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A Voice of Change and Reform…from 1802-1887. Early Life Born in Hampden, Maine, grew up in Boston. Suffered from depression herself Abusive Home Life,

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Presentation on theme: "A Voice of Change and Reform…from 1802-1887. Early Life Born in Hampden, Maine, grew up in Boston. Suffered from depression herself Abusive Home Life,"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Voice of Change and Reform…from

2 Early Life Born in Hampden, Maine, grew up in Boston. Suffered from depression herself Abusive Home Life, left at age 12 to live with grandmother opened multiple schools for children- Taught for 24 years Moved to London, England to seek cure for health – Suffered from what is now known to be tuberculosis – Met prominent Quaker family who believed government should play a large role in social welfare Was exposed to British “Lunacy Reform Movement” Returned to America in 1840 to examine Massachusetts asylums – Traveled to many other states – Dix was instrumental in founding the first public mental hospital in Pennsylvania Appointed Superintendent of Army Nurses during Civil War (a.k.a. Dragon Dix) Following war resumed crusade to reform improve care of prisoners and mentally ill Most influential reformer of asylums in the U.S.

3 Historical Antecedents & Influences Influenced by Pinel’s ideas about mental illness Religious woman who believed in humanity as a treatment Shift in how society viewed mental illness Civil War times influenced how she treated all her patients: equally, with precise attention and high standards.

4 “Whatever is done, must be done solely by myself” - Dorothea Dix

5 Facing Obstacles… Edward Bangs -Dorothea’s second cousin that helped with her first career as a teacher. “Mystery Disease” -Dorothea struggled with a number of health problems that restricted her ability to work. “The insane do not feel heat or cold” – Dorothea clearly was outraged by this claim and wanted to make the conditions for the mentally ill more humane. – She knew she had to do something herself or else nothing would get done. – Delivered report of the outrageous conditions to the Massachusetts Legislature.

6 And Overcoming Them… Helped countless other states across the country 5 million dollars in land grants Superintendent of the Union army during the Civil war Revolutionized how people thought of the mentally ill

7 Dorothea Dix’s Methodology Techniques When she would inspect an asylum, she would: – Complete detailed research on the conditions in the location of the asylum. – Present the results of her findings to the appropriate legislative body. – Garner the support of influential people and law makers. – Publish her results in Memorials. – It was also noted that the reason she was successful in the South was because she ignored the subject of slavery. Level of Involvement When organizing the set-up of a new asylum, she would: – Pick out the location for the hospital – Plan the details of the architecture – Choose the asylum director

8 Greatest Achievement… One of her greatest achievements was putting together a bill for the United States Congress. – This bill provided permanent funding for care of the mentally ill using federal land grants. – The bill was passed by both houses of Congress in 1854, but President Franklin Pierce vetoed it. – President Pierce reasoned that this bill would open up a Pandora’s Box, and that people would still be demanding federal aid.

9 “She was instrumental in the founding or expansion of more than 30 hospitals for the treatment of the mentally ill” -Reports of Asylum Reformer Dorothea Dix

10 Past, Present & Future…Influences on Psychology & Reform She played a prominent role in both the national and international realm, challenging the idea that people with mental illnesses could not be assisted. Despite diminished resources and little funding for new programs, Dix initiated new projects and supervised the “Restoration and improvement of existing facilities” in the U.S. from 1867 to Her philosophical outlook: – a commitment to empiricism, an emphasis on the importance of historical context, and a pluralistic interpretation of causality – Has survived in science to this day

11 Neglected in History? Not mentioned in the bulk of scholarly texts (5/53 textbooks & 10% of history books) Dix did not place her name on the majority of her published works Extremely humble woman…not to mention the fact she was a woman She didn’t have a heavy scientific theory explaining how the brain worked so the general public was not interested in her findings.

12 Bibliography Brown, Thomas J.. Dorothea Dix: New England reformer. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,1998. Bumb, Jenn. "Dorothea Dix." Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society. Webster University. Web. 10 Apr Dix, Dorothea. ""I Tell What I Haw Seen” The Reports of Asylum Reformer Dorothea Dix." American Journal of Mental Health 96.4 (2006): Dix, Dorothea Lynde. Remarks on Prisons and Prison Discipline in the United States. Boston: Printed by Monroe & Francis, Meyers, Barbara. "The Spirit of Dorothea Dix: Unitarians, Universalists and the Mentally Ill." Starr King School 1.1 (2002): Starr King School for the Ministry. Web. 6 Apr Reddi Ph.D. MHES, Vasantha. "Biography of Dorothea Lynde Dix." The Center for Nursing Advocacy. Web. 10 Apr Schultz, Duane P., and Sydney Ellen Schultz. A History of Modern Psychology. Ninth Edition. New York: Academic Press, 1969.


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