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The Menninger Clinic was founded in 1925 in Topeka, Kansas, by Drs. Karl, Will, and C.F. Menninger. It represented the first group psychiatry practice. "We had a vision," Dr. C.F. said, "of a better kind of medicine and a better kind of world."
History[edit | edit source]
Treatment for children[edit | edit source]
During the 1930s, the Menningers expanded training programs for psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals. They formally established the Menninger School of Psychiatry in 1946. It quickly became the largest training center in the country, driven by the country's demand for psychiatrists to treat military veterans returning from World War II.
Revolution in psychiatric education[edit | edit source]
The School and the local Veterans Administration Hospital represented the center of a psychiatric education revolution. The Clinic and the School became the hub for training professionals in the bio-psycho-social approach. This approach integrated the foundations of medical, psychodynamic, developmental, and family systems to focus on the overall health of patients. For patients, this way of treatment attended to their physical, emotional, and social needs.
Staff at Menninger developed an intense commitment to delivering quality patient care and seeking innovative diagnostic tools and treatments. Dr. Will Menninger made a major contribution to the field of psychiatry when he developed a system of hospital treatment known as milieu therapy. This approach involved a patient's total environment in treatment.
Advocacy and growth[edit | edit source]
Dr. Karl Menninger's first book, The Human Mind (1930), became a bestseller and familiarized the American public with human behavior. Many Americans also read his subsequent books, including The Vital Balance, Man Against Himself and Love Against Hate.
Service in World War II[edit | edit source]
Dr. Will Menninger served as Chief of the Army Medical Corps' Psychiatric Division during World War II. Under his leadership, the Army reduced losses in personnel due to psychological impairment. In 1945, the Army promoted Dr. Will to brigadier general.
After the war, Dr. Will lead a national revolution to reform state sanitariums. Drs. Will and Karl were both talented at instructing laypersons about psychiatry and behavior. In 1948, Time magazine featured Dr. Will on its cover, lauding him as "psychiatry’s U.S. sales manager."
At The Clinic, staff proceeded to launch new treatment approaches and open specialty programs. Menninger gained a reputation for intensive, individualized treatment, particularly for patients with complex or long-standing symptoms. The treatment approach remained multidimensional, addressing a patient’s medical, psychological, and social needs. Numerous independent organizations recognized Menninger as a world leader in psychiatric and behavioral health treatment.
Research[edit | edit source]
The Menninger Clinic remains one of the primary North American settings supporting psychodynamically informed research on clinical diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. Recently, efforts have been organized around the construct of mentalizing, a concept integrating research activities related to attachment, theory of mind, internal representations, and neuroscience.
In the 1960s the Menninger Clinic studied Swami Rama, a noted yogi, specifically investigating his ability to exercise voluntary control of bodily processes (such as heartbeat) which are normally considered non-voluntary (autonomous).
Relocation to Texas[edit | edit source]
In June 2003, Menninger relocated its clinical programs from Topeka to Houston. Menninger announced its affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital in December 2002. The reason for the relocation was that Menninger could not continue funding its massive research plans, and treat patients at the same time. The idea is that Menninger does the treatment and runs the research, while Baylor does the research and gets students taught in a real therapeutic environment.
Current Facilities[edit | edit source]
As of 2005, the Menninger Clinic has an Adolescent Treatment Program, an Eating Disorders program (EDP), which takes in adults and adolescents, an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder program, a Professionals in Crisis program (PIC), a Compas Young Adult program (for people 18-30 with mental disorders or substance abuse issues), and a Hope Adult program(for people 18-60 with mental illness).
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Menninger Clinic official website
- Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
- The Topeka Capital Journal's in-depth coverage of Menninger leaving Topeka - index page
- 2005 U.S. News & World Report psychiatric hospital rankings