Sanity, Madness and the Family
50 Years On
Family 6: The Fields
Dame Hilary Mantel Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 230
Sunday 20 November 2016
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
|R. D. Laing|
Thus, in Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics (1964), R. D. Laing and Aaron Esterson introduced their revolutionary descriptions of eleven families of ‘schizophrenics’. But fifty years on, the ‘clinical viewpoint’ still reigns supreme. Have Laing and Esterson been proved wrong? They wrote: ‘Nobody can deny us the right to disbelieve in schizophrenia.’ Why, then, do most psychiatrists and psychotherapists claim Laing and Esterson said ‘families cause schizophrenia’?
Hilary Mantel wrote that ‘the simple words the people speak’ in Laing and Esterson’s book gave her, at 20, the courage to write her own astonishing books. Her introductions to the seminars in this series have enthralled participants.
Anthony Stadlen continues to interview the eleven families in the twenty-first century. Today, we explore Chapter 6, on ‘June Field’ and her family, with the help of Esterson’s original tape recordings on which the book is based; of photographs; and of Stadlen’s reports and recordings of his discussions with June’s husband, sister, and friend. Your contribution will be warmly welcomed.