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The International R.D. Laing Institute

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Politics & Other Works

The Dialectics of Liberation Congress 1967
A set of 23 LP records documents this historic 1967 gathering, which Laing helped to organize. The participants included Gregory Bateson, David Cooper, Ross Speck, Stokely Carmichael, Herbert Marcuse, Allen Ginsberg and others. Laing's famous essay, "The Obvious" is record number four in the set. He also appeared on three others: Open Discussion (DL 13 & 14) and Challenge Seminar (DL 23).

Blowout Center 1967
Laing relates schizophrenia - seen as the voyage backward to discover the uncontaminated self - to his Zen-like philosophy. - 1967 Esalen. Available on cassette through Big Sur Tapes

Illusion Of Achievement 1967
Laing tells us that the schizophrenic is imprisoned by members of a normal society because he does not conform to standard patterns of communication and behavior. He has lost his ability to play the deadening social game of lie and counter-lie. - 1967 Esalen. Available on cassette through Big Sur Tapes

The Massey Lectures 1969
A series of five half-hour lectures on CBC Radio (Canada), the theme of which was 'The Politics of the Family'. This material eventually comprised part of the book of the same name. Also released as a set of LP records. Transcript is available for purchase through
Anansi Press.

Asylum 1972
A film documentary by Peter Robinson released in 1972 that examines the Archway Community, one of the successors of Kingsley Hall.
Re-released in 2004 - notes on re-release, critical reviews, and commentary

Camera Three 1973
Convesation between R. D. Laing and Joseph Chaikin / directed and produced by Merrill Brockway. Aired in the United States : CBS-TV, 1973-02-18. 1 videocassette (VHS) (28 min.) Available for viewing in the Library of Congress Motion Picture/TV Reading Rm. by appointment.

R.D. Laing's Discussion with Richard Evans
The Dilemma of Mental Illness
Laing focuses on the problem of classifying mental disorders, the psychosomatic quandary, and the so-called double-bind family, contending that the person who becomes mentally ill may be the victim of mixed signals of love and rejection from his family.
Reactions and Reflections
Laing discusses the use of therapeutic communities in the treatment of mental illness, his feelings about Freud and Jung, and his own assessment of his personal contributions.
Videos are available through a search on the
Penn State Public Broadcasting Catalog.

Life Before Death 1978
A record album of Laing's Sonnets set to music. Production and music by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, with musical direction and arrangements by Nic Rowley. Released in 1978 on The Famous Charisma Label.
Sonnets Two, Three and Eleven downloads

R.D. Laing's Glasgow 1978
An episode of the 1978 Canadian TV series Cities directed by John McGreevy, in which authors and other notables give personal accounts of their home towns. Laing takes the viewer on a tour of his native city of Glasgow, Scotland, pointing out some of the landmarks and factors that shaped the city's growth and character. A companion book was also released.

Birth: with Dr. R.D. Laing 1978
This 1978 film by Helen Brew takes a critical look at the institutionalization of childbirth practices in Western society from the point of view of the mother and baby. Commentary by Laing raises questions as to the immediate and long-term effects of many of the detached, routine procedures that are so often out of tune with the feelings of mothers and babies at a time of their greatest vulnerability.

Allen Ginsberg with R.D. Laing 1984
Allen Ginsberg discusses his life and work with R.D. Laing. Ginsberg reads and sings a selection of his poems. From the series Writers in Conversation.

The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference 1985
More than 7,200 professionals attended, making it the largest meeting ever held solely on the topic of psychotherapy, and the conference at which Laing's interview with Leila took place. Aaron T. Beck, Bruno Bettelheim, Murray Bowen, Albert Ellis, Jay Haley, Arnold Lazarus, Cloe Madanes, Rollo May, Salvador Minuchin, Zerka Moreno, Erving Polster, Carl Rogers, Ernest Rossi, Virginia Satir, Thomas Szasz, Paul Watzlawick, Carl Whitaker, Joseph Wolpe and Jeffrey Zeig were among the presenters. Video tape of this and other Erickson Foundation convened Evolution of Psychotherapy conferences are available through the
Milton H. Erickson Foundation.

Audio Colloquies 1987(?)
Transcript of an interview with Desmond Kelly for a series by Harper & Row of "discussions with leading individuals in a variety of fields". This interview is unusual in the thoroughness of discussion on a number of the issues on which Laing continues to be misrepresented, such as the role of diagnostic categories, institutional psychiatry, birth re-enactment, and the difference between his views and those of Thomas Szasz.

Signature 1987
Transcript of a television interview with R.D. Laing which aired in May of 1987 as one in a series of interviews on a program called Signature, through the Arts & Entertainment network.

An Interview With R. D. Laing 1987
Laing is interviewed by Desmond Kelly in Harper & Row's Audio Colloquies series, an interesting reflection on how his childhood influenced his philosophy, and clarifies and few misnomers regarding Cooper, Szasz, and "Anti-Psychiatry" (cassette).

Is Humanity Preparing for Species Suicide? 1988
Partial transcript of a 1988 interview by Michael O'Callaghan. From Global Vision's Interviews With Great Thinkers series.

Did You Used to be R.D. Laing? 1988
Video portrait by Kirk Tougas and Tom Shandel, also includes excepts of audio recordings of Laing's talks at Esalen in 1967. Available for order through
Big Sur Tapes (North America) or Concord Video (UK)

R.D. Laing with Anthony Clare 1988
Interview from the Ideas of Our Time series. Topics of discussion include the early influences on his development as psychiatrist and writer.

Eros, Love & Lies 1990
This documentary explores the dynamics of human relationships and the vital necessity of bringing honesty to our lives. Recorded at lectures, seminars and interviews in Boulder, Colorado in 1987. Video, also available on audio cassette.

Recordings by other artists containing quotes & excerpts from Laing's works
can be found on the
Art & Literature page.
Interviews in print are available on the
Essays, Chapters, &c. page

Notes regarding errors or omissions in this bibliography would be appreciated. Please send an email to the admin. Thanks.

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