Geel Revisited after Centuries
of Rehabilitation
[Includes DVD Movie]

By Eugeen Roosens
Forward by Oliver Sacks
December 2007
Garant Publishers
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789044120752
129 pages, Illustrated, 6 5/8 x 9 1/2"
$52.50 Paper Original

Twenty-five years after his first publication on this topic, anthropologist Roosens and Van de Walle, manager of the rehabilitation unit, ‘revisited’ Geel.  The book starts with a historical overview and zooms in on the famous “Gheel Question.” 

Subsequently, it dwells on the changes that have occurred in the system over the last 25 years and explains how the psychiatric foster care program is run on a day-to-day basis.  What sets the book apart is that is draws a well-documented, realistic and graphic picture of life in a foster family at the onset of the 21st century. 

According to Dr. Sacks, the cases presented “provide a definitive rebuttal of the notion of mental illness as a remorselessly advancing and deteriorating condition and shows how, if there can be an effective integration into family and community life (and, behind this, a safety net of hospital care, professionals, and medication where warranted), even those who would seem to be incurably afflicted can, potentially, live full, dignified, loved and secure lives.” 

Last but not least, throughout the book psychiatric foster care is situated within the larger framework of community care.  Basically, the book tries to establish the past and future potential of psychiatric foster care as a form of balanced community care and aims at highlighting the value of fostering for the mentally ill with enduring psychiatric disabilities.

Psychotherapy; Mental Illness

Return to Coronet Books main page