Mental health treatment in the 1970s was quite different from what it is today. In the 1970s, the primary treatment for mental health conditions was institutionalization, where people with mental health disorders were placed in psychiatric hospitals or asylums. The treatments that were available at the time were often harsh and ineffective, and focused primarily on controlling symptoms rather than addressing the underlying causes of mental health conditions.
Some common treatments used in the 1970s included:
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This was a widely used treatment for severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. ECT involved administering electric shocks to the brain to induce seizures, with the goal of altering brain chemistry and improving symptoms. However, it is still used and some patients find ECT beneficial.
- Insulin shock therapy: This was another widely used treatment, especially for patients with schizophrenia. It involved administering large doses of insulin to cause the patient to go into a coma, with the belief that it would “reset” the brain.
- Lobotomies: This was a surgical procedure that involved cutting or damaging the connections between the front part of the brain and the rest of the brain. It was used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
- Restraint and seclusion: These were common practices in psychiatric hospitals and asylums, where patients were physically restrained to prevent them from harming themselves or others.
During the 1970s, there was a growing movement of deinstitutionalization, which saw the closure of many psychiatric hospitals and the move towards community-based care for people with mental health conditions. This led to the development of new forms of treatment such as community mental health centers, and the use of psychotherapy and medication management.
It’s important to note that these treatments were widely used at the time but now are considered outdated, inhumane, and not evidence-based. Today, mental health treatment is much more focused on providing holistic, evidence-based care that addresses the underlying causes of mental health conditions and aims to improve overall quality of life.
Psychotherapy in the 1970s was quite different from what the best therapists in London practice today. During this time, many different types of psychotherapy were being developed and studied, but there were a few that were more widely used and accepted.
Psychoanalysis: This was a widely used form of psychotherapy that was based on the theories of Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis focused on the unconscious thoughts and emotions that were believed to drive behavior and mental health issues. The treatment sessions were typically longer, with multiple sessions per week, and could last for years.
Behavior therapy: This was a form of psychotherapy that focused on changing specific behaviors and was based on the principles of classical and operant conditioning. It was used to treat a wide range of conditions such as phobias, anxiety, and depression.
Humanistic therapy: This form of psychotherapy, developed by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, emphasized the importance of the individual’s subjective experience, self-actualization and self-exploration. The therapist’s role was to help the patient understand themselves and their own experiences better.
Family therapy: Family therapy was also widely used during the 1970s, and it focused on treating individuals within the context of their family and relationships. This type of therapy was often used to treat issues such as schizophrenia, depression, and other mental health conditions.
While many of the treatments used in the 1970s were based on theoretical models and lacked a solid scientific foundation, they were the beginning of a more holistic and humanistic approach to mental health treatment, which continues to evolve to this day.