Thursday, June 26, 2014

How Things Change

Detroit Free Press, October 26, 1885
As the title succinctly expresses changes at the Wayne Asylum came quickly and with great advances in psychiatric methodology in the 1880s. Much of this was due to Dr. E. O. Bennett's arrival at the institution and his willingness to adopt successful practices of other lunatic asylums. Small examples of these methods included delving into the patient's individual needs towards sanity as opposed to simply caring for them and reducing their outburst. From inmate dissatisfaction with clothing to beneficial music therapy to the necessity for reading and craft materials to mollify the charges, Bennett and his wife--who volunteered without a salary--sought to change the culture from one of managing mental illness to curing. While it was more humane than the previous way it was hardly sophisticated or moral by modern standards.

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