Moral Treatment

6 Mar


Toward the end of the 19th century psychiatric patients were housed in cathedral like Kirkbride buildings; special care was taken to their construction. This was all a part of an abandoned therapeutic system espoused by one Dr. Brigham known as “Moral Treatment.” “In the majority of cases ‘Moral Treatment’ is of more importance than the medical and we fear we shall never avail ourselves of the full value of the former nor cease to do injury to patients by administering too much medicine.” Proper diet was also considered of prime importance. Dr. Amariah Brigham (1798–1849) was an American psychiatrist and one the founding members in 1844 of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, which eventually became The American Psychiatric Association. The practice of “Moral Treatment” was abandoned when insufficient funding led to unfortunate conditions.

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