Object Relations Podcast: The Radical Psychiatry of Franco Basaglia

Samuel Kelly shares episode two of the four-part Object Relations podcast, on the radical psychiatry of Franco Basaglia.

Listen to episode one.

Object Relations is a series of discussions about the relationship between politics and the psyche produced in collaboration with Red Medicine and The Polyphony.

Taking its name from the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein’s theory of how psyches develop in relationship to one another, this series will explore some questions about the politics of psychotherapy, psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

In this episode the historian John Foot discusses a movement in 1960s Italy to reform and eventually abolish the psychiatric asylum system. Borne from the struggle against fascism in Italy, this movement would drastically alter mental health treatment in Italian society.

John Foot is a historian and author based at the University of Bristol. He is the author of numerous books on Italian history and most relevant to the discussion today he is the author of The Man who Closed the Asylums, published by Verso books in 2015 and recently co-edited Basaglia’s International Legacy: From Asylum to Community with Tom Burns.

This conversation focuses on the work of Franco Basaglia and the work he did in the asylums in Gorizia (1962–1968) and Trieste (1971–1979) as well as the broader political implications of the Italian interventions within the global movement of radical psychiatry.

If you would like to keep up to date with these conversations you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram.

The soundtrack to these discussions has been provided by Mark Pilkington and the artwork that accompanies these episodes was produced by Ava Gardner.

Samuel Kelly is a writer and editor based in London researching the history and politics of medicine. 

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