Leon Redler and the Philadelphia Association


Leon Redler also came from the United States to work with Maxwell Jones at Dingleton hospital. He then moved to London to work at Kingsley Hall. He is a practising psychotherapist and also a practitioner of the Alexander Technique, Hatha Yoga and Zen. Although he has not written any significant contribution to anti-psychiatry, he was an apologist for Laing (eg. Redler, 1976). Contact with Laing encouraged Redler's pursuit of Zen and Buddhism (Gans & Redler, 2001). 


Redler remained loyal to Laing when Laing eventually left the Philadelphia Association (PA). Part of the reason for the split was Laing's interest in birth and pre-birth experience. Redler became Chair from February 1997 to February 1999, the first to hold that position since it was vacated by Laing in 1981. He has been said to embody the tradition that Laing generated in setting up the PA (Gans & Redler, 2001). 


From the beginning, the aim of the Philadelphia Association (PA) (http://www.philadelphia-association.co.uk) was to "change the way the 'facts' of 'mental health' and 'mental illness' are seen" (Cooper, 1994). It has fostered the development of several therapeutic community households in London. Its training courses, although psychoanalytically orientated, built on Laing's interests in social phenomenology and spiritual traditions. 


The PA is now a member of the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), as is the Arbours Association. Members of the PA households are encouraged to be in individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The cost of staying in the houses has been funded by housing benefit and the social housing maintenance grant, unlike the Arbours Association which charges a fee.



Cooper, R. (1994) (with S. Gans, J.M. Heaton, H. Oakley & P. Zeal) Beginnings. In: R. Cooper, J. Friedman, S. Gans, J.M. Heaton, C. Oakley, H. Oakley & P. Zeal Threholds between philosophy and psychoanalysis. London: Free Association Books


Gans, S. & Redler, L. (2001) (in conversation with B. MullanJust listening. Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation


Redler, L. (1976) Anti-psychiatry. [Letter] The New Review3: 71-2