Laing in the Twenty-First Century: Psychic Suffering in the Neoliberal Landscape

  • Matt OakesEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


Matt Oakes extends the discussion of DSM-type diagnostics to argue that as we now stand within a time of alarming mental health incidence, the urgency to reconsider our approach to this contemporary epidemic has never been more vital. His chapter returns to the theory of R.D. Laing to confront this issue, examining it from a psychosocial perspective that emphasises its social sources and commitment. R.D. Laing offered a unique and refreshingly human-focused insight into the phenomenology of schizophrenia. Immersing himself fully within this bleak and ostracised world, Laing explored the often-tortured inner landscapes and from within this space communicated experiences of psychic suffering to which all could relate. This chapter re-examines these communications and asks how they might be revived for current times.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial StudiesBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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