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Article

Jean K. Quam

Clifford Whittingham Beers (1876–1943) helped establish the American Foundation for Mental Hygiene and the International Foundation for Mental Hygiene. His work helped broaden knowledge of the causes, treatment, and prevention of mental illness.

Article

In Mexico, there were hospitals for the “demented” from the early years of the Spanish colony. It was not until the second half of the 19th century, however, that the first physicians interested in alterations of the brain published articles on the etiology, symptomatology, and treatment of mental illnesses. Within a larger context of health reforms launched during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876–1911), known as the Porfiriato, healthcare officials decided to close the hospitals for the insane and construct a modern institution where psychiatry could grow as a discipline and where patients could be treated using scientific methods. Furthermore, along with the economic and cultural development that took place during the Porfiriato, there was an increase in the number of patients admitted to hospitals for the insane, while at the same time the number of doctors interested in the clinical treatment of mental illnesses increased, as well. The officials’ decision became a reality on September 1, 1910—just two months before the Revolution broke out—when La Castañeda General Asylum was opened. It was a complex of twenty-four buildings in the town of Mixcoac. In addition to being an institution for patient care, it was also where the first generations of Mexican psychiatrists and neurologists were trained. As early as the 1930s, the asylum began to have problems with overcrowding, unhealthy conditions, and deterioration of the facilities. The doctors there repeatedly called for the patient care system to be restructured. In 1944, a psychiatric reform called the “Castañeda Operation” began, seeking to decentralize psychiatric care and to use agricultural work as a therapeutic tool. The result was the creation of seven new hospitals and the permanent closure of the asylum in 1968. Recent historiography on psychiatry from its beginnings in the Porfiriato to the time of that reform have shown that it was a period marked by the rise and fall of a utopian dream, that of the therapeutic effectiveness of psychiatric internment. It was a transition from the single, large asylum in the capital city to a network of hospitals that relied on outpatient care, early detection, and medication as a way to dismantle the asylum model. As a result, La Castañeda General Asylum has held a privileged place in historical study as the stage for the beginning, the development, and the consolidation of Mexican psychiatry.

Article

Rebecca L. Sperling

Marion Edwena Kenworthy (1891–1980) was a psychiatrist who introduced psychoanalytic concepts into the social work curriculum. She was influential in the professionalization of social work and specialized in child psychiatry and mental health services for the armed forces.

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Julia Clifford Lathrop (1858–1932), an advocate of child welfare and mentally ill people, helped found the country's first children's mental hygiene clinic, the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute, in 1909. She became the first director of the U.S. Children's Bureau in 1912.

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Porter Raymond Lee (1879–1939), social work education pioneer, helped to formulate a generic social casework theory. He was general secretary of the Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity and was instrumental in organizing the American Association of Schools of Social Work.

Article

Regina Helena de Freitas Campos

Studies of the history of Brazilian psychology generally focus on the reception and circulation of Western psychological theories and techniques and their application in research and practice within the country. This approach must be complemented by studying the transformation and production of psychological knowledge originating in Brazilian culture, including its popular levels, and its interaction with imported ideas. There are at least four sources that participate in the formation of Brazilian culture: the native Indians’ ideas on human nature and development; the contributions of African culture to the understanding of the psychological world brought by the Africans sold into slavery and transferred to Brazil between the 16th and the 19th centuries; European views received through the teaching of philosophical psychology, introduced into Catholic educational institutions in colonial times; and scientific psychology, introduced into public medical schools and teacher training institutions from the 19th century onward. The profession of psychologist, born of the confluence of the professions of physician and educator, was regulated in 1962. The tasks of the psychologist were then defined: psychological evaluation through mental tests and the diagnosis of mental and behavioral troubles, psychological guidance, and psychotherapy. The profession was primarily designed for the intellectual and social elites. From the 1990s onward, with the increasing numbers of graduates, the participation of psychologists in public health, education, and social services institutions expanded rapidly. In consequence, psychologists began to develop intervention practices and techniques more fitted to the demands of the low-income population, immersed in the beliefs and practices of Brazilian popular culture. This dialogue contributed to the construction of innovations in psychology, making it more sensitive to the worldviews arising from the cultures that compose the Brazilian cultural landscape and producing original contributions with a profound impact on modern psychology. Today, Brazilian psychology professionals constitute one of the largest communities of psychologists in the world, with a strong presence in mental health, educational, and social services networks. The work of psychologists, strongly influenced by theoretical perspectives that emphasize the relationship between sociocultural dynamics and psychological elaboration, is at present considered relevant in the realization of human rights ideals.