Psychiatry Achievement Timeline, 1960-75




  • Aaron T. Beck publishes the “Beck Depression Inventory” through the NIMH – the first of several inventories he created over thirty years.









  • Ronald D. Laing (1927-89) begins five-year experiment at Kingsley Hall, London to demonstrate non-biological basis of what were considered mental illnesses, particularly schizophrenia. Laing becomes pioneer in the “anti-psychiatry” movement that sought alternative, non-coercive means to address mental disorders. Jungian psychiatrist, John Weir Perry (1914-1998) establishes a similar residential facility called Diabasis in San Francisco in the 1970s, focusing on schizophrenia, without the use of medication, electroshock, locked doors; Perry claims remarkable self-healing results and cures.



  • Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) sees first profound effects of music on the deeply parkinsonian patients he later wrote about in Awakenings and published in a series of case studies (“tales”) in his 2008 book Musicophilia.


  • Aaron T. Beck establishes Cognitive Therapy (CT) as a separate therapeutic regimen within the broader approach of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with his monograph The Diagnosis and Management of Depression, and with subsequent books in 1972 and 1975.


  • The American Psychological Association publishes DSM-II, adding 76 diagnostic categories to the 106 categories of the DSM-I of 1952.  One hundred years before, the 1840 census listed only one category of mental illness: insanity.
  • Maurice K. Temerlin (1924-1988) publishes three articles (1968-1970) on the powerful suggestion effects of psychological/psychiatric labels.



  • Stanford’s David Rosenhan (1929-2012) begins his “Rosenhan” or “Thud Experiment” in 12 psychiatric hospitals; in 1973 publishes devastating findings in an article entitled “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in the journal Science that called into question the validity of psychiatric diagnoses; substantiates Laing and Szasz generally.







  • David Janowsky determine that bipolar disorder (manic depression) is caused by an imbalance between two types of neurotransmitters -the adrenergic and the cholinergic (unconfirmed).


  • The American Psychological Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
  • Psychiatrist George Crane gained the attention of the medical community by disclosing that many, and perhaps most, long-term neuroleptic patients (those treated with anti-psychotic drugs) were developing a largely irreversible, debilitating, and untreatable neurological disorder called tardive dyskinesia – a term coined in 1964.





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