Laing's radical approach to insanity offered a rich existential
analysis of personal alienation and made him a cult figure in the
1960s, yet his work was most significant for its humane attitude,
which put the patient back at the centre of treatment.
R.D. Laing, one of the best-known psychiatrists of modern times,
was born in Glasgow in 1927. R.D. Laing's writings range from books
on social theory to verse, as well as numerous articles and reviews
in scientific journals and the popular press. His many publications
include The Divided Self, Self and Others, Interpersonal
Perception, The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise,
Madness and Folly. R.D. Laing died in 1989.
Anthony David graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1980. After training in neurology he switched to psychiatry at the Maudsley & Bethlem Hospitals. He is currently Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London. He has edited several books including The Self in Neuroscience and Psychiatry (2003) with T. Kircher, and Insight and Psychosis (2nd ed., 2004) with X. Amador, and is author of over 350 publications in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.