO HARM Galen (129-198 CE) -built on the understanding of human nature by advancing the notion of a ‘humour’ – unobservable 4 counterparts: earth, air , fire and water. Keeps us balanced to maintain mental health. -Promoted humane treatment for persons coping with psychosis – how to treat people -treat people the way you wish to be treated Avicenna (980-1037) -Emphasized environmental and psychological causes of mental disorders Middle Ages in Europe Turned the church for solace Demonic Possession – therapy consists of getting Satan out, people were physically abused The Renaissance Painters and playwrights began to appreciate that perhaps all of us have inclinations of mad behaviour Many of Shakespeare’s characters example Hamlet – depression, suicide, murder Appreciation for how human beings have the capacity to fall apart and become mad The Early Modern Era: Rene Descartes (1596-1650) -A French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher. -He proposed the superiority of the mind/soul to the body. -The mind/soul is definitely superior to the body – it has a spirit, which makes us act irrational, the job of m/s is to gain control of the body. The body operates b mechanical principles. -When you divide human functioning from body and m/s you have Cartesian Dualism. How do you explain how the body and m/s interact? The 18 Century Enlightenment (Age of Reason) -the increased cultural emphasis on ‘reason’ resulted in viewing the mentally ill as inferior. -correspondingly, the number of ‘insane asylums’ increased. -there was no place for people who’s minds were fractured -insane asylum – food, place to sleep, no treatment, received visitors – wealthy people who would visit for their own amusement -Hamilton Psychiatry, Kingston – modern insane asylums 19 Century Anglo-American Societies -“moral therapy” – included the hope for cure, respectful care, and no physical restraints. But insane asylums remained the norm. -return to the ideas of Galen -Quaker movement – began in Britain … -The unscientific doctrine of Social Darwinism – survival of the fittest humans – saw mental illness as a sign of biological inferiority. This doctrine became increasingly popular in Anglo-American societies. -rational against moral therapy, rational for healthiest people prevail -eugenics – breeding white Anglo-Americans th Late 19 Century Science and Medicine: Laying the Groundwork -psychol
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