Willem van der Doe describes 250 years of psychiatry and psychology, from the scary to the great

From magnetized trees to EMDR Woosh, professor of clinical psychology Willem van der Does late in his book Healing magic Traversing 250 years of psychiatry and clinical psychology through fourteen majors. “You have to be careful with teachers in particular.”

Malou van Hentome

The greatest villain ever to win a Nobel Prize.

Egas Muniz. Wait a minute.” Van der walks away and returns with an espresso cup. He turns the painted image of Muniz’s head forward. “See he’s wearing a wig?” Record cup and saucer in Muniz’s native village (1874-1955) in Avanca, Portugal, which honors him with a museum, statue, and bust On the rule: “Light is seen here, a new light for mankind.”

Van Der says: “Moniz was an aristocrat with a great political and scientific record. Impressive man. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for prefrontal leukotomy, severing nerve connections in the brain. A leukotomy was a reckless procedure, but it was prevalent in psychiatry for nearly two decades. Nothing helped at that time, every intervention gave hope. There were no rules to protect patients. As a result, many of his experiments have not survived.”

You describe fourteen majors. Who did you find most surprising?

Swiss Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922), inventor of the ink blot test. A hard worker, humble and kind, he even took the time to write thank-you notes to their families for Christmas gifts on behalf of patients. Exceptional. His test is still used, but only now to use the results To say something about someone’s vulnerability to psychosis.”

And what about Passaglia, an innovator who actually practiced a kind of anti-psychiatry?

Franco Passaglia (1924-1980) is in some respects the most radical of them all, with his idea of ​​closing all mental institutions. He worked astutely politically and strategically, and thanks to the ‘Law 180’ named after him, all Italian psychiatric hospitals were closed. I think he was well smitten “But there was a rather unhealthy cult following around him. I emailed several people from his entourage, but no one responded. I really couldn’t put my finger on what prompted him, and that made this chapter the hardest to write.”

The David Rosenhan fraudulent experiment

Send twelve healthy subjects to an institution. Have them pretend to hear sounds. Wait to see if they are accepted and if so, what is the diagnosis. Once inside, they should act normally again. Social psychologist David Rosenhan (1929-2012) conducted the experiment, and it worked: All twelve subjects were admitted, for an average of three weeks. Eleven people were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Bottom line: psychiatrists are doing something. They don’t even see who is sick or healthy!

Rosenhan wrote the article about this experience in 1973 To be sane In the foreground Sciences. It is still mentioned in almost all psychopathology books, although it is associated with deception. For example, it is very likely that there are three records, not twelve. Reports were selectively shopped. This is evidenced by extensive research conducted by American journalist Susanna Cahalan between 2014 and 2020.

Among other things, I discovered a report from Rosenhan’s doctoral student Harry Landau, one of the pseudo-patients (Rosinhan always kept their names and files secret). Willem van der Duos received from the famous psychologist Martin Seligman an (unpublished) description of an experiment as a pseudo-patient. Lando and Seligman both praised the staff’s professional and committed attitude, noting experiences that were very different from those described by Rosenhan. Seligman also revealed that he had to neglect himself and wear dirty clothes for a few days before shooting. Rosenhan himself faked his suicidal tendencies prior to his own recording.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Rosenhan’s article Sciences published. “A formal retraction of the article would be an appropriate way to celebrate,” said Van der Duos.

Who should we be afraid of today?

“Is there a charismatic leader? You have to be especially careful with teachers, people who see the light through personal revelation. How strong is the scientific evidence? Although it often looks better than it is, because there is always an improved placebo effect.” In the beginning. The best treatment is the most recent treatment, because expectations are high.”

As with EMDR, invented by Francine Shapiro (1948-2019). At first it was a successful one-session treatment, but now…

“…is it effective and lasts as long as the exposure. In complex trauma, you need sixteen ninety-minute sessions. In response to this slowness, there are now variants of EMDR: EMDR 2.0, Clockwise EMDR, Flash, HAT, and also Woosh. In In the latter case, the therapist draws a circle in the air, makes a quick motion between “shock point” and “pleasure point”, shouts “ouch” and – that’s the promise – the shock is gone.It was created by a British couple who present TV shows as self-proclaimed therapists “Woosh” – It was better in the Netherlands “Tsjakka!” You can name it.

William van der Hel
Healing magic. Radical ideas from the history of psychiatry
Alphabet Publishers. 256 pages, 22.99 euros

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