Allen Frances traces the history of empathic listening from Philippe Pinel in the early 19th century, through his own recent conversation with Eleanor Longden. He notes the help Longden received from Pat Bracken, a founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and invites Bracken’s comment, “The mind is not simply another organ of the body. It is impossible to understand mental illness without understanding the experiences, meanings, relationships, and values of the person and his social context. A purely medical approach that works well in the field of cardiology or respiratory medicine is incomplete for psychiatry. It is our task to develop a medical discourse that takes a broader view.”
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