By Dennie Briggs
Starting with their first assembly in 1956 and finishing with Maxwell Jones' dying in 1990, A lifestyles good Lived follows the expansion of a friendship among key figures in social psychiatry and tracks the evolution of healing groups from their experimental beginnings to the confirmed practices that exist this day. As a detailed good friend and widespread collaborator, Briggs is ready to recount intimately Jones' innovative paintings in psychological hospitals, prisons, groups and faculties, and gives an extraordinary and fascinating perception into the brain of 1 of crucial pioneers within the healing group box.
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Extra info for A Life Well Lived: Maxwell Jones - A Memoir (Community, Culture and Change)
Whilst hospitalized, the patients were housed with their “neighbors,” enabling support groups to form that could continue when they left hospital. The teams spent a good deal of their time in the community in prevention that cut down the need for hospitalization. Max was able to so reduce that need that they had closed some of the wards—but not without strong resistance. I began to wonder how we could use some of these ideas in our project; for example, by getting more involved with the prisoners’ families and friends.
In spite of this warning, I was eager to get going. At first, Max and I resumed our discussions from the previous spring. He relaxed in our private conversations; he shed the mask of the administrator and the Max who emerged was as charming, witty, and intellectually keen as ever. But something was different. His own reserve never quite left him, even if he didn’t outright mention it. Perhaps he could never completely abandon the role of administrator; perhaps some of its after-image remained enough on his shoulders so that it pulled him down to “reality” whenever his flights of fancy took him too far.
His goal was to make the entire hospital (that had four hundred patients and a hundred staff) into a therapeutic community and eventually convert it into a self-supporting village for the elderly. ” Max believed 52 A LIFE WELL LIVED that motivated people made an institution work. ” His experiences at San Mateo and at Oregon had convinced him of the importance of decentralizing the staff into mental health teams which he had done soon after his arrival in Scotland. Now the teams were working in three counties.