R. D. Laing

About R. D. Laing

Who is it?: Psychiatrist
Birth Day: October 07, 1927
Birth Place: Govanhill, Welsh
Died On: 23 August 1989(1989-08-23) (aged 61)\nSaint-Tropez, France
Birth Sign: Scorpio
Known for: Medical model
Fields: Psychiatry
Influences: Eugène Minkowski Jean-Paul Sartre
Influenced: David Abram Loren Mosher

R. D. Laing Net Worth

R. D. Laing was bornon October 07, 1927 in Govanhill, Welsh, is Psychiatrist. Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist born in Glasgow. He was an exceptional analyst who worked extensively on a number of mental illnesses like psychosis and schizophrenia. He blazed his own unique trial in the field of psychiatry and based his diagnosis and treatment on the feelings expressed by his patients. This was a truly unique approach, since in his times; such patients were treated only with drugs and other traditional remedies like electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy and insulin coma therapy. This famous therapist always opined that the treatment of mentally ill patients must be based on interpersonal therapy. He said the patient must be allowed to speak freely to the analyst, and the latter must spend time talking to the one affected; all in a social setting. A student of medicine, he also mastered Greek and Latin while in school. He also studied the classics thoroughly and was adept even at music. Besides being a psychiatrist, Laing was also attracted towards philosophy. During his early years, he studied the works of illustrious philosophers such as Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and Kierkegaard. This extraordinary personality had a tumultuous personal life though.
R. D. Laing is a member of Writers

💰 Net worth: $14 Million

Some R. D. Laing images

Biography/Timeline

1913

In 1913, Psychiatrist and Philosopher Karl Jaspers had pronounced, in his work, General Psychopathology, that many of the symptoms of mental illness (and particularly of delusions) were "un-understandable", and therefore were worthy of little consideration except as a sign of some other underlying primary disorder. Then, in 1956, Gregory Bateson and his colleagues, Donald Jackson, and Jay Haley articulated a theory of schizophrenia as stemming from double bind situations where a person receives different or contradictory messages. The perceived symptoms of schizophrenia were therefore an expression of this distress, and should be valued as a cathartic and trans-formative experience. Laing argued a similar account for psychoses: that the strange behavior and seemingly confused speech of people undergoing a psychotic episode were ultimately understandable as an attempt to communicate worries and concerns, often in situations where this was not possible or not permitted. Laing stressed the role of society, and particularly the family, in the development of "madness" (his term).

1927

Laing was born in the Govanhill district of Glasgow on 7 October 1927, the only child of civil Engineer David Park MacNair Laing and Amelia Glen Laing (née Kirkwood). Laing described his parents – his mother especially – as being somewhat anti-social, and demanding the maximum achievement from him. Although his biographer son largely discounted Laing's account of his childhood, an obituary by an acquaintance of Laing asserted that about his parents – "the full truth he told only to a few close friends".

1951

He was educated initially at Sir John Neilson Cuthbertson Public School and after four years transferred to Hutchesons' Grammar School. Described variously as clever, competitive or precocious, he studied Classics, particularly philosophy, including through reading books from the local library. Small and slightly built, Laing participated in distance running; he was also a musician, being made an Associate of the Royal College of Music. He studied Medicine at the University of Glasgow. During his medical degree he set up a "Socratic Club", of which the Philosopher Bertrand Russell agreed to be President. Laing failed his final exams. In a partial autobiography, Wisdom, Madness and Folly, Laing said he felt remarks he made under the influence of alcohol at a university function had offended the staff and led to him being failed on every subject including some he was sure he had passed. After spending six months working on a psychiatric unit, Laing passed the re-sits in 1951 to qualify as a medical Doctor.

1952

Laing fathered six sons and four daughters by four women. His son Adrian, speaking in 2008, said, "It was ironic that my father became well known as a family Psychiatrist, when, in the meantime, he had nothing to do with his own family." His daughter Fiona was born 7 December 1952. His daughter Susan born September 1954 died in March 1976, aged 21, of leukemia. Adam, his oldest son by his second marriage, was found dead in May 2008, in a tent on a Mediterranean island. He had died of a heart attack, aged 41.

1953

Laing spent a couple of years as a Psychiatrist in the British Army Psychiatric Unit at Netley, where as he later recalled, those trying to fake schizophrenia to get a lifelong disability pension were likely to get more than they had bargained for as Insulin shock therapy was being used. In 1953 Laing returned to Glasgow, participated in an existentialism-oriented discussion group, and worked at the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital The hospital was influenced by David Henderson's school of thought, which may have exerted an unacknowledged influence on Laing; he became the youngest consultant in the country. . Laing's colleagues characterised him as "conservative" for his opposition to Electroconvulsive therapy and the new drugs that were being introduced.

1956

In 1956 Laing went to train on a grant at the Tavistock Institute in London, widely known as a centre for the study and practice of psychotherapy (particularly psychoanalysis). At this time, he was associated with John Bowlby, D. W. Winnicott and Charles Rycroft. He remained at the Tavistock Institute until 1964.

1960

In The Divided Self (1960), Laing contrasted the experience of the "ontologically secure" person with that of a person who "cannot take the realness, aliveness, autonomy and identity of himself and others for granted" and who consequently contrives strategies to avoid "losing his self". In Self and Others (1961), Laing's definition of normality shifted somewhat.

1965

In 1965 Laing co-founded the UK charity the Philadelphia Association, concerned with the understanding and relief of mental suffering, which he also chaired. His work influenced the wider movement of therapeutic communities, operating in less "confrontational" (in a Laingian perspective) psychiatric settings. Other organizations created in a Laingian tradition are the Arbours Association and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London.

1970

Laing also wrote poetry and his poetry publications include Knots (1970), and Sonnets (1979).

1972

In October 1972, Laing met Arthur Janov, author of the popular book The Primal Scream. Though Laing found Janov modest and unassuming, he thought of him as a 'jig man' (someone who knows a lot about a little). Laing sympathized with Janov, but regarded his primal therapy as a lucrative Business, one which required no more than obtaining a suitable space and letting people 'hang it all out.'

1980

Laing appears, alongside his son Adam, on the 1980 album Miniatures - a sequence of fifty-one tiny masterpieces edited By Morgan Fisher, performing the song "Tipperary".

1983

Laing was troubled by his own personal problems, suffering from both episodic alcoholism and clinical depression, according to his self-diagnosis in a BBC Radio interview with Anthony Clare in 1983, although he reportedly was free of both in the years before his death. These admissions were to have serious consequences for Laing as they formed part of the case against him by the General Medical Council which led to him ceasing to practise Medicine. He died at age 61 of a heart attack while playing tennis with his colleague and friend Robert W. Firestone.

2013

Laing expanded the view of the "double bind" hypothesis put forth by Bateson and his team, and came up with a new concept to describe the highly complex situation that unfolds in the process of "going mad" – an "incompatible knot".