John Gwilym Howells

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 25 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a756
  1. Cheryll Adams,
  2. Roger Howells

    John Gwilym Howells, MD, FRCPsych, AKC, DFAPA, FLS, was formerly director of the Institute of Family Psychiatry from 1950 to 1985, an institute associated with the University of Cambridge. He instigated family psychiatry in the United Kingdom, having been trained as a child psychiatrist. A progressive, he determinedly lead the movement to establish a Royal College of Psychiatrists. While running a busy clinical service for the people of East Suffolk he researched, developed, and applied his family psychiatry model for 35 years. He was a sought-after lecturer and trainer across the world, particularly in the United States, where he was awarded the distinguished fellowship of the American Psychiatric Association. He was a prolific author—writing or editing 48 books in six languages, as well as many scientific papers—expounding ideas on issues as various as child welfare, history, psychopathology, psychiatry and medicine, and his key focus: the concepts of experiential psychopathology and the creation of a salutiferous society.

    John was born and brought up in North Wales. He studied medicine at King’s College, London, and Charing Cross Medical School. While at King’s he also successfully took the AKC qualification in response to a developing interest in philosophy and theology. This may have been very influential during the rest of his life when he sought truth through research. It was at King’s that he also first became interested in psychopathology when he took a course by J A Hadfield. …

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