Free Members' Webinar: 180th Anniversary - How will current psychiatric practice be seen in the future?

Thursday 9 December 2021

Chair: Dr Claire Hilton


What can history teach us about how today’s psychiatry will be seen in the future? - Professor Anne Harrington

How will current psychiatric practice be seen in the future? Historians are not futurologists, but we do possess analytic tools and perspectives, culled from our work on past events, that can be applied, with caution, to the present day.

For this reason, in this talk, I will venture to make a prediction: in the future, our era will be seen to have been engaged in a two-fold project. We will be seen, on the one side, to have been grappling with new historic disruptors – above all, the pandemic – that redirected our attention, in long-overdue ways, to various social determinants and political dimensions of both mental health and inequities in mental health delivery.

But we will also be seen, and potentially even more significantly, to be an era that was living through the end game of the 1980s “biological revolution.” The future will judge us by the extent to which we met the challenges and addressed the unfinished business bequeathed to us by the architects of that era, from the breakdown of the diagnostic strategies codified in the DSM, to the slow flight of Big Pharma from the mental health sector.

Response – Professor Matthew Broome

This was followed by a Q&A.

Download the speaker slides

Download the question and chat report

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry