Thursday, September 6, 2012

In 1965, psychiatrist opened a residential treatment center that aims to revolutionize the treatment of mental illness. Five decades later, those who lived there and spent time looking back at the time of tragedy and discovery>

. Photos of Dominic Harris

rebel psychiatrist RD Laing

described insanity as "a radical response to a crazy world of perfection." In 1965, after having served as a medic in the British Army and trained in psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic in London, Laing created the Association of Philadelphia with a group of like-minded colleagues. His aim was to carry out a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

"Our goal is to change the way the" facts "of" mental health "and" mental illness "are", said a report-back occurs. "It's that a new hypothesis inserted in an existing field of research and therapy, but a proposal to change the model. "

From 1965-1970, according to the ideas and ideals are dead after radical hippies have flourished in cities around the world, a former community center in Powis Road in the East End of London became the scene unlikely Laing radical experience of what came to be known as anti-psychiatry. "We Kingsley Hall and I moved in," Laing wrote to his colleague, Joe Berke, when he received a first two-year lease. "Others will move in the next two or three weeks ... I think I'll pass the word to those concerned. THIS IS IT ".

"relevant persons" in question were psychiatrists who shared Laing radical vision and their patients, even if the words "psychiatrist" and "patient" would be reversed in the coming years at Kingsley Hall. Laing's insistence, the house became a refuge high in the original meaning of the Greek word: a refuge, a haven for psychotic and schizophrenic, where there were no locks on the doors and no drugs antipsychotics were administered. People were free to come and go as he pleases and had a room painted with oriental symbols, reserved for meditation. Therapy had night sessions and role reversal, dinner Friday night marathon organized by Laing and visits mystics, scholars and celebrities, including famous Sean Connery, friend and admirer of Laing. The game is promoted through regression therapy for children. (Laing believed that all the madness began called within the traditional family structure.)

The first and most famous national resident Mary Barnes, a regression to childhood for some time, staining the walls with their feces, screaming for attention and be fed with a bottle. Later, he became a famous poet artist and, in 1979, the subject of a play by David Edgar. More controversially, many patients and workers have received high quality LSD was still legal when Kingsley Hall opened, supposedly to release his inner demons buried or trauma in children. At least two people jumped from the roof of the building. His reputation also attracted vagrants and dropouts, and at least once, the house was raided by the drug squad.

"It was a place that was very much of its time," says photographer Dominic Harris, who led several former co-Laing and his patients, who all share a turbulent, exciting and sometimes tragic therapy community. "And he is attracted by doctors dissidents, hippies, people fleeing projects, trying to find people and people with mental disorders. Was a time when everything was questioned and people are allowed to be free from all sorts of ways. Kingsley Hall is considered a very dangerous today by the medical establishment, but at the time, was part of a larger social upheaval that definitions of authority, the family, sexuality and disease were all questioned. "

Harris became aware of Kingsley Hall, which is just around the corner of his workshop Bow, reading the book by Jon Ronson,

The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the industry madness

which Laing, who died in 1989, made a fleeting appearance. Intrigued, please contact Joe Harris Berke, who has contact with a patient. Step by step drawn to other residents in Kingsley Hall, visited them, photographed and interviewed. The result is a book self-published photographs


, including portraits of Harris intimate photographs of survivors of houses, but now disused and testimonials spectators personal.

"Many people, including former colleagues Laing, were initially a bit suspicious of my motives," says Harris, "but the patients were very close. They have not really had opportunity to tell their stories before most of what was written on the website focuses on unbelievably charismatic figure of RD Laing. someone really had a voice. This is what the book is subject in a way, leaving gave voice your opinion. Laing is the key figure in the project, but it is not. presence, he is dead, long shadow. "

more than two years, Harris was able to locate and find 13 of the 130 people who spent so famous Kingsley House in five years. His memories of the place are often contradictory and impressionist, still alive and in motion. They are all, to varying degrees, the survivors of a radical, some would say irresponsible moment everything - even the definition of insanity and, by extension, mental health - seemed to redefine

resident Pamela Lee, 1967-68

Pamela Lee lived in another house in the community after leaving Kingsley Hall. He now lives in North London life and love cats ceramics class at Mary Ward Centre

"Pamela was exceptional in some way [he was] quite normal," said Dorothee von Grieff fellow. "I had this bourgeois furniture - which was so common that it was a contrast. " According to François Gillet, "used to live in a bowl of rice and miso day."

I was only 10 years old when my father died at age 17 when my mother died. My sister went to London. I really I have no family at all.

I spent a lot of time in this chaotic period in London: both directions - there were 30 places in one year. It was not my choice: I used to be excited without places. I went to a psychiatric hospital because he had a relationship with this guy I met a medical student.

He invited me back to their parents, and I think it is very, very nervous at the time - and shy. Her parents thought it was not very healthy.

remember walking down the street when I was with him, and I felt on top of the world. I imagined that everyone should be looking at me and thinking how wonderful she was happy.

But then it was over and it was like the end of my life, it was so horrible. I went to the doctor and he told me: "Can you send me a retirement home, I can not eat," and I was sent to a psychiatric hospital. It was really dictated what you can do: I was very disappointed

I picked up this book years before - [Laing]

The Divided Self

- and I realized that someone really understood , was incredible. So I called and got an interview - I think it was in Harley Street - Ronnie Laing, and he told me about this place [Kingsley Hall]

And that's how I got here. It was as if someone really understood. Yes, I was very impressed with Ronnie.

remember people around us [local residents] did not really like it. There was a very negative feeling towards us - and not a very good community spirit. We were so isolated from the people around us, because if they saw us, they ignore us. I really do not like anything.

LSD gave me when I was there. I used to smoke cannabis, but the acid I was a little nervous. I do not think it took him well.

I remember that we ate together. The food was not very good, actually.

François Gillet: Resident 1966-1970

François Gillet lived in Kingsley Hall as a paranoid schizophrenic unmedicated. He then lived in several houses in the community. He now lives in sheltered accommodation in Oxford

I was a compulsive overdoser. If you showed me a bottle of pills, I swallow all. Part of the problem was - and I thought about it lately - he was too young. He had too much life to live and it would be so hard to live. I saw the way to go as long and difficult, and it was. I mean, I'm almost 65 years now, I do not think this way because there is not much time to go to a lot of the hard work is done.

At the time, I was at Kingsley Hall, the view was really that if I was schizophrenic, it was good to talk with you because you never make any sense out of a schizophrenic - is nonsense that comes out of their mouths. And I almost agreed with the view. Ronnie [Laing] said, "Go crazy, young man," and I did. I spoke and I'm as crazy as I can, and in no time you try to stop me.

[Then it was] DMT - Dimethyltryptamine or tryptamine. " Refined from a plant of the Amazon rainforest and it was sent to California in a briefcase. I took it once, and it changed my life forever. It is only when it really blew my mind, and I never thought the same of something new.

A group of us in the room were interested in taking it. Once it is injected, collapsed on a bed, could not bear. We were in a small room. I had a vision of myself as a Jew death are carried in a mass burial pit at Auschwitz. It was intensive. It was the end of life, the end of existence. I felt pretty dead at this time.

[again], I agree to comply with Sean Connery. He was at the height of its glory then James Bond. He came to a party with Ronnie, and the two of them started the indigenous struggle as we stood around and drank. They went on and fight against each other in the games room. They decided to see what was harder -. Ronald James Bond or LaingBut what I remember most about Sean Connery

So it was a wild party, but the next day he appeared at the time of tea and sat down, had a cup of tea and said he had been young once and he did not 't have much to himself, and he saw us, and that kind of thing. It really came to thank us for having the party last night. He was very humble and pleasant.
Jutta Laing: Resident, 1966-67

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