The Writings of Ivor Browne

The Writings of Ivor Browne : Steps Along the Road, the Evolution of a Slow Learner

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Ivor Browne is Professor Emeritus, University College, Dublin and retired as Chief Psychiatrist of the then Eastern Health Board in 1994. This book documents his writings and shows the growth of one man's journey in relation to psychiatry and human development. Ivor Browne has been a central and controversial figure in Irish life up until the mid-nineties when he retired. This book charts the writings of a man who has always been respected for his compassion, quirky way of thinking and fearless opposition to orthodox psychiatry. Ivor Browne has had a positive input into Irish life on both sides of the border. As a young man he was given a fellowship to Harvard University where he studied Public and Community Mental Health. He returned to Ireland determined to put what he had learned into practice and it was his initiative which took the care of mental patients away from large institutions into the community. He conceived and was director of the Irish Foundation for Human Development. This set up the first Community Association in Ireland in Ballyfermot one of the early large housing estates in Dublin.
Ballyfermot was merely a housing estate without any facilities, he went in with a professional team and helped the residents to turn it into a thriving working class community. This project was so successful that an offshoot was established in Derry, called the Inner City Trust which not only rebuilt, but transformed the city of Derry during the years it was being torn down by both sides in the conflict. Derry was made a model for The Prince of Wales' urban village development project and other urban renewal developments around the world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 592 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 54mm | 1,099.98g
  • Cork, Ireland
  • English
  • illustrations (black and white)
  • 1855942194
  • 9781855942196
  • 337,090

Review quote

Ivor Browne is a great psychiatrist and an original thinker. These eloquent and searching essays chart the progress of his mind as he sought to find new ways not only to heal his patients, but to work out a better way for the society around them to progress. They are important documents because they display a single mind developing ideas over half a century; they are a vital contribution to the history of psychiatry in our time. COLM TOIBIN Ivor Browne, both personally and professionally, stands for compassion, accessibility, innovation, respect for others, and above all, independent thinking. This collection of essays and other writings gives us a clear chronological insight into the development of that thinking, the challenges he encountered, and the resulting profound changes in himself and those he influenced over a period of fifty years. It is an invaluable guide to the formation of one of the most remarkable people in Ireland. CATRIONA CROWE Head of Special Projects, National Archives of Ireland Compassionate and compelling, Ivor Browne's voice is as incisive as it is unique. This compendium of extraordinary papers and essays reflects more than five decades of research, reflection and clinical practice. It documents and explores Professor Browne's life-long journey of scientific enquiry, therapeutic evolution and personal development, and is an excellent companion volume to the equally impressive 'Music and Madness'. The Irish intellectual landscape contains very few thinkers who can match his intoxicating combination of scientific method, intellectual rigour and willingness to evolve in his thinking over the course of his remarkable career. DR BRENDAN KELLY Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University College Dublin As a final year medical student with Ivor Browne in the late 1980s, I greedily purloined many of these papers from his (always open!) office and still have the dog-eared, underlined copies in a large lever arch file marked 'Ivor'. I knew then, as now, that these writings were not just the reflections of a learned man, but urgent messages. How we relate to suffering, both our own and that of others, is one of the great challenges of being a human being. These papers starkly illustrate how removed Irish society, and the modern world in general, has become from this theme. Listen to this man! Join him in understanding that we must redefine our relationship with many things: pills that numb us, professionals that 'fix' us, avoidance of pain at all costs, turning our back on our suffering and that of others. That we need to examine the continuing role of institutions we have created, both nationally and internationally. Never angry or hopeless, often humorous, almost always offering a (albeit often radical!) solution, these writings are those of a wise and gentle giant. DR MALCOLM GARLAND Consultant Psychiatrist, Dublin North Mental Health Services and Senior Lecturer, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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About Ivor Browne

Ivor Browne was Professor of Psychiatry at University College, Dublin and Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board. He is the author of Ivor Browne: Music and Madness (2008)
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