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The State of the British Psychiatric Establishment

Digital Photography



These images document how the institutional control of women by the psychiatric establishment, still exists, today!

As you step into the private consultation room of a modern day highly profitable family psychiatrist’s practice - the chairs tatty, worn, and uncomfortable, the bed/couch hard, dirty and heavily used – one is catapulted back to the mid 19th century. This is sadly also seen in their opinions.

The patriarchal culture of the 19th century shaped and developed the field of human psychology. It established an enduring association between female psychology and insanity. Women find themselves punitively labelled, and further, abused or controlled, in line with Freud’s belief that female "patients" who claimed to have been abused were merely fantasising. It is a shame that within our system today, many women are finding the same labels being applied.


It is not just the archaic aesthetic of the environment that is saddening, but its suggestion of the archaic and dogmatic approach towards women, race and class - a Darwinist bent and fatalistic hereditarianism - that persists in the attitudes and diagnoses of today’s psychiatrists. The dismal truth to be unearthed later by reports of abusive and manipulative control. Women demanded rights then, they demand it now.

©Marcia Michael, Visual Artist, London

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