Institutional Criticism and Mental Health. From the asylum to the institution of medicine
Debate series coordinated by Clara Bardón, Enric Berenguer, Guillem Homet and Montserrat Puig
Antipsychiatry became part of a movement of institutional criticism that went beyond the specific framework of mental health. It was about fighting against a series of traditional authority figures across a wide variety of fronts, in the wake of the protest movements in France in May of 1968, to one of its most enduring elements without forgetting the Spring in Prague, a reminder that the fight against authoritarianism was not limited to the Western front. In that sense, the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the dismantling of the old asylums cannot be isolated from a profoundly critical current that runs along the bases not just of a wide variety of institutions (among them, the family and the school in the classical sense), but of the very idea of institution.
On the other hand, antipsychiatry was a part of a wider movement that recognized the deeply political nature of a series of aspects of people's lives (health, sexuality, daily life, social and working relations). It can be described as a part of the process of politicization of everyday life that had serious repercussions in both Europe and the United States.
In fact, the anti-institutional trend that we make reference to was so successful that at one point it ended up without an object. Insane asylums opened up and therapies humanized. Currently, Foucaultian analyses of the institution have yielded to works such as those of Franóis Dubet, which proposed the situation in terms of decline. According to him, this ideal constituted a fundamental element of western civilization, an element that came about from religion and later underwent a long process of secularization until, in recent years, its most essential characteristics were modified.
What has come to occupy the place of the old psychiatric institution? Would it be a mistake to not see what constitutes an undeniable asset of antipsychiatry, which has left its mark: the constitution of a mental health network whose professionals have fought against segregation and against the reduction of the suffering subjects to mere bodies, though many times they have had to do it under adverse conditions?
However, a fundamental tendency has been mining these gains for some time, and that is reflected in sanitary politicies, particularly in the budgets. Ever higher sums of money are destined to medicines as opposed to people. Psychiatry's bio-logization has taken it to excessive levels of dependence on medicines which have, in many cases, gone from being considered one resource among many to constituting the only choice.
This debates are taking part of the PEI Open Program.
THURSDAY MAY 4 at 8 pm.
Do you remember antipsychiatry? Szasz, Laing, Cooper, Basaglia, Tosquelles…
Roundtable discussion with José García Ibáñez (Psychiatrist from Reus' Grupo Pere Mata), Enrique González Duro (Psychiatrist from Madrid's Hospital Gregoria Marañón), and Lluís Torrent (Psychiatrist). Clara Bardón (Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, member of the Worldwide Association of Psychoanalysis (AMP) at the Centro de Salud Mental Infantil y Juvenil de Nou Barris) will moderate.
THURSDAY MAY 25 at 8 pm.
The medicinal institution
Conference by Guy Briole (Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, and Director of l'…cole du Val de Grâce). Montserrat Puig (Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, member of the Worldwide Association of Psychoanalysis (AMP) at the Centro de Salud Mental Infantil y Juvenil de Nou Barris) will present.
THURSDAY, JUNE 1 at 8 pm.
The decline of the institution? The François Dubet's tesis
Conference given by Enric Berenguer on François Dubet (Sociologist, Professor at the University of Bordeaux II, and Director of study at the EHESS–…cole des Hautes études en sciences sociales– and author of the book Le Déclin de l'institution, to be published by Gedisa).
THURSDAY, JUNE 8 at 8 pm.
What institution now? Possibilities and obstacles for an institutional debate on mental health
Roundtable discussion with Josep Ramos (Psychiatrist, Director of Planning and Assistential Coordination at San Juan de Dios, Mental Health Services), Bernard Seynhaeve (Psychoanalyst and Director of Le Courtil) and Fernando de Vicente (Psychoanalyst). Guillem Homet (Psychiatrist, Medical Director of the Comunidad Terapéutica Maresme) will moderate.
The schedule is subject to change without notice.
On Saturday, May 27 in the program Joaquim Jordà. Situational Cinema, we will screen the film Mones com la Becky (1999, co-directed by Núria Villazán, 97 minutes).
Tel. (+34) 93 481 46 82
programespublics [at] macba [dot] cat