The Far Side of Madness
John Weir Perry (1914-1998) first met C. G. Jung in Switzerland as a young medical student, where he was intrigued by Jung's assertion that schizophrenia is a natural healing process. During the 1970s, he founded an experimental residential facility called Diabasis in Berkeley, California, designed as a supportive home for young adults who were experiencing the initial days of their first "acute schizophrenic break." At Diabasis, these full-blown "schizophrenics" were able to emerge "on the far side of madness," as Perry put it, "weller than well," without any treatment by medication, electroshock, or locked doors. When "The Far Side of Madness" was first published in 1974, Perry's deep insight into the nature of so-called "schizophrenia" opened the way for a radically new, more compassionate approach to this condition. This pioneering work of Jungian psychiatry reframes acute psychotic episodes in the context of visionary experience of schizophrenic patients and describes innovative methods of handling them.