How Adolf Myer Assissted Mentally Ill with Theory of Occupational Therapy

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In the late 19th century, large institutional asylums were inundated with patients and there was insufficient financial support from the government to properly operate these hospitals. As a result, there was no time to provide individualized treatment for each patient suffering with mental illness and many were incarcerated. The 19th century zeitgeist, viewed the mentally ill as feeble minded, incapable of functioning in society, and unhygienic. Also, Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” led to a lack of social commitment to promote moral treatment for the mentally ill. During the early 20th century, a diverse group of professionals in North America including Adolf Meyer emphasized the importance of a moral treatment approach to …show more content…
323). Since Adolf Meyer’s Uncle was a physician, he followed his uncle’s path, but diverged into the field of psychiatry (Lidz, p. 323).
According to Scull & Schulkin (2009), Adolf Meyer attended Zeurich University in Switzerland where he trained as a neurologist under Auguste Forel (p. 6). In the sequence of his studies, Meyer traveled abroad to Paris, London, and Edinburgh (Scull & Schulkin, p. 6). In London, Meyer was influenced by Hughling Jackson’s ideas of the hierarchy and functions of the nervous system. Adolf’s own interests were in neuroanatomy and neuropathology, but he wanted to broaden his outlook on psychiatry. From a psychological perspective, Meyer became interested in the field of neurology for research and believed that psychiatry had a strong influence in relation to personality disorders. Meyer later focused on the ideas of the whole man as a biological and social being who lives and develops within a unique environment, thus introducing the social milieu (Weckowicz & Liebel-Weckowicz, 1990, p. 284).
After receiving his Medical Degree in 1892, Adolf Meyer migrated to America where he started a neurological practice in Chicago (Scull & Schulkin, p. 6). Shortly after, in 1893, he accepted a position as a pathologist at the new Illinois Eastern State Hospital for the Insane at Kankakee where he pursued his interests in neuropathology and neuroanatomy (Lidz, 1966, p. 324). In 1895, he became the primary pathologist at Worcester State

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