Psychiatric therapies

Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art
Psychiatric therapies - Lewis Yealland
Treatments and therapies
Captain Brock 2

Yealland was a Canadian-born therapist who specialised in shock therapy. This treatment had been pioneered by German therapists who thought that electric shocks and the willpower of the patient would cure them. The French had a similar system called torpillage. Yealland's therapy was named 'faradization', after the farad, the unit of electrical capacity, named in turn after Michael Faraday, the British chemist and physicist.

Yealland's cases were usually the men most affected by hysteria. It was said that he sent men back to the front within days of first meeting them. Accounts of his treatment seem harsh (even in Pat Barker's fictionalised form in Regeneration). Yealland applied electric shocks to the neck and throat of the patient. He also used cigarette ends on the tip of the tongue and metal plates were placed at the back of the mouth. He would persist with the treatment until patients began to speak again to his satisfaction. He could keep the shock treatment going for hours if necessary. However, it should be noted that these extreme cases were a small percentage of the patients Yealland saw and the majority of them recovered without the need for electrical stimulus. They recovered through suggestion and persuasion.

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