International Relations in Psychiatry

International Relations in Psychiatry: Britain, Germany, and the United States to World War II

Volker Roelcke
Paul J. Weindling
Louise Westwood
Volume: 15
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 260
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81q9s
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  • Book Info
    International Relations in Psychiatry
    Book Description:

    The decades around 1900 were crucial in the evolution of modern medical and social sciences, and in the formation of various national health services systems. The modern fields of psychiatry and mental health care are located at the intersection of these spheres. There emerged concepts, practices, and institutions that marked responses to challenges posed by urbanization, industrialization, and the formation of the nation-state. These psychiatric responses were locally distinctive, and yet at the same time established influential models with an international impact. In spite of rising nationalism in Europe, the intellectual, institutional, and material resources that emerged in the various local and national contexts were rapidly observed to have had an impact beyond any national boundaries. In numerous ways, innovations were adopted and refashioned for the needs and purposes of new national and local systems. ‘International Relations in Psychiatry: Britain, Germany, and the United States to World War II’ brings together hitherto separate approaches from the social, political, and cultural history of medicine and health care and argues that modern psychiatry developed in a constant, though not always continuous, transfer of ideas, perceptions, and experts across national borders. Contributors: John C. Burnham, Eric J. Engstrom, Rhodri Hayward, Mark Jackson, Pamela Michael, Hans Pols, Volker Roelcke, Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach, Mathew Thomson, Paul J. Weindling, Louise Westwood. Volker Roelcke is professor and director at the Institute for the History of Medicine, Giessen University, Germany. Paul J. Weindling is professor in the history of medicine, Oxford Brookes University, UK. Louise Westwood is honorary research reader, University of Sussex, UK.

    eISBN: 978-1-58046-761-2
    Subjects: History of Science & Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)
    Volker Roelcke, Paul J. Weindling and Louise Westwood

    The decades around 1900 were a crucial period in the making of the various national systems of health services, as well as the formation of the modern medical and social sciences. The field of psychiatry and mental health care can be understood as located at the intersection of these spheres. Here, concepts, practices, and institutions emerged that marked responses to the challenges posed by urbanization, industrialization, and the formation of the nation-state. Psychiatry had a considerable impact on the modes of perception and evaluation, and on the patterns of action toward contemporary social concerns and political issues. These psychiatric responses...

  4. Chapter One Inspecting Great Britain: German Psychiatrists’ Views of British Asylums in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century
    (pp. 12-29)
    Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach

    In the nineteenth century British asylums were large-scale buildings with luxurious equipment; they showed an extraordinary cleanliness that only the asylums in Switzerland could match; they provided the inmates with good or very good nutrition; and statistical registration of the insane had attained an enviable quality. Family care in Scotland was a model for the whole of Europe.

    This was the image that German psychiatrists visiting England and Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century had when they praised the British care of the insane. Such enthusiastic assessments were not only related to the mental health care system but also to surgery...

  5. Chapter Two Permeating National Boundaries: European and American Influences on the Emergence of “Medico-Pedagogy” in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain
    (pp. 30-47)
    Mark Jackson

    Some years ago, in his extensive account of the emergence of special education in Britain, D. G. Pritchard suggested that certain British pioneers, such as Mary Dendy (1855–1933), had been particularly influenced by “the Montessori method and its apparatus.”¹ More recently, Carolyn Steedman has also identified Maria Montessori (1870–1956) as a pivotal figure in the translation of European educational styles to Britain.² Although there were clearly similarities between the “medico-pedagogic” approach to the education of feebleminded children in British special schools and colonies around the turn of the nineteenth century and the “scientific pedagogy” developed contemporaneously by Montessori...

  6. Chapter Three Organizing Psychiatric Research in Munich (1903–1925): A Psychiatric Zoon Politicon between State Bureaucracy and American Philanthropy
    (pp. 48-66)
    Eric J. Engstrom

    In the imaginations of many observers prior to World War I, the psychiatric clinic in Munich epitomized the professional ideals of psychiatric training and research. Inaugurated in 1904, it quickly gained a reputation as a model institution and became a shrine on the pilgrimage of numerous American and European psychiatrists in search of professional edification. The clinic’s reputation was derived in good part from the prestige of its first director, Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926). By the turn of the century, Kraepelin was fast becoming Germany’s foremost clinical psychiatrist, internationally renowned for his classification of endogenous psychoses.

    Kraepelin’s enormous influence on...

  7. Chapter Four Germany and the Making of “English” Psychiatry: The Maudsley Hospital, 1908–1939
    (pp. 67-90)
    Rhodri Hayward

    English psychiatry was defined in relation to its German counterpart for much of the first half of the twentieth century. In British psychiatric writings, Germany served variously as a model of psychiatric organization and research, a source of training and manpower, or as a moral warning on the dangers of political corruption and the decadence of intellectual ambition. This paper does not try to explore the merits of German psychiatry in this period—it gladly passes that task on to the contributions of Eric Engstrom and Volker Roelcke. Rather it attempts to show how the idea of Germany served as...

  8. Chapter Five Patterns in Transmitting German Psychiatry to the United States: Smith Ely Jelliffe and the Impact of World War I
    (pp. 91-110)
    John C. Burnham

    To see how the transnational history of psychiatry worked out in concrete terms, perhaps no better example exists than the American neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Smith Ely Jelliffe (1866–1945).¹ In his medical and publishing activities, Jelliffe exemplified patterns that marked the ways in which Americans reacted to German psychiatry in the first four decades of the twentieth century.² Jelliffe is of special interest because he was both a key observer and an actor in the transfer of medical findings between the Old World and the New. As late as 1946, a colleague described Jelliffe and Adolf Meyer as the...

  9. Chapter Six “Beyond the Clinical Frontiers”: The American Mental Hygiene Movement, 1910–1945
    (pp. 111-133)
    Hans Pols

    The term “mental hygiene” represents the public health perspective within psychiatry. Mental hygiene psychiatrists were guided by the ideal of prevention: they designed and promoted intervention strategies to treat mental illness in its incipient stages, to prevent mental disorder from arising or from becoming worse, and to promote mental health in the general population. The concepts of mental hygiene and mental health that were central in their endeavors were inherently flexible and inclusive, which made them appealing to a great number of constituencies, both within and outside of psychiatry. Throughout the period under consideration, these concepts changed considerably, although the...

  10. Chapter Seven Mental Hygiene in Britain during the First Half of the Twentieth Century: The Limits of International Influence
    (pp. 134-155)
    Mathew Thomson

    The mental hygiene movement is most commonly associated with an explosion of popular interest in psychology in the United States at the start of the twentieth century.¹ The formation of a national association of mental hygiene in 1909 by former mental patient Clifford Beers was one manifestation of this broader enthusiasm.² Another was the recasting of Freud in a more optimistic, self-improving American idiom, which was at least as important as a national organization when it came to the spread of mental hygiene thought and practice on that side of the Atlantic.³ It is tempting to regard the expansion of...

  11. Chapter Eight Psychiatry in Munich and Yale, ca. 1920–1935: Mutual Perceptions and Relations, and the Case of Eugen Kahn (1887–1973)
    (pp. 156-178)
    Volker Roelcke

    During the period between ca. 1900 and the mid-1930s, German academic psychiatry was to some degree perceived as a model for clinical practice, research, and institutional organization in the field.¹ However, parallel to the interest of British, American, and other psychiatrists in German psychiatry, there emerged among German psychiatrists themselves a growing multifaceted discontent about academic medicine in general and about aspects of the dominant approach in psychiatry in particular. Already during the 1920s, this discontent led some psychiatrists such as Eilhard von Domarus and Eugen Kahn to look to other academic cultures, in particular to that of the United...

  12. Chapter Nine Explorations of Scottish, German, and American Psychiatry: The Work of Helen Boyle and Isabel Hutton in the Treatment of Noncertifiable Mental Disorders in England, 1899–1939
    (pp. 179-196)
    Louise Westwood

    State controlled care of the insane in Britain at the start of the twentieth century is often described as conservative because the emphasis was on certification and institutionalization for rate-aided patients.¹ However, Britain cannot be considered as a whole because the laws governing mental health care were different in Scotland and England. Toward the end of the nineteenth century Scotland had temporary care for noncertifiable mental cases and community guardianship schemes for nonviolent cases of insanity.² In 1894 Dr. John Carswell wrote that the General Board of Lunacy had “permitted the use of one male and one female ward in...

  13. Chapter Ten Welsh Psychiatry during the Interwar Years, and the Impact of American and German Inspirations and Resources
    (pp. 197-217)
    Pamela Michael

    In assessing German and American influences on “British” psychiatry in the interwar years it is important to recognize that the British Isles comprise four nations: England, Ireland,¹ Scotland, and Wales. Scotland and Ireland operated under separate legislative and administrative structures regarding care of the insane, but England and Wales were under one and the same jurisdiction. Although there were significant differences between England and Wales in terms of history, culture, language, economy, and social structure, both were subject to the same laws and administration for poor law and lunacy. Therefore it is difficult to discuss Welsh psychiatry as a distinct...

  14. Chapter Eleven Alien Psychiatrists: The British Assimilation of Psychiatric Refugees, 1930–1950
    (pp. 218-236)
    Paul J. Weindling

    Between 1930 and the immediate postwar years, approximately 5,200 medical refugees (defined as including persons in all health care occupations) came to, or through, Great Britain as a result of National Socialism and the Second World War.¹ Psychiatrists and psychoanalysts were two of the most innovative groups of medical refugees. They transformed Britain from a receiving center of pioneering continental approaches to a major international center of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.² The refugee influx came on top of intensifying international interchanges in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, as Britain opened up to both American and Central European influences. Psychiatry and psychoanalysis were becoming...

  15. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 237-242)
  16. List of Contributors
    (pp. 243-244)
  17. Index
    (pp. 245-254)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 255-255)