Saturday, August 17, 2019

Comments by Katherine Anderson, MAT

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I appreciate this point of view. When I was asked to write this post it was meant to explain what it was like to write about a place like Danvers or any other state hospital. It’s a part of history many people are loathe to talk about openly and books like these are meant to spark debate. Why were these hospitals successful for small windows of time? Where did they go so horribly wrong? If one hospital is successful and 20 are not, where do we start to learn from what’s wrong while preserving what’s right? It’s a never ending conversation when you’re caring for human beings.

  • Bradford-
    Thanks for your comment. If you look at what I wrote I actually said those activities MAY seem demeaning today. When the asylum farms and patient jobs were phased out it was because “they” (whoever they were) said that handwork was demeaning to the patients, that “patient labor” was a violation of human rights. However, I argue strongly that patients gained a sense of accomplishment when occupational therapy was used as part of their treatment. For the first century of Danvers’ existence they relied primarily on physical cures like OT, hydrotherapy, and others. Doctors firmly believed all “mental illnesses” could be cured much like a physical illness, a concept we’ve strayed away from over the years.