When the wind of the Nineteen Sixties blew by the use of the world of psychiatry
In 1961, when Franco Basaglia arrived outside the grim partitions of the Gorizia asylum, on the Italian border with Yugoslavia, it was a spot of horror, a Bedlam for the mentally sick and excluded, redolent of Basaglia’s private wartime experience inside a fascist gaol. Victims have been steadily restrained for long durations, and treatment was largely a matter of electrical and insulin shocks. The corridors stank, and for lots of of the interned the doorways have been locked for all occasions. This was a spotlight camp, not a hospital.
Basaglia, the new Director, was anticipated to practise all the experience of oppression in which he had been schooled, nevertheless he would have none of this. The place wanted to be closed down by opening it up from the inside, bringing freedom and democracy to the victims, the nurses and the psychiatrists working in that “full institution.”
Impressed by the writings of authors akin to Primo Levi, R.D. Laing, Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon, and the practices of experimental therapeutic communities in the UK, Basaglia’s seminal work as a psychiatrist and campaigner in Gorizia, Parma and Trieste fed into and significantly contributed to the nationwide and worldwide movement of 1968. In 1978 a regulation was handed (the “Basaglia regulation”) which sanctioned the closure of the entire Italian asylum system.
The first full analysis of this revolutionary technique to psychological nicely being care, The Man Who Closed the Asylums is a gripping account of 1 in each of the most influential actions in twentieth-century psychiatry, which helped to transform the strategy we see psychological illness. Basaglia’s work saved quite a few people from a miserable existence, and his legacy persists, as an object lesson in the wrestle in the direction of the brutality and ignorance that the establishment peddles to the public as widespread sense.
From the Hardcover model.