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Therapy and empowerment, coercion and punishment. Historical and contemporary perspectives on work, psychiatry and society
Waltraud Ernst

. Harris deftly maps the waxing and waning of moral and psychological approaches and of patient work from the early days of therapeutic optimism to the rise of reductionist neurology in the 1880s, followed by ‘a revival in the use of work therapy’ at the start of the twentieth century – in New England in particular. The belief in the formation of good habits through regular work (which, as patients at Bethel, Maine, sang, while sawing wood, ‘sets our spirits free!’), dovetailed with wider national sentiments of prosperity from natural resources and new technologies and

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
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Tommy Dickinson

and suppression of the sexual deviant are examined in Chapter 1. The narrative of the ways in which homosexuals and transvestites have been regarded and treated by British society are explored and the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance considered. The mixed and muddled messages nurses were receiving about these individuals are also discussed. During the 1930s–1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of ‘therapeutic optimism’ as new somatic treatments and therapies 27 ‘Curing queers’ were introduced in mental hospitals. Chapter 2 examines

in ‘Curing queers’