A Beveridge
Journal Issue: 
Volume 44: Issue 1: 2014



Does an engagement with the history of psychiatry benefit the practising clinician? This paper adopts a personal perspective. It sketches the ideological conflicts which have raged in the study of the history of psychiatry in recent decades and looks at the often heated debates between historians and psychiatrists on the subject. It looks at the author’s involvement with the subject and considers how this may have influenced both clinical practice and the approach to history. The paper then considers the author’s work in the field and the interplay between historical theory and clinical practice. It concludes that studying the history of their subject can make doctors more reflective about their work.

KEYWORDS History, psychiatry, practice, case note studies, patient perspective, biography

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS No conflicts of interest declared.