The Divided Laing

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DOI: 10.5040/9781911501787.00000003
Acts: 2. Scenes: 7. Roles: Male (2) , Female (0) , Neutral (0)

Some people are lucky: they get through life thinking the ground beneath them is solid . . .

London, 1970: experimental psychiatrist R. D. Laing is facing eviction from his pioneering asylum in the East End’s Kingsley Hall. Local residents are up in arms – and to make matters worse, Ronnie’s revolutionary colleague David Cooper is flipping out on the roof . . . With his personal life going down the pan and his mental state heading the same way, Ronnie takes an acid trip to the future. His mission is to save his therapeutic collective, The Philadelphia Association, and secure his professional legacy. Will it be a one-way ticket to madness – or can breakdown sometimes mean breakthrough?

In 1965 R. D. Laing and his associates turned London’s Kingsley Hall into a pioneering residential treatment centre. A safe haven for people with psychosis and schizophrenia, it was a controversial asylum with no locks on the doors, where treatment with antipsychotic drugs was considered taboo. Instead, Laing encouraged residents to embrace madness as an attempt at self-healing. Laing himself became a darling of the swinging Sixties with admirers including The Beatles, Jim Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and Sean Connery. This manic farce explores the ideas of radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing on the 50th anniversary of the Philadelphia Association which he co-founded. Ideas which were way ahead of their time about the treatment of those with mental health issues, have now been incorporated into everyday practice.

From The Divided Laing

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Aurora Metro Books

Patrick Marmion

ISBN: 9781906582821

Series: Aurora Metro Books

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