A History of Rapid Tranquilization


A paper by Joanna Moncrieff and Laura Allison in the journal History of Psychiatry reviews “the theory and practice of emergency sedation for behavioural disturbance in psychiatry in the mid-twentieth century, and the emergence of the concept of ‘rapid tranquilization’” by antipsychotics.  “… Research suggests that antipsychotics became the mainstay of rapid tranquillisation strategies because of beliefs about their specific therapeutic properties in psychosis and schizophrenia” they write, “and not because of demonstrated superiority over other agents.”

Abstract →

Allison, L., Moncrieff, J.; ‘Rapid tranquillisation’: an historical perspective on its emergence in the context of the development of antipsychotic medications. History of Psychiatry. March, 2014. 25(1) 57069

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].