psychoanalyst author editor
Psychoanalysis and Therapeutic Communities
In the late 1960s, I was on a path towards psychoanalysis. At the time, it had become widely known that Kleinian psychoanalysts had been analysing and understanding psychotic people. It seemed an obvious way to work out the impact of working with such suffering. I started my own personal analysis on 5th November 1969 – an auspicious day, I wondered. At the time I thought it might fit with a certain iconoclastic streak in my personality, and I wondered what would happen to that in the course of my psychoanalysis. I had started a job, in April 1969, at a psychotherapeutic unit, the Marlborough Day Hospital, in central London. ‘Anti-psychiatry’ was a buzz word then, coming from David Cooper, who had previously worked at Shenley Hospital, where I worked for 18 months (Oct 1967- March 1969). Cooper was associated with R.D. Laing, lionised in popular youth culture, and also with the therapeutic community, such as the Henderson Hospital and the Cassel Hospital (both of which I had visited in 1963 as a medical student). My concern about the old-fashioned mental hospital cultures, and their old-fashioned inmates remained. At the time, the Marlborough was in a state of change from the progressive regime of Joshua Bierer, a benign innovator. They say that back in the 1940s, the Marlborough had been the first day treatment Centre for MH in the world.
A conversation with David Kennard –
–about our personal history and relationships with therapeutic communities and the old ATC is available on the PETT website. This is was conducted as a blog under the auspices of the PETT Archive, and its archivist, Craig Fees.
1973 A community treatment model
Bulletin of the Association of Therapeutic Communities 6:
This was a discussion paper given to the staff of the Marlborough Day Hospital, that took TC principles and attempted to understand them in psychoanalytic terms, but especially in the terms used to apply psychoanalysis to organisations. It relied heavily on Elliott Jaques.
1989 The therapeutic community in a changing social and cultural environment.
International Journal of Therapeutic Communities 10: 63-69
This paper takes a backward look at therapeutic communities over the period in which I had been involved. The socio-political conditions at this point, in the late 1980s, were very different from those when I had become first acquainted 20 years previously, and in turn very different from the origins of therapeutic communities in psychiatry 20 years before that.
1992 Psycho-analysis and the therapeutic community – comments on Maxwell Jones.
International Journal of Therapeutic Communities 12: 109-115
The relation between therapeutic communities and psychoanalysis has been very varied, and this is exemplified by Maxwell Jones one of the very earliest pioneers of the therapeutic community approach during WW2. He had a brief analysis with Melanie Klein but turned quickly to more social measures, the influence of the culture of the treatment unit, and its context in wider society.