Dogma in retreatBMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7222.1444 (Published 27 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1444
- Simon Wessely, professor of psychological medicine
- Maudsley Hospital, London
Talking Cure, BBC2, Tuesdays at 9.50pm, 2 November to 7 December
The fly on the wall documentary has now developed its own clichés, but when done well it can still grip. Talking Cure, filmed at London's Tavistock Clinic, made compelling viewing.
The Tavistock has been the spiritual home of psychoanalytic practice in this country from its foundation after the first world war—its original patrons being the rather unlikely combination of Field Marshall Haig and Admiral Beatty of Jutland fame. Although it no longer has the influence it once did, it remains the largest NHS psychotherapy clinic.
In six episodes we saw six different aspects of the work of the clinic, based around six patients. Granted the patients were not straightforward: all had responded to advertisements placed by the programme makers and had then got themselves referred to …