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Selling the private asylum: therapeutic landscapes and the (re)valorization of confinement in the era of community care

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This paper examines the role of place in the positioning and survival of the contemporary private asylum. While community care is now the dominant mental health care modality in most Western health economies, some asylum care has survived, often in the private sector, catering for a clientele able and willing to pay for a non-standard approach to care. We consider how landscapes, buildings and services provide a basis for marketing and selling asylum care. Drawing on fieldwork, documentary analysis and visual evidence, we analyse the representational strategies of the Homewood Health Centre Inc. (Ontario, Canada), the Ashburn Private Psychiatric Clinic (Dunedin, New Zealand) and the acute psychiatric hospitals within the Priory Group (UK). The paper draws conclusions about the role of therapeutic landscapes in the contemporary asylum, place marketing and the (re)valorization of historical ideas of asylum.
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Keywords: asylum; private mental health care; therapeutic landscapes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for the Geography of Health, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3AS, Email: [email protected] 2: School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand 3: Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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