Wednesday 1 January 2014

R. D. Laing remembered by his son. Adrian Laing conducts Inner Circle Seminar 209 (14 December 2014)

R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing
by his son
Adrian Laing

25 years after R. D. Laing’s death (1989)

50 years after Laing and Esterson’s
Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964)

Adrian Laing
Inner Circle Seminar No. 209
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 14 December 2014
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing

Adrian Laing
It is twenty-five years since the death of R. D. Laing (7 October 192723 August 1989), one of the most remarkable existential psychiatrists and psychoanalysts of the twentieth century. It is also fifty years since the publication of the epochmaking book he wrote with Aaron Esterson, Sanity Madness and the Family (1964), which we are exploring in eleven seminars on the subsequent histories of the eleven women and their families it describes. Today we focus on the life and work of R. D. Laing himself.
His son and biographer, Adrian Laing, will provide an analysis of his fathers personal and professional life by reference to each of R. D. Laings published works from The Divided Self (1960) to Wisdom, Madness and Folly (1985). He will present hitherto unknown material on his father and attempt a reassessment of his contribution, including its complex relationship with the work of David Cooper, Aaron Esterson, and Thomas Szasz.
Adrian Laing is a barrister. He is a former student of Michel Foucault and friend of David Cooper. He is author of the highly praised R. D. Laing: A Biography (1994) [second edition: R. D. Laing: A Life (2006)] and the novel Rehab Blues (2012), written as ‘laughter therapy’ and satirising such phenomena as the ‘rebirthing’ practised by his father. He is uniquely qualified to facilitate our quest for an understanding and balanced evaluation of his father’s life and work.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £120, others £150, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water included; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  E-mail:

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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