The R.D. Laing Institute (LI) is an organization committed to the research, discussion, practical application, and education founded on the work of Scottish psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Dr. R.D. Laing (1927-1989). The organization seeks also to further scholarship in the areas pertaining to Laingian psychology such as existential-phenomenology, depth psychology, humanistic psychology, critical psychiatry, and social constructivism.
Laing was moved by the depth of human suffering and understood the individual’s distress itself as symptomatic of the broader conditions of the world. Laing’s life spanned the paradigm shifts from orthodox psychoanalysis, to the hegemony of biological psychiatry, to our contemporary post-modern world, yet his approach is more relevant now than ever.
The organization seeks to create a forum where people will feel supported by others with similar experience, training, and interests. To this end, the LI will provide frequent updates and opportunities to engage in Laingian psychology and the aforementioned related fields. Laing worked tirelessly to bring professionals and people of varying and often conflicting perspectives or worldviews together. He fought tirelessly to eradicate power differentials in relationships, honoring the unique experience of each individual and his or her way of knowing and being in the world. Due to this effort, people interested in the life and work of Laing represent the most diverse population conceivable. Consistent with Laing’s vision of diversity and inclusiveness, participation in the LI is not limited to any academic or professional status. Everyone of like-minded interest is welcome to participate.
The LI works in conjunction with the other two centers of Laingian scholarship, the Society for Laingian Studies (Brent Potter, Director) and the International R.D. Laing Institute (Theodor Itten, Principal). Some of the features of the LI will be to provide education and training, to publish a bi-annual scholarly journal, and to organize and promote conferences relevant to the life and work of Laing.