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By Linda Gask

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Sample text

He was also a notable eccentric and appears to have lent his name to the second meaning of the word ‘batty’, which previously had only meant ‘batlike’ but now also means ‘barmy’ or ‘dotty’. Possibly the original ‘eccentric’ psychiatrist? See Bewley (1998). 2. Milieu therapy is ‘a means of providing an integrated, stable, and coherent context in which the optimal combination of specific treatments can be given to the patient’. Group meetings that encourage participation in information sharing, decision making and conflict resolution are a prominent feature – not as ends in themselves but as means of achieving a therapeutic goal (Campbell 1989: 757–8).

They saw an authoritarian, uncompromising profession dominated by both modernists and post-modernists, neither of which was interested in listening to the patient. D. Laing were the most influential of this movement, which rejected most of the received psychiatric wisdom. But, in throwing away what was bad about psychiatry, there was always the risk that they would throw away the baby with the bathwater. The challenge for today’s psychiatrists is clear – to transcend the factions and splits, and devise an approach to clinical and professional working that draws from all of these traditions, respecting them, but at the same time trying to synthesize them into a coherent model of care.

Each of the countries in this table represents one of the six geographical regions of the World Health Organization. Not only are the United States of America and the United Kingdom vastly better off in terms of numbers of psychiatrists than developing countries, but they also have many more allied mental health professional workers – for example the USA is particularly rich in psychologists, and the UK in psychiatric nurses. Yet these simple comparisons also belie geographical and economic variations within countries.

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