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November 9, 1935

THE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL AS AN INSTITUTE OF LEARNING

Author Affiliations

Psychiatrist-in-Chief, the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute of the Hartford Retreat, and Associate in Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York; Senior Psychiatrist, the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute of the Hartford Retreat, and Assistant in Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York HARTFORD, CONN.

JAMA. 1935;105(19):1509-1512. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760450029006
Abstract

It has long been evident to those familiar with mental illness that one very great weakness in the system of institutional care of the mentally ill lay in the fact that the patient, already retreating from reality, by reason of his admission to a hospital became even more completely isolated from community life. Because of the simplified environment, the uncomplicated routine and the lack of usual and normal contactswith outside life, the patient tended to become even more desocialized.

We may be presumptuous in undertaking to develop a psychiatric hospital as an institute of learning, but we have proceeded on the theory that fundamental progress could best be made by first regarding all psychiatric hospitals as places for education and reeducation of individual patients and that pedagogic methods under medical guidance should eventually dominate these institutions for both the acute and the chronic patients, not primarily to increase the scholastic

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