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R. D. Laing (1927–1989)

Ronald David Laing was a Scottish psychiatrist who wrote extensively on mental illness and particularly the experience of psychosis. He is noted for his views, influenced by existential philosophy, on the causes and treatment of mental illness, which went against the psychiatric orthodoxy of the time by taking the expressions or communications of the individual patient or client as representing valid descriptions of lived experience or reality rather than as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder. He is often associated with the anti-psychiatry movement although, like many of his contemporaries also critical of psychiatry, he himself rejected this label. He made a significant contribution to the ethics of psychology.

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